Over the past few days, I’ve been writing about the differences in user experience between digitally downloaded music and purchasing CDs or vinyl. One of my points was about what happens to the opportunity so many bands created for the visual arts community – many of whom created some legendary album artwork.
It appears I have a very good answer. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Baskervilles.
In September of 2006, the Baskervilles undertook (that’s a word… right?) a really interesting project that cuts right to the heart of my point about album art. For 14 months, they released a song each month on their Twilight 14 website (Twilight being the name of the album that would collect these tracks and 14 being the total number of tracks that would appear).
But beyond the normal monthly posting of songs – which was done on a daily basis by They Might Be Giants Dial-a-Song project – they also hired different artists to design a sleeve and web page for each song. If you head to the site, you can click on any one of the 14 album sleeves and it will open the corresponding web page and play that month’s song.
The layout to each page is similar, but the artwork corresponds to the song. Each song is also downloadable, although at this point, I decided to purchase the CD.
Baskervilles are Rob Keith (“lots of vocals, guitar, trombone, clapping, yelping”) and Stephanie Finucane (“vocals; guitar; keyboards; tssk”), along with Christoph Gerozissis and Craig van Orsdale. And strangely, like I Love Math (who I wrote about yesterday), they released their first album (self-titled) in 2004 and the most recent one – Twilight – in the past few months.
Here’s “Midnight at the Underground Club.” But if you want to get a true feel for their sound, check out the Twilight 14 project.