It's been three years since we last heard from Swedish indie rockers Shout Out Louds, but their latest single, "Blue Ice," is certainly bound to draw some renewed attention. In collaboration with ad agency TBWA Stockholm, they have produced 10 limited edition kits that can produce a functional album out of frozen water. And it actually works — albeit with some warble and a bit of crackle. But as Co.Design reports, it wasn't easy developing the technique.
According to TBWA art director Alex Fredlund, they approached professors at different universities who all said it could never work. Undaunted, TBWA developed the technique themselves. From Co.Design:
After receiving a negative imprint of the song's master cut, they started experimenting; the office became a kind of amateur chemistry lab, and the team spent hours testing different types of liquid, various drying techniques, and multiple kinds of molds.
"One of the biggest challenges was that the bubbles made the ice cloudy and messed up the tiny tracks, which made the needle jump." Further trial and error revealed that using distilled water did the trick, giving the final product a nice clarity and even surface. Another insight? Time is not, in fact, on your side when working with a frozen substance; functionality and sound quality diminish immediately once the melting starts. A silicone cast allowed for quick and easy record removal, essential to ensuring it could be used straight out of the freezer.
The Shout Out Loud's upcoming album is called Optica, and it's due out on February 26, 2013. Here's what the non-frozen version of "Blue Ice" sounds like.