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This week has seen Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds—the current band of the famed Oasis rocker—locked in a battle with the Foo Fighters in a bid to top the Official UK Album Charts. And now Gallagher is turning to music NFTs to potentially help close the gap between them.
Noel Gallagher released “Council Skies,” his fourth studio album with the High Flying Birds, last Friday, June 2—the same day that the Foo Fighters dropped “But Here We Are,” their first album since the tragic passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins.
In a midweek update shared yesterday by the Official Charts Company, just 200 units—which equates to 200 actual album sales or roughly 200,000 album streams—separated the acts at the top of the charts. Today, it was confirmed that Foo Fighters had taken the lead by less than 500 units.
Over the past few days, Foo Fighters have promised access to a pre-sale for a currently-unannounced 2024 UK headline tour for anyone who purchases “But Here We Are,” while Gallagher has announced an evening “In Conversation” session at record shop Banquet Records, with tickets bundled together with copies of the album.
Now Gallagher has a new tactic to gain an edge in the charts skirmish: he’s turning to NFTs to try and make up the gap, according to a report from Music Week.
Gallagher has teamed up with Web3 startup Serenade for a limited-edition NFT pressing of “Council Skies,” which will be made available Thursday morning—the last day that sales count towards the next chart ranking.
Owners of the “Council Skies” NFT will be able to unlock high-quality WAV files of the record, the first two parts of a four-part documentary tracking the making of the record, and a digitally signed lyric sheet. The pressing will also feature limited-edition signed and colored artwork.
Described by Serenade as “modern day versions of limited-edition vinyl,” each digital pressing is backed by blockchain technology, which the firm says also has environmental benefits compared to a physical product. Serenade’s NFTs are minted on Ethereum scaling network, Polygon.
“You’d have to produce 1.2 million digital pressings to equal the carbon footprint of one average 12” record,” the firm said. Users can purchase the NFT-based pressing using crypto or with credit or debit cards, in a bid to make the pressings as accessible as possible.
“It wraps up a thrilling week in the UK charts, and a brilliant campaign from Noel and team,” reads a statement announcing the partnership. “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.”
Last year, rock bad Muse released a digital version of their album “Will of the People” via Serenade, becoming the first ever chart-eligible NFT release. Some 1,000 digital copies were available worldwide, and the album went on to top the UK Album Charts. The Wombats, Kota Banks, and Confidence Man have also released digital pressings via Serenade in recent months.