The Australian-based indie music community, Sounds On The Couch recently released its first digital compilation album, ‘Independent Discovery (Volume 1)’, which features a diverse range of emerging and established independent artists from across the globe, showcasing a vibrant and eclectic mix of genres, including indie rock, indie-pop, singer-songwriter, R&B, & more.
The album includes tracks from a variety of artists, including the likes of divine&acajou, Elisha Andres, ENNA, Jason Justly, Kaiyah Mercedes, Madi Leeds, Matthew McMahon, Minhy, Ollie Twohill, Patrick McArdle, Riley Cooper, & Tillerman Pete.
Sounds On The Couch began its journey in April 2020 by founder & independent singer-songwriter, Karen Harding, as a way for artists to connect with audiences when Covid-19 started to affect the livelihood of many musicians around the world.
Over time, the platform has evolved into a community of independent artists, moving towards a common goal, & produces publicity through an online magazine, playlists, & YouTube channel, as well as providing periodic workshops & resources to support independent and emerging artists.
Founder Karen Harding has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding this music community & the journey towards creating their first compilation album. You can find the full interview below.
Hey Karen, thank you so much for this interview. Can you start by telling readers a little bit about yourself?
Karen: Absolutely.. my name is Karen Harding, and I am the founder of Sounds On The Couch, a community of independent artists designed to promote independent music and support independent artists.
Sounds On The Couch is dedicated to developing and promoting independent artists, and we work hard to create opportunities for them to be heard and recognized. Whether it’s through our compilation album series, live events, or online promotion, we strive to give independent artists the support they need to succeed.
Beyond Sounds On The Couch, I am an independent singer-songwriter based in Melbourne, Australia, I operate a boutique music PR agency, Rise Indie (https://riseindie.com) and in my free time, I love to create art through painting, explore yoga and get into nature.
In April 2020, you began the ‘Sounds On The Couch’ project as a way for artists to connect with audiences when Covid-19 was limiting the ability for musicians to play live shows. How did it feel to begin this project?
Karen: It was amazing beginning this project!
Sounds On The Couch was started on a whim.. it wasn’t something that was planned for a long time.. I woke up one day and felt that lockdowns had made it so difficult for musicians to perform and I wanted to create something that would enable them to perform online and continue to build their audiences, despite being locked down.
The response was incredible and I was so grateful to have the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people, both musicians and experts within the music industry.
The experience really opened my eyes and it began a journey of exploring music in a whole new way.
How do you feel ‘Sounds On The Couch’ has evolved since 2020?
Karen: Sounds On The Couch is completely different to how it began.
Originally the platform was designed for live performances and then it grew into interviews with artists and music industry experts.
As we began to emerge from lockdowns, this was no longer sustainable with my time, and artists didn’t need the online performances to the same degree.
I began to explore the idea of the online magazine, Couch Mag (https://couchmag.life), which has now become the core of Sounds On The Couch.. I explored workshops and playlists and different ways of creating beneficial video productions.
The thing that I love so much about this project is that it is constantly evolving and changing.. I love the direction that we are going and I love connecting with so many amazing people through the whole process.
Not long ago, we saw the release of the “Independent Discovery (Volume 1)” digital compilation album by Sounds On The Couch. How did the idea for this album come together?
Karen: I have always wanted to create a compilation album of all the amazing independent music that I come across.
We have access to so many playlists in the way the streaming world is now, however, there is something so special about a fully curated compilation album that is planned and pulled together.
Maybe it’s a nostalgic feeling from growing up, where you would head into a CD store and purchase an album.. the excitement felt about the whole experience.. I want listeners to experience this excitement and discovery of so many incredible artists.
The album features a variety of emerging & independent artists. So, what sort of music can listeners expect to hear throughout the album?
Karen: There is quite a mix of genres within the album, however, I feel that it comes together so beautifully.
‘Independent Discovery (Volume 1)’ moves from the indie-pop vibes of artists like Madi Leeds, to the pop feels of divine&acajou, to the Singer-songwriter expression of Kaiyah Mercedes, to R&B from Elisha Andres, to a more rock vibe of Ollie Twohill.
The album is eclectic, however, it’s a journey through the incredible array of independent music that we have available to us and will be a beautiful experience for listeners.
Who are some of the incredible artists that listeners can look forward to hearing on the album?
Karen: The album includes tracks from a variety of artists, including the likes of divine&acajou, Elisha Andres, ENNA, Jason Justly, Kaiyah Mercedes, Madi Leeds, Matthew McMahon, Minhy, Ollie Twohill, Patrick McArdle, Riley Cooper and Tillerman Pete.
What does it mean to you to see this album enter the music scene?
Karen: For me, this is the first release of many to come.. I am so excited to be able to do my little bit to share some of this amazing music with the world.
Could we anticipate hearing volume 2 of this collection in the future?
I have already started receiving submissions for volume 2.. I get so excited by the amazing music I receive. If you are an artist and would like to apply, you can do so at https://couchmag.life/index.php/digital-compilation-album-application
How can artists & listeners discover more about the ‘Sounds On The Couch’ project?
Karen: I would absolutely love for you to explore Sounds On The Couch and to get in touch.
You can find us at:
What advice would you offer to someone who is looking to pursue a career within the music industry?
Karen: I would say, continue to explore.. music is about creativity and the journey is incredible. Search for opportunities and get involved with communities and what is available to you.
If you are looking for opportunities and they are not working out just create them as a way to connect with other artists.. ultimately you have the power to create your career.
Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Karen: Thank you so much for taking the time to read this interview.. thank you so much to Jess for being such an incredible support.
I look forward to sharing the release with you on 1st February.. I look forward to connecting with you and hearing your feedback.
You can check out the full ‘Independent Discovery (Volume 1)’ Compilation Album on Spotify below or via further platforms here.
Sounds On The Coach: Magazine / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter.