As the shuffle function and delete key steadily shift listeners away from the album format and toward a la carte song consumption, musicians are adjusting by shortening their releases or cutting out physical product altogether.
In 2011, more local artists than ever put out EP-length recordings, choosing four to six strong songs over a stretched-thin 10 to 12. They scatter across the musical spectrum, from anthemic pop (Cadence, Tuck and Roll) to affable indie-folk (Anastacia, Brian Hinderberger) and from blues (Kylan Johnson, DSkiles Band) to brooding alt-rock (Jones Road, Kleverkill).
Meanwhile, the Internet is an expansive, endlessly fertile ground for bleary-eyed byte-diggers on the hunt for Central Oregon's most adventurous sounds. Sites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp allow artists to be their own distributor: Plug in, create a song, upload it and wait for the feedback to roll in.
Next time you're online, head to Soundcloud, strap on some headphones, dial up bPollen, Harry Champagne, Keez, Card1, Prajekt, or two of my personal favorites, Flying Kites and Chief O'Dell, and wade into the deep, digital waters.