Update: The album can now be downloaded here or via the embed below.
Thom Yorke has announced a new album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes. In a letter co-authored with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, he explained why the album is being distributed via torrent service BitTorrent.
Here's the letter:
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.
Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich
The audio and video for "A Brain in a Bottle" are available for free download, while the full album costs $6.00. Find it all here. The tracklist is below. The album is also available on deluxe white vinyl and "printed with a metallic silver laminate then multi-tone black and a striking neon green; the whole is enclosed in a bespoke anti-static shield bag – a metallised laminated material usually used by the electronics industry for protecting components from electrostatic interference. The bag is printed with neon green on both sides, and has a resealable grip closure."
Earlier this week, Yorke and Godrich shared a photo of a mysterious white record. Yorke also released a trove of Radiohead archival material, while mentioning that the band was in the studio—presumably, to record the follow up to 2011's King of Limbs.
This isn't the first Radiohead-related project to receive a surprise release with an unconventional format. The King of Limbs was announced with a week's notice as "the world's first newspaper album". 2007's In Rainbows was announced ten days ahead of release and allowed fans to choose their own price.
Yorke's last solo album was 2006's The Eraser. Last year, Yorke and Godrich's band Atoms for Peace released AMOK. Other artists who have released music via BitTorrent include Hundred Waters and Willis Earl Beal.
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