Musically on Beatie Wolfe in Sandbox Issue 220: Vault-ing Ambitions

Wolfe Pack: Singer Creates Deck of Song Cards

Musically’s Sandbox // Music Marketing for the New Digital Era // January 23, 2019 // ISSUE 220

Singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe has long experimented with new digital formats, releasing her debut album 8ight in July 2013 as a 3D interactive app, creating the “world’s first live 360° AR experience” in 2017 that featured real-time AR animations and holding an exhibition at the V&A (The Art Of Music In The Digital Age) in London last September. For her new album, Raw Space, she has revisited the tech concept for her second album, 2015’s Montagu Square. Released as what she describes as “a type of digital cassette tape”, Raw Space Album Decks features a unique card for each track that has been designed in collaboration with the ArtCenter College of Design and features the work of a different artist on each one, including Erik Spiekermann, Marian Bantjes, Astrid Stavro and Lucienne Roberts. Using NFC technology, users tap one of the cards on their phone and it will trigger not just the audio but also associated content such as VR music videos, lyrics and liner notes as well as the artwork. (Those using an iPhone can access the content if they have installed the NFC app on their device.

The idea is that it reimagines the album in an age of streaming, hooking a digital experience back to physical product. Even though decks have gone out to media, the release is currently not listed on her website as being for sale so it is unclear what the wider push around this will be. As with the return of cassettes and (for those with a longer memory) the short-lived fad for USB albums over a decade ago, this is in part about creating a new audio format as well as reconfiguring physical releases as a new category of merchandise. While it is obviously interesting, it is not going to see chart companies change their rules to make the format chart eligible. But, of course, that was never the point

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Magazine index

  • 05 Tools

  • 06–07 Campaigns Cinematic Orchestra, Alan Walker, TikTok, Michael Bublé, Beatie Wolfe

  • 08–12 Behind The Campaign- Barbora Poláková