Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monahans - 2010 Recordings

Today, Austin-based Monahans releases the final track in a 10-month project, known as the 2010 Recordings, in which the band has released a new free download every month since March. This great collection of new material followed on the heels of 2009's magnificent Dim the Aurora. Quite a brilliant plan, both artistically and from a marketing standpoint. You've gone to great lengths to get everyone's attention with the release of a new LP, so why not keep their attention?

Many independent bands often have long periods between albums, and there are always plenty of excuses to explain such times. What better way to make yourselves stay productive than to commit to a project like 2010 Recordings? Not only does it force you to keep the creative juices flowing in the realms of writing and recording, but it's also an innovative medium through which to distribute your music. I don't know that Monahans is the first to release a record in such a manner, but I can't think of any other artists that have made such a concerted effort to release an album of new material in this manner. Sure, plenty of bands release b-sides and various outtakes for download, but 2010 Recordings stands far superior to such ventures.

While they were at it, Monahans decided to go big on the final track, "Seabirds," although they still only subtly mention on the download page that Sinead O'Connor provides back-up vocals on the track. This on the heels of Robert Plant recording a version this year of "The Only Sound That Matters," a track from a previous project of some of the members, Milton Mapes. It's been a pretty good year for Monahans, and largely because they just keep making the music they want to, and releasing it the way they want. Don't pass up the opportunity to pick up this great collection of songs from Monahans while it is still available.

I guess the thought I'm left with is, why stop now?

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