Back in the heady early ’00s, after the heyday of Napster and Audiogalaxy but before everyone and his kid sister had an mp3 blog, the internet was a harsh place for music lovers. But there were a few bright spots, and Epitonic was one of them. Launched in 1999, it was a free, legal source of great, new independent music. We remember making one especially wonderful mix CD (yes, this was also before everyone had an iPod) of Epitonic tunes by bands such as Call and Response, French Kicks, and Barcelona.
Now, fast forward about a decade. Today, Epitonic has relaunched, helmed by one of its founders and funded by a Kickstarter grant. Although the free-music-online landscape has certainly changed since the site went dark in 2004, the revived site already looks promising. In addition to premiering songs by some of our favorite artists — Braids, Marissa Nadler, and The Wrens, just to name a few — Epitonic has an editorial staff on hand to write articles and curate themed playlists. And they promise many more new features in the months to come. Welcome back, old friend!