Originally Posted by Frownland
That's a bit contradictory. There's the opportunity to publish "truly" creative music, but artists are more likely to be discovered if they have reference points for listeners to discover them by. The modern music industry might drive creativity but I think it favours creative reworkings of familiar ideas (100 Gecs and Dorian Electra come to mind) as opposed to the avant-garde fringes of creativity. Many artists are working to get on a major playlist since it's one of the only ways to realistically get paid with streaming and these playlists often promote genre uniformity as opposed to the standouts. This isn't totally new but it does seem to be steepening.
Well you can think of it in terms of evolution vs. revolution. Most of the time when I'm looking for something new I'm looking for a new take on genres and musical styles I already listen to and understand. So I'm looking for the next evolution in that formula. And I think a lot of bands are trying to stand out in the genre but within certain identifiable constraints. Then there are the times I'm looking for something totally new and avant garde, for something revolutionarily different. And I think that is obviously more risky for an artist, and has always been. But I feel like there is more creativity overall today, even if perhaps there are fewer revolutions.
I agree with you that a lot of new ideas are just reworkings of familiar ideas but I think that is in part because there is only so much you can do with a guitar or synth or drum machine. There are only so many effects pedals you can combine to get a unique sound, or vocal effects or whatever. And as time goes on it's just harder to do something different that no one's thought of or heard before. There are only so many permutations possible with those tools. So I think that leads to more diversity within genres as musicians put their spin on them rather than creating something totally revolutionary.