Places We’re Not Allowed: Les Dérailleurs Pandemic “Hit”

In March 2020, I noticed that one of the songs on our 2018 EP started getting a bunch of plays on Spotify. I tweeted about it, asking if anyone knew what I could do to figure out what was going on. Henning Ohlenbusch suggested that it was probably because it was put on a popular playlist, and told me that I could see this in the Spotify Artists profile. He was right.

“Places We’re Not Allowed” had been put on a “Lockdown Playlist”, alongside such other thematically titled songs as “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”. Like most people who care about musicians getting paid, I’m not a fan of Spotify, but it was a fun diversion in those early pandemic days to watch the song get plays, wonder how many it would get, and see where people were listening to it. The graphic above shows that it had gotten 2.5k listeners by April 2020 (the percentage change is presumably due to a bug coming from counting zero as 0.01). As of January 2023 it’s a couple hundred shy of 5k.

Here’s the song on Soundcloud – we put all of our music there so people don’t have to use the streaming services if they don’t want to (and here‘s the Spotify link in case you want to help us get to 5k!).

Through some luck, Les Dérailleurs managed to stay active in the pandemic playing in person as well. Two of us are volunteers with Flywheel, and we were able to rehearse in the big space in Easthampton Old Town Hall, many, many feet away from each other. We also got some drum tracks recorded in there (huge room sound!) that we plan to use in an upcoming release. And just as Flywheel was moving out of that space, we got a very nice invitation from Elizabeth MacDuffie and Mark Alan Miller to play at the 15th Meat for Tea release party in March 2021. It was a virtual event, and Mark prerecorded our segment. Here’s “Places”, which we finally released in January 2023.

Live at Sonelab March 2021.