Artist News Digital

Vulfpeck told to take down silent Spotify album, issue statement (on Spotify)

By | Published on Wednesday 23 April 2014


Vulfpeck have been “RESPECTFULLY” asked to remove one of their albums from Spotify, the band revealed yesterday. Specifically the one called ‘Sleepify’, which, you may remember, features ten tracks of nothing but silence.

As previously reported, the band released the silent album last month, encouraging fans to play it on repeat as they slept. This, they reckoned, would generate $4 in royalties per fan, per night. If enough fans did it, they’d be able to fund a tour, and book venues based on where the album had been most played.

Spotify took it all in good humour at the time, joking that the company preferred the band’s earlier albums, and that this one seemed a bit “derivative of John Cage’s work”.

But now it seems the fun is over – possibly because the campaign is going better than anyone expected. Yesterday the band posted a message on their Facebook page, saying: “Feeling #hurt. Spotify has RESPECTFULLY asked us to remove ‘Sleepify’. Please listen to our OPEN LETTER OFFICIAL STATEMENT”.

And where can you listen to the official statement? On Spotify, of course. The band has released a new three track EP, called ‘Official Statement’. On the first track, frontman Jack Stratton explains: “[The email] was three paragraphs, and the gist of it was that while they enjoyed ‘Sleepify’ and thought it was funny and clever, it violated their terms of content. They are asking me to take down ‘Sleepify’ from their service, and I’m scared and I’m a little bit chilly. I’m hurt. I’m confused. I don’t know who to talk to, so I’m talking to you. And I know they have a legal team and everything, but I have Spotify, and they don’t”.

He goes on to say that he is uncertain how the company will respond to the ‘Official Statement’ EP (it hasn’t made any public statement as yet), and that in light of that uncertainty he would like to take a moment to think about it. Cue track two: 31 seconds of silence. Track three is a short instrumental, so at least there’s some actual music on this release.

‘Sleepify’ is still listed on the band’s Spotify profile, though the songs are no longer playable. Which I guess doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to the listener.