How To Speak Press Release

How To Speak Press Release

Hey bands! Why spend your hard-earned cash hiring a PR company to write a press release for your next single when you can do it yourself. Music promotion – as any fool knows – requires a highly specialised vocabulary quite unlike normal English. But using our new handy list below, you too can write inflated nonsense like a professional.

After carefully analysing several thousand music industry press releases (and removing boring words like “the”, “and”, “of”, “with” and “album”) we can now exclusively reveal nothing less than the crucial panpoly of sobriquets without which no visonary exponent of songcraft can possibly consider their anthemic party-rock stylings complete…

Industry, heavy, dystopian, wizardry, bold, vibes, nature, beauty, hip, befitting, warp, unexpected, political, anthemic, abstraction, upheavals, original, confections, studio, street, identity, hosted, commenced, fueled, hazy, collective, impassioned, redemption, successor, captured, lyrical, angular, best, classic, captivated, exuberant, drive, reaction, aforementioned, harris, intricate, adventure, death, deep, ambitious, message, octane, cohesive, beats, clarity, retrospect, compelling, ambiguity, panoply, gothic, radio, roots, sexual, embodied, adventurism, animals, increasingly, lushness, joy, war, arrangements, debut, delivered, protest, name producers, orchestral, ambitions, soul, touring, drawing, layer, crafting, wild, symbol, opined, melodies, formed, deserved, throbbing, sonic, angst, sumptuous, impact, neural, album, melodic, instrumentals, multiple, ambitious, cult, fantasy, themes, based, anthems, devils, daft, explored, acclaim, disparate, acclaimed, thematically, trilogy, underlines, acceptance, explore, abandon, predecessor, violent, spectacular, reflects, frisky, visionary, soundcloud, solo, strengths, recording, funky, combo, revolution, darkness, axiom, future, dance, loose, precise, journey, style, searing, distinct, experimentation, effortlessly, mancunian, contemporary, approaches, lush, youth, generation, abstraction, creative, spirit, shifts, former, storm, obscure, glastonbury, collaborator, unfettered, taste, enlightenment, epic, driven, ambient, cinematic, psychedelic, aforementioned, explorations, guitars, intense, landscape, activity, rave, drawn, achieved, melancholy, enthralling, revels, positive, sobriquet, reflecting, offering, abandon, range, electronic, acute, grooves, influences, uncanny, received, favourite, daydreams, push, meditations, ambience, ambition, critically, tour, vision, singular, propensity, searing, praise, graceful, blissfulness, experimentations, crucial, current, ambition, panorama, uptempo, ambience, inspired, punk, landscapes, restless, paradise, glam,electric, existential, imagination, quintet, powerful, assault, heart, void, triumph, slice, vivid, alternative, celebration, anthemic, chaotic, forthcoming, stunning, anointed, truly, celebration, hooks, genre, chapter, trumpeted, incredible, dream, blissed, lyricism, vocals, seismic, psychedelia, inspiration, talent, pumping, riffs, elements, dubbed, natural, respected, songcraft, confidence, industrial, locales, distinctly, packaged, guitar, triumphant, bug, emotion, party, acclaimed, styling, struggle, pop.

Of course Press Release is a living language and new words and phrases are being added all the time. We’d welcome your comments with any further terms you may have spotted in your travels around the Music Industry…

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...

12 Comments

  1. Steve Harris

    That looks very useful. Just writing about music requires a similar vocabulary, which I’ve been trying to learn. I might be a novice at that, but I can definitely recommend writing your own press releases; the first couple might take a while, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. These days, I can write one about my work in a few minutes, blindfolded, and have large chunks of it run almost verbatim (lazy journalism, marketing dream).

    The only other thing is to get the structure right (who, what, when, where, etc), and there’s loads of stuff on the internet about that. Out of that will come a finely-crafted and not too flowery blurb that can be reused to describe your work when necessary (profile pages, etc) and perhaps even help you focus and define yourself.

  2. Cheers for this Tom!

  3. Massimiliano Morini

    “unfettered”, “explorations”… :-) As pop-rock becomes more and more established and traditional, its marketing vocabulary gets more and more extreme!

