Christmas has come a few months early for Thom Yorke fans. The Radiohead frontman released a new album Friday called Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes on BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing website.
Yorke explained the unusual method of the album’s release in a letter penned with longtime producer and co-conspirator Nigel Godrich:
“As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record.
The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files..
The files can be anything, but in this case is an ’album’.
It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around …
If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work.
Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves.
Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.
If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.
The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud’ malarkey.
It’s a self-contained embeddable shop front…
The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.
Oh yes and it’s called
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.”
Yorke is no stranger to these type of unconventional releases. Radiohead’s 2007 album In Rainbows was available for fans to download for whatever price they wished to pay (or for free), and 2011’s The King Of Limbs was announced with five day’s notice and billed by the band as the world’s first “newspaper album.”
The single “A Brain In A Bottle” and its accompanying music video (which showcases both the singer’s falsetto and boxing skills) can be downloaded for free, while the rest of the album is $6. Or, you can wait to purchase it on a special white vinyl package.
Get Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes check out the video here or in the window below.
Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
01 A Brain in a Bottle
02 Guess Again!
04 The Mother Lode
05 Truth Ray
06 There Is No Ice (For My Drink)
07 Pink Section
08 Nose Grows Some