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Silent Spotify Silent Album Earns $20,000 and Michelle Shocked Wants a Piece

Vulfpeck's 'Sleepify' games system to fund tour, which gives a certain folkie an idea...

Remember Sleepify, the silent album funk band Vulfpeck created for the sole purpose of gaming the Spotify payout system to earn them some cash (and fund a non-silent tour)? Well, it turns out that, despite getting removed from the streaming service after about two months, the scam worked, earning Michigan-born crew in excess of $20,000. It’s pretty much the best stupid idea since the Jump to Conclusions Mat.

This week, keyboardist Jack Stratton revealed that Sleepify earned $19,655.56 in royalties, a colossal sum considernig they were only getting paid between $0.0030 to $0.0038 per stream, according to Billboard. On top of that, interest in the band led people to check out their other songs, the ones with actual music, bringing in another $1,100 or so. Stratton said the group will make good on its promise of using the money to fund a tour of free shows, and they’re currently hoping to play New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Ann Arbor sometime in September. Good on ya, Vulfpeck!

As is usually the case with any good idea/scheme, Sleepify has attracted a copycat. The twist here is that the imitator is none other than folk singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked, whose most recent claim to fame was a bizarre homophobic onstage rant. In a video, which you can find on Vimeo, she explains that she’s releasing a similar album called Inaudible Women, with the twist that there are high-pitched frequencies that dogs can hear. It’s supposedly going to be on Spotify soon, and Shocked promises that she’ll use the money earned to finance her fall tour.

Normally, we’d assume this was all just a prank in order to drum up publicity for her upcoming shows, but you can actually buy the album from CD Baby right now. We tested the preview tracks on this dog, who displayed no reaction whatsoever, so either A) there are no high-pitched sounds on there and the ruse won’t pass Spotify’s smell test, or B) the dog just wasn’t impressed by Shocked’s work. Just another of life’s mysteries, we guess.