American alt-rockers the Smashing Pumpkins have announced they are to release their latest album, entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, online and for free.

Breaking the news on the band's official website, frontman Billy Corgan said that the album will be absolutely free, no strings attached explaining: "Free will mean free, which means you won't have to sign up for anything, give an email address, or jump through a hoop.

"You will be able to go and take the song or songs as you wish, as many times as you wish."

Epic album

The concept of giving music away for free is not a new one. While Radiohead are the most famous purveyors of 'free' music with their honesty box approach to the album In Rainbows, the Smashing Pumpkins offered up the album Machina II for free on its website, and also gives away the majority of its live tracks through the web.

For Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, the album will be released one track at a time – starting from 31 October.

In all there will be 44 tracks made available. Once all the tracks are released you will then have the opportunity to buy a deluxe box set of CDs. And if you are fed up with getting your music for free, there will also be four EP sets to buy as well.

Roots manoeuvre

And what will the album sound like? Corgan is upbeat saying: "The music of Teargarden by Kaleidyscope harkens back to the original psychedelic roots of The Smashing Pumpkins: atmospheric, melodic, heavy, and pretty."

"The story of the album is based on 'The Fool's Journey', as signified in the progress of the Tarot," explains Corgan.

"It is my intention to approach this by breaking down the journey of our life here into four phases as made by these different characters; the Child, the Fool, the Skeptic, and the Mystic."

Sounds good to us. Although the concept of the album smacks a little of Spinal Tap.

Expect vertically challenged chaps dressed as tarot readers dancing round a giant crystal ball in the live shows, then.

Via Spoonfed