Brainy electro-pop duo YACHT have a new single, "L.A. Plays Itself" — but it's only being made available when the Los Angeles Uber market starts heating up. The band has synced up the single's availability with the presence of Uber's surge pricing in the LA area: when drivers are charging a little bit extra, the song's video will unlock, and a rate that's double the usual price will unlock a remix by producer Darq E. Freaker. And because it's infeasible for most fans to spend their whole day refreshing a site and checking Uber's area-specific surge pricing, the band has built a Twitter bot with advertising agency BBDO that'll tweet the video's availability for the next 48 hours. (It's running through their Twitter account.) "It's all about the city," said the band on the song's dedicated website, "and we want to play it for you when you need it most."
This isn't the band's first recent experiment with unorthodox promotion. When they announced new album I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler (their first in four years) in July, they did so using drone footage of a Los Angeles billboard. A month later, they invited listeners to print its cover using a single-use web app and a fax machine. It was limited to 300 prints, so fans had to act fast if they wanted an early physical version of the cover (and a manifesto "detailing the history of fax art"). The fax promotion reached back into the past, and "L.A. Plays Itself" is very much dependent on the present — the band is probably cooking up one more release that'll compel fans to dive into the future for new music.
I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler is out October 16th on Downtown Records.