For musicians, well creators of any kind, the internet is both the best and worst thing to ever happen to them. With the internet it is easier for artists to share their work almost instantly with their fans, not to mention the ability to connect on a somewhat personal level with them; but it also means that their work can be easily stolen, used without their knowledge and that among all the work being uploaded daily to the world wide web, they could get lost among the masses.
With this in mind it is important for artists to stand out among the crowd. It’s not enough to just upload, walk away and hope people manage to navigate their way through the digital highway to your work. You need to do something to attract attention. Do something to differentiate yourself from everyone else. The Impossible Girl (Kim Boekbinder) has begun doing exactly that with her ephemeral releases.
The Impossible Girl is no stranger to using what the internet offers to her advantage. Using Kickstarter to fund her second album The Sky Is Calling, which brought fans into the album’s creation, tours have also been funded this way and with Mission Control fans can show their support for Kim by donating anywhere from $5 a month to $1,000, or a one time donation of your own choice. Depending how much you donate you’ll get access to the site, which includes exclusive songs and photos, care packages, merchandise and more.
Taking it one step further The Impossible Girl has begun releasing ephemeral songs. Starting with “We Believe In You” the song was hosted online on music.kimboekbinder.com for only a short period of time, during which fans could choose to pay what they want for the track. Keeping the ephemeral releases going, The Impossible Girl has released “Chocolate Mermaid” a take on Tom Waits Chocolate Jesus. Once again fans can pay what they want for “Chocolate Mermaid“, or for $5 you can get the track plus a postcard drawn by Molly Crabapple and signed by The Impossible Girl herself. The song will remain available until June 21, exactly one year since the release of The Sky Is Calling.
The idea behind the ephemeral release is that even in this digital age where everything is automatically archived nothing can truly last forever. While the song may only be available for a limited time officially, there is still unfortunately the chance that someone out there will download it, and upload it themselves, henceforth destroying its exclusivity.
Personally, I find the idea of ephemeral releases exciting. When I am a fan of a musician/band it is important for me to own every track I can. When there is a time limit on how long I have to get a song, I must get it as soon as possible out of fear that life will get in the way, I’ll forget that I only have a certain time to get it and then it will be gone. Unlike usual releases which I can get at any time, this method of ephemeral releases means that time is of the essence and it must be purchased as soon as possible.
I enjoy the rarity of an ephemeral release. Its exclusivity. It makes buying music exciting again.