How much would you pay for this album? It’s called Elephants at the door, it was inspired by the famous ‘trip’ sequence in Disney's Dumbo, and was created by an Italian producer with a pencil mustache and a penchant for flammable looking shirts. If your answer is ‘nothing’ then you’re in luck.
Free to download from Bad Panda Records, all you have to do is Tweet (via an app called ‘Pay with a Tweet’) and an MP3 version of the album automatically downloads.
I stumbled across this having watched a glowing review from The Needle Drop, and the whole experience felt great from start to finish. The invitation on the record label's website encouraging you to "print the artwork, burn CDRs, and share with your friends" felt refreshing, the download was fast, and guess what... the music is brilliant. A lysergic tea party of bizzarro pop, as individual and unhinged as the album title suggests.
For an unknown artist with a tricky proposition (Italian Psychedelia) social advocacy must be the best currency. Over the last couple of years artists like The Shins, Vampire Weekend, Sleigh Bells and most recently James Blake have launched their careers through online buzz, driven by file sharing. The pre release 'leak' is becoming an established form of promotion. So why not encourage fans to give back a little good will?
As bands like Radiohead continue to interrogate the value of music in the digital age my bet is on social advocacy to prevail as the currency of the future.