Stream the new Strokes album, “Comedown Machine,” on Pitchfork Advance
by Samuel Tolzmann on March 18, 2013
Posted in: Music, Rock
As physical record sales reach their nadir, iTunes and other less ubiquitous music applications have to look warily over their collective shoulder at up-and-coming streaming services like Spotify, Grooveshark, and Pandora, which are slowly draining even digital record collections of their meaning. Meanwhile, of course, illegal downloading continues to do major damage to the music industry despite recent laws passed to obstruct the widespread abuse of filesharing. In the midst of all this, record labels have increasingly opted to release albums as online streams in the weeks preceding their release. Label and artist websites, YouTube channels, Bandcamp, and SoundCloud were the original homes for this practice, but in 2011, NPR Music began previewing one album at a time for free, as early as a month before the actual sales release. This format was instrumental in the mainstream breaking of several 2011 hit albums, such as Cults’ Cults. Recently, Pitchfork Media, the world’s most prominent online-only music publication, initiated its own version of the NPR model, called Pitchfork Advance. Pitchfork Advance offers up to 6 albums at a time, depending on the estimated traffic for each album, to be streamed at CD quality for absolutely free (building on their recent shift from hosting external links to running their own media player). This week, there’s just one album on stream over at Pitchfork: Comedown Machine, the latest LP by the Strokes, due out next week on RCA.
The insanely popular early-’00s indie rock band, which hit the scene running in 2001 with the now-classic debut Is This It, saw its success dwindle with the release of mediocre-to-bad third album First Impressions of Earth. They went on hiatus and the members did solo work, only to reunite in 2009 and release a fourth record, Angles, to mixed reviews in late 2011 (it was on Rotation at WRMC for months). Now, the four denim-clad urbanites of the Apocalypse are back with Comedown Machine, and thanks to Pitchfork Advance, you and the rest of the internet now have the chance to hear it in excellent quality and launch 1,000 message board slugfests over its merits and faults before the critics hit their keyboards next week. So what are you waiting for? Check out Comedown Machine at Pitchfork Advance here and be sure to check back there each week for new high-quality streams of upcoming records in full!