Fresh onto the Santa Barbara music scene is Speak Volumes, a blog spearheaded by a crew of music fiends, artists and writers looking to offer a localized spin on music consumption.
Launched by a group of UCSB students, Speak Volumes includes everything from a map highlighting shows at local venues to sit-down interviews with upcoming artists and even special sections, such as one featuring local musicians called “Local Spotlight.” The blog made its debut in April, celebrating its six-month anniversary this past week, and it just released a zine that will come out quarterly.
With the site’s popularity steadily on the rise, its small team is searching for more contributors and will host a special orientation for new staff members tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Phelps 1530.
Through a site offering an organized array of rich visuals and carefully-crafted editorial content, the makers of Speak Volumes are giving readers a “focused” take on music blogging, according to Dylan Chase, chief editor.
“I think the negative connotation that comes with blogging and music blogs is that it’s just a platform for kids to kind of yap, without putting a lot of effort into the writing,” Chase said.
But Chase said he and his team changing that image, as the site features hard-hitting reviews and regular columns, including a feature called “Seeing Volumes.” The special section takes a look at the “crossover between music, visuals and innovational tech,” and is curated by Jason Worden, technical director and developer of the site’s overall design.
However, Speak Volumes is also the only music blog of its kind in the Santa Barbara area, specifically marketing itself toward a locally-based audience by hosting events in Isla Vista and drawing attention to local artists, Chase said.
“The most gratifying thing to us is to be able to find artists in a place where people say the arts aren’t thriving, and to be able to give those people a platform,” Chase said.
According to Jonny Lipshin, events coordinator, pursuing fresh, new music and attending music festivals was the driving force behind the team’s desire to develop their own unique platform.
“We’re engrossed in this artistic culture, and we’re consuming all of it,” Lipshin said. “But it would be cool to kind of make our own thing … to do something that is our own original art that people can embrace, in the same way that we’ve embraced it.”
In addition to Chase, Lipshin and Worden, the Speak Volumes team also includes Mariah Tiffany, head of photography, and contributors Diana Mora and Bennett Piscitelli.
The small staff has now carried the blog to its peak of popularity, as Chase said the site’s number of views is currently at the highest since its springtime debut. He said the growing recognition of Speak Volumes is now opening more doors, while also requiring a lot more work.
“Now, what’s happening is we’re getting involved in this music scene to the point where people are sending us music and people are sending information about shows they’re throwing and promoting,” Chase said. “That’s a lot of responsibility, which is one of the reasons why we’re holding this writers’ orientation.”
With their straightforward, unassuming slogan, “We’re just a music blog.”, Lipshin said the mission of the site is as simple as this message.
“We’re not hurting anybody. We’re not making any money. We’re just trying to bring good art and good community together in a place where a lot of people think that it lacks,” Lipshin said.
Speak Volumes can be found at speakvolumesmedia.com
Photo Courtesy of Mariah Tiffany.
A version of this article appeared on page 1 of Wednesday October 16th’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.