#HowWeListen – Clotilde Bayle / 4AD

How We Listen is an interview series where Byta interviews artists, their teams, and everyone else working in music about how they find and listen to music, new and old.
Clotilde Bayle 4AD A&R
Who are you?
Clotilde Bayle

Where are you based?
London, UK

Where do you work? What do you do?
I work at 4AD, as an A&R. Very new to the label, got hired full time around May/June! Used to work in live music before that, repping shows, carrying gear around etc.

What are you listening to?
Recurrent question in my life, a lot of music..!

Apart from 4AD goodies (upcoming Big Thief, Aldous Harding and Hollie Herndon in particular) I try and focus on new and upcoming stuff.

Recently, I really enjoyed Bill Ryder Jones, Helado Negro, Angelo de Augustine, Haley Heynderickx, Blake Mills, Yves Tumor, Galcher Lustwerk, Abul Mogard, Tirzah, Tierra Whack, Teyana Taylor, Standing On The Corner… A lot of good music out there!

How do you find new music?
I use Bandcamp, follow all the small record labels / artists I am interested in. Do the same thing on Soundcloud.
Read the press a lot (Bandcamp Daily, The Quietus, Loud & Quiet, Pitchfork, Stereogum, London in Stereo, Gorilla vs Bear, Crack, etc etc). Also follow their playlists on Spotify if they have any, follow other tastemakers’ playlists (record labels have some, or musicians like Danger Mouse or Four Tet, etc.).

I also subscribe to mailing lists, PR companies, artists, labels, publishers, promoters, they all have some… I make sure I’m aware of what’s going on, a lot of digging around!

I also share a lot of music with my friends and listen to their suggestions. I’m grateful for the golden ears around me, a lot of very talented people in my life.
Listen to digital radio like NTS or Balamii, follow hosts I love, check tracklists for all their shows.

Follow bands I like, check who’s supporting when they headline / tour, you find similar artists that way. Obviously going to a lot of shows helps to discover new music, sometimes go to 5/6 a week. Going to sound very cheesy but finding new music is a lifestyle not just a job!

Always read/listen to artists’ interviews. I’ve come across a lot of magical music that way, there might be a ‘what’s in your bag’ kind of question in there. Found (Sandy) Alex G’s bandcamp thanks to an Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s interview for instance, life-changing moment.

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Service and why?
I grew up buying CDs, that’s what my parents are into. So have quite a lot of CDs actually! I get sent a lot of CDs at work but don’t have a CD player in the office. I’d say that’s the format I’m not really using anymore…
I still buy cassettes yes! Every now and then. They’re cute, I have a thing for them.

Analog vs Digital… We all know the pros and cons, right? I do buy vinyl, when I’m home chilling, nothing like a warm beautiful listening session.
Although I spend a countless amount of time on my computer, both are essential to my life.
Digital is how I find music, analog is how I thank the artist for the good music? I obviously pay subscriptions for various streaming services, but there is something about buying a vinyl and having a tangible piece of the work in your hands.

Where do you do most of your music listening?
Everywhere. At work, at home, when commuting. At work, we have a very good sound system (Bowers and Wilkins speakers and quad 77 amp). It’s another level, feels like the artist is in the room when you play the music.
Also, just got a pair of AIAIAI, TMA-2 Tonmeister Preset, really recommend them if you have long listening sessions, very comfortable. I was on the plane back from SXSW and listened to music nearly non-stop from Austin to London.
Otherwise, at home we have two turntables in our living room, my housemate mixes! Another turntable in the bedroom, portable speakers for rooms without a turntable… music house!

How do find and listen to pre-release music?
A big part of my job is finding new music pre-release so I find myself asking for a lot of unreleased music. It generally happens via email, I get in touch with management or directly to the artist.

I do pay a lot of attention on who premieres the track I’m interested in when it happens.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
I quite like private Soundcloud links, Dropbox, Drive or special password on the artist’s website, it’s more organised.

I’m not a fan of download links in emails, often the files names are “0999922.mp3’ go and find something like that in your iTunes..! I do download files to upload to iTunes but that’s often albums I’m really looking forward to via Promojukebox.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
I have genre playlists where I pile up songs I like on Spotify, also a gig calendar to remember who’s playing where and when. Also have a monthly playlist! Also a calendar with release dates.
Usually remember what I love, but I’d be lost without all this, they’re my bibles!
I often do one pagers about artists I like too, with all the necessary info and key press coverage.

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Yes! Just trying to help artists I love in any way I can, whether it’s telling friends to come to the show, finding them a promoter, a manager, a place to rehearse, pr, etc. put people in touch.
Also, often think ‘I know this person is going to like this song’ so share it, music is all about sharing! It’s a way of saying ‘Hey, I think about you’.

Anything you want to “promote”?
Shoutout to Squid! My favourite band right now, had the best time seeing them in Austin. They’re really blossoming into something insanely good and I’m so excited for what’s to come. Also, they’re very sweet people and have an amazing team around them.
Penelope Isles, Gong Gong Gong and Gia Margaret were great at SXSW too.
Also check out Maria SomervilleAll My People (her NTS mixes too, so good!)
Lucinda ChuaAntidotes 1 a very very talented cellist, singer songwriter, her music is addictive and this EP is finally out for the world to hear!

#HowWeListen – Clotilde Bayle / 4AD was last modified: March 26th, 2019 by Byta