JAMES BLAKE AND THE INDULGENCE OF THE SURPRISE RELEASE

Having won Mercury Prize for his sophomore album Overgrown, so it’s safe to say that there was a lot of eager anticipation for his James Blake’s third record.

On the release date of The Colour in Anything emails were sent to Blake’s top 100 Listeners on Spotify announcing he will be releasing his third record at midnight and he would be releasing three singles in the build-up. One of them featuring guest vocalist Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

The surprise – or stealth – release is becoming more common in the music industry the traditional announcement accompanied by the lead single months before release is becoming rarer especially amongst big names in the industry.

Beyoncé and Frank Ocean have two of the top three biggest figures of first week sales and both of those had no set release date. Another way big artists build hype and anticipation for their records is delaying the release Frank Ocean did this numerous times with his album Blond, but this was also done By the Likes of Kanye West and Drake.

The first notable albums to be released out of the blue was Radiohead’s In Rainbows this album shocked the industry and generated headlines with its ‘pick your price’ gimmick and became one of their best-selling records. Radiohead are no stranger to Unconventional releases. Their 2000 album Kid A they released no singles or Music Videos to promote it and this year they disappeared from social media and then reappeared and then released two singles just days before the release of their 9th album A Moon Shaped Pool.

In A World were Hard Copies are becoming less and less important this seems like it could be the future of Music Releases Albums and Tracks can be distrusted online at the touch of a button. Could the conventional release be coming to an end? Only time will tell.

Written by Aimee Francesca

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