In advance of releasing a new album next month, Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) is getting in on the exploding streaming music service business. Sort of.
Before you shell out any cash for I Love You, Honeybear on February 9 in Europe or February 10 anywhere else, you can preview the album on Streamline Audio Protocol (SAP), a fake streaming service wherein “popular albums are ‘sapped’ of their performances, original vocal, atmosphere and other distracting affectations so the consumer can decide quickly and efficiently whether they like a musical composition, based strictly on its formal attributes, enough to spend money on it.”
The album tracks on the site leave out things like lead vocals and other elements that make the music actually good. But that’s cool, because “for the fans, SAP helps make the daily barrage of content that much easier to analyze and rate, leaving more time for discoverness, freedoming, and sharehood.” For artists, “SAP files are cheap to produce and take up even less space than the average MP3,” meaning “freedom to stream their work to the world, without sacrificing their livelihood or their original recordings.”
The site is, of course, a pointed criticism at streaming services and the fact that they enable people to hear full albums when and wherever they want, essentially without paying for them. It’s also a dig at the effects of technology on music consumption: “sophisticated discovery algorithms even guarantee that we never accidentally discover anything we might not like.” The images of “music fans” on the site are of young, fun-loving, attractive, primarily white people, only one of whom is actually listening to music.
Potential fans will hopefully not be too offended to pony up for the real thing. Watch the official trailer for I Love You, Honeybear below.