The Concept

People will happily spend twelve quid on a single round of beer, but it seems they’re reluctant to spend twelve pounds on a record – why?

Two Edinburgh independents, Song, by Toad Records and Barney’s Beer, are collaborating on a unique project to explore this question.

On Record Store Day 2013 we will be releasing eight songs on a limited run of 250 clear red vinyl records, in a beautiful sleeve featuring photos of the recording session taken by talented local photographer Nic Rue.

Simultaneously, we will be releasing another eight songs as download codes on bottles of Barney’s Beer. Two songs per bottle, each one of a limited edition of 250 custom made 4-packs will represent the same amount of music as the record, only delivered on a selection of tasty, tasty beer.

Who will sell out their batch of 250 first? It’s BEER vs. RECORDS!

Do music fans want lasting mementoes of their love for music, or are intangible mp3s and a good pint just as good? Do the kind of people whose enthusiasm has fuelled the renaissance of craft beer and organic food have the same interest in small enterprise craftsmanship and local community when it comes to music and art?

All ingredients and preparation will be local and small-batch. Barney’s is Edinburgh’s only micro-brewery, and their beer is brewed using traditional techniques; no pasteurisation, no filtration. The music will all come from emerging bands from the Scottish underground DIY scene, recorded in the living room at Song, by Toad, one of the country’s most exciting* independent record labels.

The locally-sourced, organic movement seems to be doing incredibly well in the world of food and drink, whereas in music the hand-wringing over the possible demise of HMV demonstrates that we are still very much in thrall to old, industrial scale business models. Can music fans learn from foodies and embrace the independent, the small and the local? Can music businesses learn from their counterparts about how to make a living out of small batches and more modest reach and distribution?

THE BANDS:
Le Thug punctuate hypnotic, shoegazey washes of electronics and electric guitar with beautifully impassive, crystal clear female vocals.
Magic Eye make shimmery dream-pop with a distinctive, twinkling guitar style.
Plastic Animals call themselves ‘atmospheric punk sludge rock’ before admitting that they think that’s a terrible description, but the best they can do. It’s the best I can do too.
Zed Penguin are a more ragged indie rock band with a distinct, lazy sense of swagger.

THE BEERS:
Le Thug Lager 4.8% – Light straw coloured, smooth and a light fruity zing. A clean, dry, finish.
Zed Penguin Pale Ale 3.8% ABV – Gold coloured, a good honest full-bodied pale ale with a subtle citrus & spicy hop finish.
Magic Eye Red Rye 4.5% ABV – made with 2 types of rye malt & German melanoidinmalz. Copper/dark amber colour, with a crisp, toffee apple & fruity taste.
Plastic Animals IPA 5% ABV – Light straw coloured, assertive bitterness, erupting with US style hop character.