  4. You are funny ! you clearly have too much time on your hands ;) Don’t see one of my current faves for Kelly Oliver on there though – flawless. Very interesting reading though !

  5. Tom

    @HelenMeissner yeah, it’s so odd that this kind of flowery hyperbole is so often used when describing music – as Steve says, by journos & bloggers as much as PR agents. When pluggers visit the BBC offices talk to radio producers and DJs they never use words like “befitting” “trumpeted” or “commenced” to tell us about their new releases. So it’s baffling why they lapse into lurid, boastful clichés whenever they tell us about those same new releases in writing.

    For the avoidance of doubt: I didn’t really analyse a thousand press releases to come up with the above list of words. And folks, if you’d welcome more considered, non-sarcastic advice on writing press releases you’ll find it at http://freshonthenet.co.uk/biogs and http://freshonthenet.co.uk/cds

  6. From ambiguity to wizardry
    The album searing melodic experimentation fueled neural dance is befitting of harris’ debut adventure
    An original in lushness

    No sumptuous visionary mancunian formed intricate confections to such multiple acclaim with funky lushness to explore

    Collective protest into the roots of deep dystopian

    Revolution of the effortlessly disparate

    Opined along this violent gothic angst captivated funky reaction journey

    Hip the cohesive successor anthems, with themes wild in sexual reaction

    Retrospect is increasingly lyrical

    Industry underlines compelling wild revolution

    Producers bold radio explore orchestral solo album

    axiom

    ****message received and understood ;)

  7. Steve Harris

    It just occurred to me that I’ve never seen an industry go so hard at this stuff, and I come from tech, a world famed for speaking its own language. It makes you think that if you don’t play along, nobody will take you seriously, but you’ve got to be true to yourself, no matter what.

    I wasn’t joking about writing your own PRs though; that’s one way to avoid sounding like a complete wanker (hopefully). I’ve never dealt with a middleman that wasn’t full of shit.

  8. I’ve just laughed coffee out my nose at this….well it was Steve’s line
    ‘thats one way to avoid sounding like a complete wanker’ ha ha ha! and ‘I’ve never dealt with a middle man that wasn’t full of shit’!! ha ha ha!!

    Sadly its all too true and not a recent thing. My older brother was an A&R man in the 90’s and would get sent a zillion cassette (aaaah the old days!) demo’s accompanied by the above written detritus.

  9. Great article. It is really the only way to write a press release… unless of course you can get your mp3 into a singing card that only activates when they’re in the right mood for your song.

  10. Tom

    A couple of excellent additions for you this week:

    Anybody care for some “Lush, romantic lyricism tied to art-school high concept; tight beats coupled with wild guitar abstractions; and a stunning voice that stays with you long after the music fades”?

    Or how’s about a bit of “dark and powerful electronica, pairing alternative and grunge sensibilities with incessant rhythms and winding swathes of synth, vocals rising up from the mix in a haunting and heartfelt wash of reverb.”

    Nice.

  11. Tom

    Just wanted to share another brilliantly over the top slice of PR guff that came in this week. All names have been changed to protect the guilty but, trust me, this is exactly how NOT to write a press release…

    “Enigmatic musical collective COCONUT DUMP return with sophomore project in the shape of 3 track EP AVENGING BLENDER. Quirm-based trio Poppy Gondola, Trashy Asset and Sam Shenanigan deliver an intoxicating piece of work that builds on their unique sound, detailing intricate tapestries of influences including neo soul elements, left-of-centre pop sensibilities and eclectic bass mused together with a funk infused twist.

    Poppy Gondola’s rich and decadent vocals offer a sweet and soulful tone that flows over the top of multilayered synths, beats and melodic broodings. Sophisticated production and instrumentation boast how the band have continued to evolve within their own lane, avoiding them being led too far down one specific musical direction and instead allowing them to develop their heady lyricism….”

    The Golden Rule: “Don’t tell us how great you are. Tell us how interesting you are”

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