While portable devices have enabled music fans to enjoy their favorite songs practically anywhere, Swedish folk band John Moose is leveraging technology to lock down the listening experience to one particular location: the woods.
The five-piece band, with its roots in the deep wilds of Värmland, Sweden, has decided to release their debut album completely free online via a digital app. All they're asking in return, or rather insisting, is that you listen to the album while in a forest. To make sure you're playing by the rules, the app uses Google Maps to lock onto your location and determine if you're in the confines of nature or on a bus in Manhattan.
"We want people to think about nature - what it is and how we should relate to it," the band wrote in an email to Rolling Stone. "So the best way, we thought, is to force people into the woods."
According to drummer Tobias Norén (who also happens to be the app's developer), the album will play even in the smallest of woods — so for those, say, in New York City, Central Park is likely your best bet.
Once downloaded, the John Moose app directs you to find a shady spot before listening. (Photo: John Moose)
Once you are amongst the trees, the album tells the story of a man, John Moose, who leaves behind modern civilization and embraces a new life in nature. It's a complicated transition, however, with the band telling Rolling Stone that once isolated, the man grows incredibly anxious. "He becomes obsessed and senseless," they write. "He violates nature and believes he owns everything that crosses his path. He gives up and is nurtured by the earth he has tortured. It seals his body and shatters his dream."
For those that just can't get away to listen, a preview of one song off the album is available below. The group also has a CD, available for $18 here. Now get out there and hit "play."