In our on demand world, so little truly surprises us. Every iota of new music is previewed, leaked, retracted, seeded, announced, featured, live streamed, and retweeted with a predictable cadence that numbs the effect of the publicity it’s meant to ignite. But, because it has become so scarce, this elusive surprise that is the most powerful publicity tool in our hyper-social world.
Until a year or two ago, suggesting that a superstar drop their entirely-unnancounced album in the middle of the night would ensure your swift departure from the music industry. But now, such surprise breaks the internet and sales records alike. In the first three hours of its sudden availability (the hours of 12am-3am, not traditionally associated with peak sales), Beyonce had sold 80,000 albums. 12 hours into the album’s existence, it had generated 1.2 million tweets– 5,300 tweets per minute at the height of its fervor. In their attempt not to be forgotten, Facebook said that mentions of Beyonce spiked more than 1,300% in the hours after the album dropped.
So as not to dampen the early days of its allure, I’m not going to post any tracks from the Beyonce album. Instead, I’ll once again share a track that I’ve been brought back to as it makes a well-earned appearance on most “best of” lists for the year. I never would have guessed that a haunting, six minute, semi-hippie track would have lingered amongst my favorites for so long. As both Beyonce and Phosphorescent demonstrate, sometimes what you remember most is what you least expected.
Song for Zula, Phosphorescent