Northern Irish rock trio Ash's forthcoming album will be its last - with the band announcing bold plans to only release singles from now on.

Ash has scored 17 Top 40 hits in the U.K. since 1995 and releases its fifth full-length album "Twilight of the Innocents" in the U.K. on July 2 on Infectious Records, through Warners U.K.

But thereafter, it will embrace the digital era by only releasing single tracks, although periodic compilation CDs will also be issued. The band will remain with its current label for the groundbreaking new deal. Some tracks may also be issued as physical singles.

"The way people listen to music has changed," says frontman Tim Wheeler in a statement. "With the advent of the download, the emphasis has reverted to single tracks. When you're tied to the album format, you find yourself waiting six months between finishing a record and releasing it. By leaving this behind we can enter a new phase of spontaneity and creativity. We have our own studio in New York, we can record a track and release it the next day if we feel like it, give it to people while it's fresh. We're the first band to do this, but I very much doubt we'll be the last."

The band has long been known for its pro-active Internet stance, but has always enjoyed healthy CD sales in the U.K, with all its previous full-length albums going Top 10 in the Official U.K. Albums Chart. It relocated to New York after its last album "Meltdown," a No. 5 U.K. hit in 2004.

"Our new album is the pinnacle of everything we've done thus far, and I'm proud that this will be remembered as our last album," said Wheeler. "The future lies elsewhere and we can have a lot of fun by changing things up. It's like the Wild West at the moment and a time to take chances and try out new ideas."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print