Submissions

Please send all submissions and inquiries to info@acloserlisten.com.  If you have met the guidelines below, we will get back to you within a few days, likely sooner!

Submissions Guidelines

1.  We are open to reviewing all music that falls into the instrumental and/or experimental fields, but  our emphasis is on the instrumental.  While the experimental music we review may contain vocals, it is better defined as texture-based rather than lyric-based.    Before submitting music, please read some of our reviews in order to familiarize yourself with the type of styles we cover.

2.  Our focus is on newer music, so preference is given to newer releases.  Unreleased and recently-released music will be assigned top priority, while releases from past seasons will have a much smaller chance of coverage.

3.  Here’s how the process works.  First, we listen to everything that comes in.  Once a week, we compile a list of submissions including the public links only, and send these out to the staff along with brief descriptions.  Our reviewers then have two weeks to pick up releases to hear in full.  If they like a release, they sign up to review it.  This means that in general, our reviews will be more positive than those on other sites, because no releases are ever assigned.  This also explains why some submissions don’t get reviewed; it’s often a matter of taste and time as well as talent.

4.  We are currently reviewing approximately 20% of the instrumental submissions we receive, a little less for ambient and drone releases because their submission numbers are higher than in all the other genres combined.  Due to the interests of our current staff, we have not been reviewing a lot of jazz or improvisation.  We do not review singles, tracks or videos, or offer feedback on works in progress; and since we are primarily a review site, we publish very few premieres or interviews.  On average, the wait time between acceptance and review is one month.  We respond to all inquiries that mention our site by name, but not to group or impersonal emails (such as “Hey!” or an email with links but no words).  We may also fail to respond if the submissions criteria have not been met or if the music falls into the singer-songwriter or rap arenas.  If you have not heard from us within three weeks of submission, the release was not chosen for review.

5.  Digital submissions:
a) Please send us a Bandcamp code, a Soundcloud download page, or a digital file that we can open and download for free (for example, WeTransfer and Dropbox ~ but please do not send .rar or FLAC files as we have trouble with those ~ we prefer mp3 or WAV);
b) A link to a site at which we can preview at least snippets of the release before opening the file; and
c) A link to the place where it can be purchased or downloaded.

6.  Physical submissions: we do accept physical submissions, but please keep in mind that a hard copy will only be considered by one person, while a digital submission can be sent to any of ten reviewers who expresses interest.  If your only option is to send a physical submission, then please send us a description and/or sample, then wait to see if a reviewer may be interested.

7.  One email address fits all!  Send inquiries to info@acloserlisten, and the emails will be received by Richard and forwarded to the proper place.  Jeremy is currently on leave, but if you would like to get in touch either of the other administrators, they may be reached at the following email addresses.

Richard:  richard@acloserlisten.com
Joe (Mixes, Social Media):  joseph@acloserlisten.com

If your submission fits the above guidelines, and we like it, it has a very good chance of coverage.  We know you put a lot of effort into what you do, so we promise not to review it if we don’t like it.  If we decide to review it, we promise to give it a closer listen.

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