If you are a fan of indie rock who knows where to find leaked music on the internet, yesterday might as well have been your birthday. On album leak blogs and file sharing services, three of the most anticipated albums of the year suddenly appeared—and they apparently all came from the same place.
Woke up to a Beach House and a Destroyer leak. Today is gonna be a great dayJuly 9, 2015
beach house, mac demarco and destroyer albums all leak on the same day, feeling like there's a really share happy hipster somewhereJuly 9, 2015
That source was supposedly Spin, the one-time powerhouse music publication that has been on life support for several years. According to rumors, Spin was hosting several unreleased albums in a folder on a server that was supposed to only be accessed by staff members. But that server was unprotected and somehow breached, and new records by Beach House, Destroyer (pictured, top) and Mac Demarco made their way online.
It’s not unusual for albums to leak, of course, but the music industry has gotten much better about security in the last handful of years. It’s rare nowadays for a high-profile album to leak more than a week or so in advance of its release, usually around the time that physical copies are printed and shipped and artists can no longer exercise complete control over who touches their music. Many albums don’t trickle out until they have been streamed online by places like iTunes or NPR, and “surprise” releases (popularized, though not quite pioneered, by Beyoncé) have prevented albums by artists like D’Angelo, Drake, Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar from leaking at all.
But in this case, both Beach House’s Depression Cherry and Destroyer’s Poison Season were leaked nearly two months in advance of their August 28 street dates, while Demarco’s Another One was compromised a month before its scheduled release on August 7.
This breaking of the dam harkens back to an era before both indie and major labels figured out how to plug the pipeline that brings music to consumers. Back in 2007, for instance, major albums by LCD Soundsystem and Of Montreal were on torrent sites like Oink many months before their release dates. In 2006, records by The Decemberists, TV on the Radio and Joanna Newsom were leaked in nearly the same way as what is alleged to have happened to Spin, when an internal file-sharing network maintained by Pitchfork was infiltrated by members of a music message board.
In this case, it’s highly suspicious that all three records leaked on the same day—you can see on the popular leak blog newalbumreleases.net that the Beach House, Destroyer and Mac Demarco albums were all posted on July 8. Each record also leaked in 320 kbps, a high-quality bitrate that suggests the files originated from an official source like a record label.
I emailed two editors at Spin about the rumor that they are the source of the leak, but did not hear back. Reps at Sub Pop (Beach House’s label) similarly ignored my emails. Reps for both Destroyer and his label Merge said they had no comment, and would neither confirm nor deny that Spin was the source of the leak.
I did speak to a rep for Demarco, who indicated that she had heard about the alleged leak at Spin but did not believe that the leak of Demarco’s record was connected:
As far as we know, Mac’s album did not leak as part of that. We’re still finding out the source of the leak, but we don’t think it was part of that.
If you know anything about this rumor or the leaks in general, feel free to email me or leave a comment below.
UPDATE (4:55 p.m.) According to screenshots provided by a tipster, a member of the longtime Hipinion message board posted last night that the above albums were leaked by an intern at Spin. I have not been able to confirm whether that is true.
[image via Merge Records]