The game is afoot in the UK music scene as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and the Foo Fighters vie for the top spot on the Official UK Album Charts. The latest strategy in this neck-and-neck battle comes from Gallagher, who has decided to dip his toes into the world of music NFTs.
A Close Call on the Charts
The Official Charts Company gave an update on the contest earlier this week. The gap between the contenders was a mere 200 units, equivalent to 200 physical album sales or roughly 200,000 album streams. The landscape shifted slightly today as it was announced that the Foo Fighters were leading the race, albeit by fewer than 500 units.
As the competition heated up, each band had something to offer. The Foo Fighters pledged access to a pre-sale for a 2024 UK headline tour yet to be announced with any purchase of their “But Here We Are.” On the other hand, Gallagher planned an “In Conversation” session at Banquet Records, bundling tickets with copies of the album.
The ‘Council Skies’ NFT: A Closer Look
According to a report from Music Week, Gallagher is implementing a new tactic to gain the upper hand: NFTs. In collaboration with Web3 startup Serenade, he’s planning a limited-edition NFT pressing of “Council Skies,” due to become available on Thursday morning—the final day for sales to contribute towards the following chart ranking.
The proud owners of the “Council Skies” NFT will gain access to high-quality WAV files of the record, the first two instalments of a four-part documentary chronicling the making of the album, and a digitally signed lyric sheet. The NFT will also feature limited-edition signed and coloured artwork.
The Green Impact of Digital Pressings
Serenade defines its offerings as “modern-day versions of limited-edition vinyl,” each digital pressing secured by blockchain technology, offering environmental benefits compared to their physical counterparts. “You’d have to produce 1.2 million digital pressings to equal the carbon footprint of one average 12″ record,” the firm stated. Buyers can acquire these NFT-based pressings with either crypto or standard credit or debit cards, a move to make them as broadly accessible as possible.
As a press release announcing the partnership stated, “It wraps up a thrilling week in the UK charts and a brilliant campaign from Noel and team. This latest digital pressing release from Serenade continues to prove the worth of the future-proof format, connecting fan and artist in a way like never before.”
If you want to learn more about Serenade, we spoke to its founder, Max Shand, last year.
Setting Precedence: Other Artists Embracing NFTs
Previously, rock band Muse had used Serenade to release a digital version of their album “Will of the People,” becoming the first-ever chart-eligible NFT release. They sold 1,000 digital copies worldwide, and their album topped the UK Album Charts. Similarly, The Wombats, Kota Banks, and Confidence Man have recently released digital pressings via Serenade.
This week has shown that the battle for the charts can be as exciting and complex as the music itself, featuring innovative approaches and unique methods to engage fans. The dance of blockchain and rock music is proving to be an intriguing performance, and all eyes are on the stage to see who will take the final bow.