U.K. guitar group Kaiser Chiefs is taking an innovative approach to the release of its new studio album, "The Future is Medieval" (Fiction/B-Unique Records), by allowing fans to choose their own track listing and album artwork.
From today (June 3), visitors to the group's official website will be able to listen to extracts from 20 new songs specifically recorded for its fourth studio set and then pick their ten favorite tracks. The resulting album can then be purchased for download for the price of £7.50 ($12.24), with the buyer able to create their own bespoke artwork.
In a further twist, fans that download the album are issued with their own unique webpage from where they can promote the album to friends. For every album purchase resulting from a personal recommendation, the original buyer will receive £1.00 ($1.63).
"The band's intention is to create a music experience that can be shared and enjoyed by all and at the same time revitalize and subvert the industry standard," says a press statement from the act's publicist. A physical release of the album, with its final track listing influenced by the most popular downloads, is likely to follow later this year, says a spokesperson for the British five-piece, although a release date is yet to be set.
"The Future is Medieval" is the follow-up to the band's third studio set, 2008's "Off With Their Heads." Kaiser Chiefs have sold over six million albums worldwide, according to its label, and won three BRIT Awards in 2006 following its Mercury Prize-nominated debut "Employment." "The Future is Medieval" was produced by Tony Visconti, Ethan Johns, Owen Morris and the group's drummer and principle songwriter Nick Hodgson, but will not be chart eligible in the United Kingdom.
In addition to upcoming U.K. festival appearances at Glastonbury (June 26) and the dual site V Festival (Aug.20 to 21), Kaiser Chiefs is due to play a massive headline outdoor show at Kirkstall Abbey, in their home city of Leeds, Sept. 10.