The World Is A Beautiful Place - Wherever, If Ever

There’s endless debate over how to appropriately tackle the problem of album leaks and piracy these days. Some bands and labels ignore the problem and continue on with the press hype machine as if nothing happened. Some bands and labels react actively by seeking out and destroying download links and uploads wherever they may form. Arguably, the best way to go about fighting a leak is to do it constructively by turning the wave of interested fans into legal streams, a trend which is becoming increasingly common. Tesseract‘s new album Altered State isn’t due out until the end of the month, but following a leak this past weekend, their label Century Media opened up the album for streaming on Youtube.

However, the most constructive way I’ve seen a leak tackled was by emo/post-hardcore band The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die and their label Topshelf Records, who responded to the leak of the band’s new album Wherever, If Ever by going ahead and releasing the album a month early. Woah!

Via Topshelf Records’ Tumblr page:

…I am faced with the difficult decision of acknowledging that Whenever, If Ever is actively leaking a month before it’s release date. You can probably Google for it right now and get it.

This is arguably the biggest release we’ll have all year as a label and this spoils a lot of planning we had in place over the last few months, but these things happen. This also forces me to acknowledge the real-world truth that yes, records cost money. This oft-avoided subject in our community is a reality for everyone who tours or postpones real life to make music in nearly any capacity. It’s a thing. This record is no different.

So against my better judgement, we’ve made Whenever, If Ever available to:

Anyone who has pre-ordered the record already — thank you, sincerely — you’ll be getting downloads as soon as I can get everything set up (we weren’t planning on sending them for another month after all).

So, I’m appealing to you all to please use the above URLs to share, acquire and experience this record. I understand it’s 2013 and you can download and share this for free (and we’re not going to stop you) but I’m not doing my job if I don’t ask. Heh, I don’t have a job if I don’t ask.

Thanks, you guys.

What a wonderful way to turn a negative thing like a leak into a positive experience! After the album was made available on Bandcamp ahead of schedule, the album made its way across my Facebook news feed by quite a few people, so there’s certainly the viral effect and the publicity associated with such a bold move. Hell, that’s why I’m even talking about it right now.

Of course, not every label and band can pull something like this off. It certainly helps in Topshelf’s case because they’re a small indie label, but I couldn’t imagine Metal Blade Records or Century Media releasing an official copy of an album for purchase immediately following a leak in this fashion — at least not any time soon. There are a lot of considerations to take place to orchestrate a major release for an album. Even still, the best way to tackle illicit downloading is the availability of a fairly priced legal source. I wouldn’t be shocked if Topshelf and The World Is A Beautiful Place… got a handful of sales out of this that they might not have otherwise.

So let this be a lesson that there’s always a silver lining to any situation, even if you have to go out and make one for yourself. Check out Wherever, If Ever from the above links or stream it via Bandcamp below.

– JR

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