This autumn folk duo The Last Inklings will be releasing a new six part fortnightly podcast series, Limited Bandwidth, with accompanying ‘backstage’ style vlog. Through conversations with artists, expert specialists, and a panel of audience members this podcast will unite multiple strands of research into social media and its effect on mental health for the first time and provide helpful advice and tips on how to balance our online and real world lives.
The podcast is created by and for musicians, along with the wider creative community, as well as for audience members who use social media to connect with the artists they love listening to. The first episode will be released on all the major podcast platforms on 28 September. The pandemic changed the way musicians interact with their audience, forcing everything online. As things have opened back up, it has become clear relying more and more on social media as a means of connecting with audiences is a continuing trend. Without doubt it is a powerful tool for making connections, allowing artists to share personal and intimate insights into previously hidden aspects of their lives, and to reach audiences globally. However in a perpetually switched on world artists are increasingly feeling the pressure to create new content, driven by the challenging marketing conditions facing the music industry in the wake of the pandemic and the looming cost of living crisis. Finding a balance between artistic creativity and managing this 24 hour online world is becoming increasingly challenging for many, and the potential for distraction and doom scrolling is never far away.
In conversation with artists about their own personal experiences and with the help of experts from the fields of marketing, psychology and therapy Leo and David examine the latest research on how we use social media with the aim of providing practical tools and suggestions for artists and audience members alike to maintain a healthy balance between life on- and off-line.
“We’re professional musicians”, say Leo and David, “but now we also have to be social media experts, digital marketing specialists, content creators, and influencers. It’s absolutely alien to us. Suddenly we’ve had to really understand what the word algorithm means, how many of them are out there helping and hindering. And it’s not just us. Clearly there are a large number of other artists out there struggling to learn this new skill set. This is the harsh reality of something that has moved so quickly. We still haven’t caught up yet.”
The series begins with two episodes focussing on the experiences of singer songwriter Chris Cleverley and session double bassist John Parker, two artists working in different areas of the music industry. In each of the following three episodes David and Leo will be in conversation with an expert guest – cyberpsychologist Dr Sarah Hodge, digital marketing expert Mischa Weston-Green, therapist Nicola Neath -unpicking a different facet of how social media works and offering suggestions for safeguarding mental health and maintaining a balance between creative practice and a sustainable online presence. In the final episode of the series a panel of audience members will be invited to share their view from the other side of the stage and discuss the way they use social media and how they interact with their favourite artists online.
The Last Inklings are Leonardo MacKenzie (cello/vocals) and David Hoyland (mandolin/vocals). The band’s award winning debut album The Impossible Wild entered the Official UK Folk Albums Top 40 on release in 2021. With songwriting themed around nature and our relationship with the natural world, The Last Inklings draw inspiration from myth, folklore and literature, exploring contemporary issues including mental health, personal wellbeing and growth, and our impact on the environment.