Artists Are Opting Out of the Content Machine

This summer, Regina Spektor is doing something she hasn't done in six years: releasing a new album. When Home, before and after comes out this June, it will be her first LP since 2016, a gasp-worthy gap in a playlisted, TikToked music industry increasingly obsessed with the need to stay current. It's "all new, all the time": A single a week. A post an hour. But while many artists are gravitating toward that kind of around-the-clock content, Spektor is part of an emerging group of women who are following a mantra she once chanted in her opening song for Orange Is the New Black: "You've got time."

"If you stay away from the game of being relevant, and stay a bit quiet, you can gain time to ruminate and brew and build in secret, and get to interesting places artistically," says Spektor, whose last album was Remember Us to Life.

It wasn't like Spektor vanished completely from public life—she appeared in a Broadway residency and released a few songs here and there. But she did resist the increasingly popular tendency to constantly flood the marketplace with her music, a pressure that's only become heightened as streaming becomes the norm, social media dominates, and attention spans diminish. And she isn't alone: Many female artists have made space for themselves in a world outside the hamster wheel of constant content creation this year. They've been taking back their time, and how they use it, one minute and one project at a time.