The Futureheads have a new album out this week. It's called 'Rant'. What's remarkable about it is it's an a capella album. A brave move for a rock group that have a strong fan base and four studio albums under its belt.
At this stage of their career bands can live or die by their next move. They've come through the 'difficult second album' phase, been touring for a decade and need to do something that is different but is more of the same. Usually the answer to that dilemma is 'more cowbell'. Or in other words, lets do more of the same but bigger. More guitars. More drums. More noise. And lets do it louder.
As mentioned in my previous post '4 lessons in creativity from The Artist' taking stuff away is always an option:
Creativity is about subtraction. What you remove is as import as what you add. If you're making a blockbuster like Transformers and you add more robots, you simply have a film with more robots. If you're making a film like The Artist and you take away the voices you have something 'remarkable'.
What's really interesting is that when you combine elements in a creative way (such as rock bands and a capella) to create something new interesting posibilities that arise as a result. For example you could argue that it took the arrival of broadband and Flash to make Youtube a reality. In this case touring the album becomes a completely new experience for the band and the audience. Not only is the cost of the tour reduced because they have less gear (on ticket price) but the venue's they can now play a different kind of venue.
It's great to see the creative side of 'the industry' taking bold steps in risk averse times.