Another year. 2011 came and went and despite our best efforts to stop, we are still fucking blogging. We’ve been doing this for almost a decade, which is equally as impressive as it is pathetic, but yet we keep going.


This year the site had some great highs; another fantastic HPX showcase, being asked to be a part of the SOCAN jury and the Junos, Polaris, getting some love from Asian-Canadian rap vet Kish, dropping a 36-song tribute to Gordon Lightfoot that got picked up by some of the biggest news outlets in the world are just a few, but even with those cherries, the grind is still crippling and to be honest, there’s not much left to accomplish with this site. Considering we are two clowns from NS, we’ve done a bunch of cool shit as a result of the hill.


Every year it seems we have reasons to stop blogging - none that you care about, I know - but still. Traffic drops as people opt for songs in Tumblr/YouTube format, and the critical ear is simply becoming a sprint with the winner yelling “first!” Debate is leaving the equation (thanks to a never ending collection of ways to click your support), now saddled up on the porch next to the other out of date skills like patience, musical history or the dedication of repeat listens. Why people want to read a review of a mixtape that dropped only two hours ago still baffles me.


How can you learn anything about art in a fast food like process? Probably more important to the malaise is the fact the blog fog is getting denser and harder to navigate. We try to ask ourselves, “what is it that herohill brings to the party that no one else does?”, and it’s getting harder and harder to answer that question (well, except old skool rap, outdated references and male pattern baldness). It used to be we had the East Coast on lock, but now there are tons blogs working hard, covering the same bands and getting the same emails. The bands that needed a voice like herohill to get heard? Well, they’ve all hired PR firms to shop their unrecorded demo.


So is this the year we finally pull the plug? Who knows, but 100% guaranteed is that this year I’ll have a different focus. Why post everyday if it takes away from being able to listen to what you love? Why focus on the new when you still reach for records made decades ago? We don’t post anything we hate — we feel bad enough about posting something we are lukewarm about and can’t imagine just sitting on the fence about record after record for the sake of content — but this year, at least for me, it’s only going to be about records that stand out. If I am going to never listen to your record again after I hit submit, why bother?


Hopefully a more defined focus will help us keep going, and continue to make it worth your time to visit herohill. Want a sneak peak at that quality? How about a fantastic cover of Snailhouse’s “Chimney Sweep” from one of my favorite new discoveries last year. Other than her immediate family, I may be Lyn’s biggest fan and the trademark Portico/Drawn Ship guitar sound and powerful vocals she adds to one of my favorite Feuerstack songs (from this terrific LP) is enough to keep me listening and enough to keep me writing.


Welcome to 2012, everyone.


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MP3:: Chimney Sweep - Drawn Ship (Snailhouse cover)