By Lola Augustine Brown
Neil Young has a new album due out September 8—41 years after it was recorded. Featuring acoustic versions of 10 songs—two of which have never been released before—Hitchhiker was recorded in one day, on August 11, 1976.
The album will become part of the recently announced Neil Young Archive, a digital repository of the artist’s catalogue from 1963 on—“every single, recorded track, or album I have produced,“ Young promised in a note on his website. Calling the archive “a living document,” Young says that new material, including other unreleased albums, will be added continually, with everything presented as a timeline a user can stroll through, accessing cover art, credits, photographs, notes, memorabilia, videos, and just about anything else a die-hard fan could hope to find.
In related news, the icon, long a critic of what digital reproduction does to the sound quality of music, is planning to launch a new online high resolution music streaming service called Xstream.
Young says that what will differentiate Xstream—“coming soon,” though the date isn’t clear—from other streaming services is that it will be “adaptive”: the listening quality for subscribers will vary according to the bandwidth available to a given user. Listening via a fibre optic connection will provide sound quality superior to what you’d get listening on, for example, a smartphone.