I love me some good marketing. I loved the promotion for Delicate Steve’s last album (which involved a hilariously fictional press release from the desk of Chuck Klosterman), and I love the way Steve Marion introduced the world to the songs that make up his upcoming release, Positive Force. On June 26, he had a committee of 11 musician friends (musiciends?) tweet links to individual tracks from the new album that had been uploaded to YouTube. Through this “Positive Force Friendship Stream,” each song got its own “premiere,” with YHT-beloved groups like Yeasayer, Ra Ra Riot, Yellow Ostrich, tUnE-yArDs, and Akron/Family joining in on the fun.
It’s hard to put my finger on why I appreciate this approach so much, in part because there’s so much about it to love, starting with its ingenuity. I’m not sure whether this was his idea or Luaka Bop’s, but it’s a great one, and I definitely can’t remember seeing this kind of thing before. There’s also the sense of community it generates; when one artist I admire expresses affinity for another artist I admire, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling that increases my admiration for both. But I think I’m most fond of the cross-pollination aspect of the Positive Force Friendship Stream. Seeing musicians tweet back and forth is already a great way to find new music, and this event took that practice to a new and exciting level. It’s one of those rare cases in which marketing and public service are merged and everybody wins.
Speaking of wins, Positive Force definitely lands in the “W” column for me. Whereas Wondervisions struck me as a study in melody, this album feels more like a study in mood, and moving from track to track feels a bit like walking through a house, each room decorated differently with a specific utility in mind. No track better exemplifies this notion than the laid-back and sexy “Two Lovers.” Try it out below, click here to download it for free, click here to listen to the whole album over at NPR, and start getting excited for the July 10 release date!