Music may be more accessible and available thanks to digital technology and streaming platforms, but that luxury requires some sacrifices.
If you're not willing to pay for a subscription, you have to learn to put up with occasional ad breaks. If you forget to charge your device, you have to wait until it has enough power to play your favorite tunes again.
There are even more sacrifices on the artists' end of the deal. Digital media gives listeners the power to control how and when they choose to hear certain songs, ignoring the order in which they were meant to be heard.
Tim DeLaughter, the frontman for the Dallas-born symphonic rock group The Polyphonic Spree, says that's part of what's holding up the public release of the group's latest crowdfunded album, Salvage Enterprise.
"Everybody's basically got a jukebox in their pocket and I'd like people to hear this record as a whole, as an album," DeLaughter says. "So we can have a captive audience and play the record from start to finish. To have the availability of introducing the record in that way, I thought it was interesting and serves its purpose."
Fans crowdfunded Salvage Enterprise back in 2019, raising over $100,000 in donations. The group released a single from the album called "Got Down to the Soul" last year. Those who contributed to the fund got a digital copy of the album, but it's still pending a wide release. DeLaughter says he expects he'll find a way to release the full album sometime this summer in a way that allows listeners to get the full experience from start to finish.
Last Sunday, DeLaughter posted on Twitter that the album still had not been released "because I'm so in my head ... can't seem to choose a route, so I've sat on it for almost a year."
"I wouldn't say it's a big daunting thing, but you always try to find an interesting way to pass it on and this feels pretty special," he says. "We do this on every record so this is no different."
The band also held surprise pop-up concerts called the Salvage Enterprise Listening Experience in wide open spaces where they could set up a campfire and allow fans to listen to the album under a dark sky of twinkling stars. These experiences let fans hear the album the way DeLaughter intends for them to hear it, with the bonus of natural atmosphere.
"We did a story on Twitter and Instagram where people who were following us could come and we'd play the record in the round and the people would lay down in the center," DeLaughter says. "We can do it anywhere because I carry my own generator and I can set it up wherever I go. It's been fun to do with this record. It lends itself to it. The sound is quadraphonic and cinematic and it's got some elements that lend itself to doing some interesting experiences."
DeLaughter says he's kicking around some ideas about how to release Salvage Enterprise in a format that lends itself to his intentions and expressions, but he's "not ready to talk about it at this point."
"There's so many different routes to go these days," DeLaughter says. "We're at a point in music where it's pretty wide open. It's a new frontier and we can be as interesting and creative as we want. So we're just trying to think of new ways."