It must be a crazy week over at Beggars Group (the company that controls Matador Records, 4AD, XL, and other music labels). Earlier in the week, they sent an official press copy of the buzzed-about new album by The National, High Violet. The reason? Pirated copies began circulating, and so the label did what I think is the smart thing, and sent the official version of the album to its online press list. From their email, “Sooo, The National’s highly anticipated new album has leaked, so rather than having you scurry around mediafire and torrents, we figure we’d get it to you straight from the home base.” This is not unlike what happened with the upcoming LCD Soundsystem album, which forced that band to offer its latest over a special site as a free stream.
Only hours later, Beggars Group acted fast again, when another artist’s highly anticipated new album found its way online illegally. This time, it was The New Pornographers, and their fifth LP, Together. The irony was not lost on the tireless label publicist, who titled the release email, simply “another one bites the dust…” The body of the email began, “annnnnd The New Pornographers has leaked as well. Major bummer, but all good guarding has to end sometime–so here’s your Wednesday music gift!” It’s a smart move on their part, despite an unfortunate circumstance. Luckily for all parties involved, the albums are quite good, and hopefully there won’t be too much of a sales dent.