So, you’ve done the hard work of writing and recording your music. You’ve got eye catching album artwork and now it’s time to write an album description! Writing an album description is a crucial part of marketing your new album, as it helps potential listeners understand what they can expect from the music inside and from you as an artist. To write a great album description, one needs to consider various elements such as the music genre or genres, the sonic details, the mood, and the overall theme or story of the album. A successful album description should also be concise! Think of it like an elevator pitch– you only have a few lines to present your project and want to entice your reader to listen.
Do you want to work with a professional in the industry to help you write your album description and promote your music? Contact managers and labels directly on Groover.
Otherwise, here is everything you need to know about how to write an album description and why it matters when promoting your project!
1. The Basics: How do you write a music description?
Your recordings are mixed and mastered and you’re ready to release your debut album. Nowadays, musicians need to know how to produce good music AND how to market it properly. An album release without a music description is like a book without a blurb on the back cover. There are no albums on the Billboard charts that don’t have descriptions! So yes, you need one.
You want to give your listeners as much specific information as possible- without giving too much away- so that they feel compelled to listen to your tracks. Here is a basic checklist of what you should include in your album description.
- Genre / Genres / Subgenres: First and foremost, you need to describe the genre or genres of music that your album falls into. For some artists, this will be pretty straightforward: pop, electro, hip-hop, R&B, rap, rock, country, folk…the list goes on. Don’t be afraid to get specific with the genre- the more specific the better! Check out the Wikipedia page on music genres to discover the various subgenres of styles of music. If you feel as though you create music in a genre that doesn’t exist already, try to name the genres that are most relevant and that you are influenced by. Maybe you blend influences from new-wave, punk, and funk genres. Specify this!
- Sonic elements: Make sure you include some details about how the album actually sounds. What instruments are primarily used? Are there sweet riffs of electric guitars or punchy synth lines? Catchy melodies or lyrics that take the listener on a journey? A psychedelic chorus or minimalist beats?
- Mood: Be sure to talk about the mood of your album. This could be in relation to the tempo of the album, whether the music is upbeat or more mellow. The mood can also be explained by using imagery; for example, an album that is perfect for a summer at the beach or one that is more reflective and cozy, to listen to by the fireside.
- Theme or story: Of course, if there is a theme or story behind your album, make sure to mention this.
- Context: Lastly, if you feel like details about the context of the album are relevant, include them. This could be related to how it was recorded, either in an iconic recording studio or a live album session, or about where it falls in your career. Is it your first album? Third album? A compilation album? Let your listeners know. You can include the release date if you want to, but it is not necessary.
2. Practice writing two versions: a quick pitch and a more detailed description
If you manage to include all these key points when you write an album description, you should be good to go! Test out different album descriptions and ask your peers which one works the best. It is also helpful to have two versions on hand– the quick pitch and a more detailed one. The quick pitch should be just a couple sentences, under 50 words, and the more detailed version should be around 100 words. Between your biography, the album description, and your press kit, you need to learn how to be succinct!
Having a shorter description on hand is helpful when pitching to Spotify playlists, for example. The music library on streaming services is so saturated with new music from artists around the world being released every day. Playlist curators won’t have time to read a novel so nevermind writing one! Using the right keywords can help them understand your universe and to place you alongside music you sound like.
3. How do I write a short album review: What NOT to do
Some album reviews and descriptions will go into way too much detail about a musical project that it can deter people from even reading it in the first place. Save the track list and song by song details for an interview or only if someone specifically asks for that kind of in depth description. It’s not only professionals in the music industry that have limited time and attention spans- listeners do as well! You need to learn how to make an impact quickly and effectively.
When you write an album description, you don’t need to include lots of details about you as an artist or your music career. It’s important to leave these details for your biography. In the biography, you can mention band members, history of releases, and any notable concert dates or festivals you may have played. You can also include influential artists that you take inspiration from or other groups you’ve been compared to. Maybe there is a singer songwriter you’ve always admired or a specific rock album you were inspired by. The same goes for any notable press, playlists, or radio play you’ve gotten. These details don’t belong in an album description! They should be in your press kit.
4. Write an album description that will make an impact
In conclusion, writing an album description that will make an impact requires a mix of creativity and accuracy. Describing the genres, sonic details, mood, and theme or story are essential elements that must be accurately portrayed. By doing this, you will be able to better inform your listener, making them feel connected to the music on a deeper level. Back in the day, I don’t think that Elvis, the Beatles, or the Rolling Stones were spending their time writing their own album descriptions. They probably had teams of people working on that for them! Today, indie artists often take on the role of manager and label (and more!) to advance in their careers. This can be challenging but also can be quite freeing as well; you get to decide how your music is presented. For music lovers and artists alike, the album description is crucial to successfully promoting your project.
Want to know how to make an album cover with visuals that make an impact? Read our article on the subject and get inspired by some of the most iconic album covers ever made, from Joy Division, the Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, and more.