The album, as a popular art form today, is an endangered species.
Once upon a time, an album was an event. You anticipated the release date. You lined up to get your hands on it. You pored over the artwork and studied the lyrics. You got to know each song intimately. Maybe you liked some tracks more than others, but you recognised the album as a whole was a statement. You trusted the artist and allowed them to challenge you.
An album could become your best friend. Someone you could celebrate with. Someone who could cheer you up if you were feeling down. Or someone who could just help you wallow in it. An album was always there for you. Your shared experiences and memories became inseparable. An album became more than just the sum of the music and the lyrics.
For whatever reasons, the album just isn’t as much a part of our collective consciousness anymore. Maybe people don’t have the time to invest in a piece of music. Maybe those who do are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music available. Maybe others have been burned out by too much filler.
But there are those of us out there who still like to hear (and make) albums.
The TuneLeak Manifesto
TuneLeak is a different approach for releasing music.
It’s like getting to know someone gradually over a meaningful period of time, rather than telling them you love them on the first date.
Most importantly, it’s about albums.
That is, TuneLeak features albums as they’re being recorded.
As each individual song is worked on, the artist will “leak” an early version. It might just be a rough demo. Or it could be almost complete. It will probably sound different when the album is finished. But it will be out there for all to hear.
These leaked tracks (“TuneLeaks”!) will be available for purchase as digital downloads. When the album is finally released, TuneLeak customers will receive a discount equal to the total amount they spent on purchasing the leaked tracks from that album. So, if you download, say, five “TuneLeaks” from a particular artist at $1 per track, you’ll receive a $5 discount on the album. You won’t pay twice for the same song.
It’s not quite crowdfunding. It’s not quite preordering. It’s artists and audiences coming together on the creative journey of making an album.
(To give credit where credit is due, the “first date” comment was borrowed from Bob Lefsetz.)