The illusive Scottish duo Boards of Canada is set to host a live stream of their upcoming release Tomorrow's Harvest (their first full length album in eight years) today at 4PM EST on their website. However, you'd be forgiven for not knowing about it. The oblique promotional campaign, an internet scavenger hunt, which had zealous fans frantically trying to track down clues to numeric codes hidden throughout various physical, digital and broadcast media sources, has been deliberately under-hyped. Instead relying solely on fan's reverence, curiosity and patience to slowly unearth a six part number sequence that serves as the key to this password protected website featuring a somewhat menacing teaser video which alludes to the release of a new album, and makes the tension palpable, as the dim broadcast static slowly gives way to a semblance of sinister melodies, before displaying the new album cover.
There was also this tweet, posted about a month later, just one day before a specified time at an unidentified location in Tokyo, Japan which turned out to be the site of a video screening.
May 22nd 24:00 @ 1–23–10 Jinnan Shibuya-ku Tokyo— BOARDS OF CANADA (@boctransmission) May 21, 2013
Plus this pair of URLs that were hidden in a glitched GIF file on the Twoism message boards, which linked to a pair of heavily distorted sounds, posted as private tracks to the (otherwise barren) Boards of Canada SoundCloud account… that presumably are a source of major excitement for someone somewhere.
For more information on this cryptic campaign, check out the ongoing coverage from FACT Magazine, Pitchfork's Boards of Canada page or the 2020k blog, which has kept close tabs on this mystery from the start.
For those of us with other shit to do, Boards of Canada was nice enough to release the new single from upcoming release Tomorrow's Harvest, which was posted to YouTube last week and has racked up over 700k views. The track, “Reach for the Dead” opens as a sombre and expansive soundscape, littered with sparse rhythm and creeping synths, which slowly build momentum into a tense melodic lead, offering only brief pause before pivoting into a swift and turbulent suffusion of distorted drums. The fragile, ephemeral nostalgia of earlier Boards of Canada is fully present, perhaps somewhat amplified, and permeated by a solemn and ominous melancholia that's a new addition to their sound.
While I'm sure everyone will be trading their low bitrate, transcoded, live stream rips immediately after the conclusion of the broadcast, those of you who are interested in actually purchasing the album can pre-order it from iTunes, or your local record store now. Anyone out there who can't wait to spend money on a new Boards of Canada release take note, the Record Store Day 12″ Single is back on eBay for a scant 5,700$. For the rest of us, the new 17-track full length Boards of Canada album Tomorrow's Harvest is due out on June 11th.