Thom Yorke, the frontman for Radiohead, just released his second solo album, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, by dropping it onto BitTorrent without warning.
Since his 2006 solo album The Eraser, Yorke has been busy. He released two albums with Radiohead as well as 2013's Amok with his other band Atoms for Peace. Both of the Radiohead albums, In Rainbows (2007) and The King of Limbs (2011), were surprise releases like this one.
Instead of jumping through publicity hoops and putting out the album through a carefully constructed PR performance, Yorke simply uploaded his album to BitTorrent where anyone could download it. Shortly before the album arrived online, Yorke released a statement with producer Nigel Godrich that read:
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.
Tomorrow's Modern Boxes is only available on BitTorrent, where listeners can download the track "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" for free, and watch the video. Yorke praised the Torrent system saying "The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud' malarkey."
The full album can be downloaded for $6, and will also be available on vinyl and in a box set.