With consumers gradually forgoing CDs in favour of digital downloads, we’ve seen several musicians looking to prove that physical releases can still offer something different, such as Kid Koala’s 12 bit Blues, which included a build-your-own turntable to play it on. Now Irish band Bell X1 have encased their new LP – Chop Chop – album in a practical chopping board, as well as opening pop-up shops that sell nothing but the album.
The album cover and chopping board design was created by illustrator Alexis Deacon. The chopping board consists of two pieces that are slotted together and can actually be used in the kitchen. However, when the pieces are separated, a slot inside reveals the album in CD format. The packaging is a large, tactile reminder of the physical aspect of music consumption and is limited to 300 copies – all of which have already been sold, creating a much sought after piece of memorabilia. On top of the unique design, the band set up pop-up stores around Ireland where fans could buy the LP and even meet the band. Those purchasing from the special shops were also rewarded with a free ticket to a small acoustic concert at a later date.
The marketing strategy behind Chop Chop has helped it stand out from the crowd in an age of always-available Spotify releases. Are there other ways musicians can emphasize the physical and personal nature of their art?