On February 20th The Flaming Lips’ new album The Terror leaked online. A few hours later Kliph Scurlock noted at flaminglips.hoop, “I downloaded the leak and IT SOUNDS LIKE SHIT! I’m guessing it was transcoded to get rid of the watermarked information embedded into the tracks. That, however, is just a hunch. What I can say for absolute fucking fact, though, is that the record sounds A LOT better than this leak. Use that information as you will.”
Links to download the lo-fidelity rip quickly spread across message boards, twitter, a network of Tame Impala fans on tumblr and elsewhere. By that weekend the entire album was on – then quickly removed from – YouTube. Since then it’s been uploaded and deleted from the video site several more times, as it dripped out in a myriad of other ways: the band played the entire song-suite live at SXSW, then a professional (though poorly mixed) recording of that performance circled the web, followed by a 33 minute film of Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd discussing the LP with it playing in the background (We Don’t Control The Controls – watch here). A teaser video including clips of of every song (above) and a promo video explaining the format options (bottom) followed. The official UK/ European release was March 31 (iTunes)/ April 1st (physical), though it’s not out in the US until next week. Today the band released a “Lyric Visualizer” video for “Try To Explain” (top). Before any of this NPR streamed opening track “Look…the Sun is Rising.” As of now NPR is streaming the entire album and “You Lust” is officially on soundcloud.
Through it all, fans and critics have been voicing their reactions on twitter. Here are some of them: