Alison Goldfrapp made an announcement last week that the band has ended their contract with EMI. This news does not come with any concrete detail - simply that their "time with EMI has come to a contractual end". Speaking on 6Music (according to popinstereo.com) Alison stated that the split is exciting - a new chapter with an "endless world of opportunity".
Goldfrapp are in an enviable position, and I certainly hope they use this transition zone to do something revolutionary. They are one of those groups who have built a strong community globally - through creating a diverse catalogue and a fantastic live show. Despite the relative lack of critical acclaim of the latest album Head First, their popularity has not significantly waned over the past decade (for the record - I thought the album was great). Which makes them an attractive proposition for any label or investor.
But will they go down this route? What stops them from setting out on their own - using their experience to establish their own business, record a new album, and embark on another tour. Or will they simply head off on the tried and tested route and find another big label? And if so, what would stop that relationship from going the way of their dealings with EMI?
My hope is that it is the former. I want a group like Goldfrapp to take control of their next step and set an example of a new model for the artist within the music industry. The band has every asset at their disposal - distribution, marketing, and a community that is waiting for their next move. Establishing their own strategy for this new phase of their career would demonstrate to others that this can be done - in fact, anyone can do it right now. Artists dont need to be discovered or fight for their place on a label roster - they simply need to understand what they want to get out of their careers, and take the right steps to achieving that vision.
My suspicion is that the band got out of a sinking ship and is now looking for the next one. Alison's statement of "what will we do and will anyone want us" is not suggesting the fans will turn their backs, but betrays a fear that the group feels it may not find another label home.
It may seem easier to put your career in the hands of someone else, but will it achieve your vision of success - or will you be fighting to realise theirs?