The Chicago band Wilco has digitally released a new album, Star Wars, through its own dBpm Records. The album was made available last night after Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy revealed news of its existence during a live interview with Pitchfork at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Wilco headlines the Pitchfork Music Festival tonight in Chicago.
Star Wars is the Grammy-award winning band’s ninth studio album and its first since 2011’s The Whole Love. The album is available for free download for 30 days via wilcoworld.net and anti.com, as well as through iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Digital. It is also available through traditional streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music and Rdio.
Star Wars will be available for purchase on CD on August 21 and vinyl on November 27. Pre-order of the physical releases is available now on wilcoworld.net. Digital downloads remain free until August 13.
Wilco has been a pioneer of pre-releasing albums and making its music available for free since 2001 when the band streamed its breakthrough release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The decision to make Star Wars available quickly and for free continues to see the band exploring new ways to release its music and reach its fans, while keeping the album release process fun and interesting to its members.
"Why release an album this way and why make it free? Well, the biggest reason, and I'm not sure we even need any others, is that it felt like it would be fun,” Tweedy said. “What's more fun than a surprise? Enough of this 20th anniversary already, here's something fresh.”