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Billie Eilish: Hit Me Hard and Soft album has friendly release plan

Billie Eilish: Hit Me Hard and Soft album has friendly release plan
  • Written by Mark Savage
  • BBC News music correspondent

Image source, Getty Images

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Eilish previously championed recycled vinyl on her second album, Happier Than Ever

Billie Eilish has announced details of what is likely to be one of her biggest albums of 2024.

The star says her third album, Hit Me Hard And Soft, will be released on May 17, without any singles advanced so fans can hear it “all at once”.

It also published a sustainability plan for the album with the aim of reducing its environmental impact.

Vinyl copies will be pressed onto recycled or eco-friendly vinyl, with all packaging made from recycled materials.

Eilish will also use raw, plant-based ink and water-based varnishes. Instead of shrink wrap, the album covers will be 100% recycled and reused.

The move comes amid an ongoing boom in vinyl sales, with 5.9 million units sold in the UK alone last year.

But vinyl is made from plastic, which has a significant impact on the environment, and often comes packaged in non-recyclable materials.

Based on this calculation, vinyl customs in the UK produced 2,700 tonnes of CO2, before transport and packaging are taken into account. That's a full footprint of approximately 560 people per year.

Eilish, a long-time climate activist, He told Billboard magazine She felt compelled to address the problem.

“My parents have always kept me well informed and very aware that every choice we make and every action we take has an impact somewhere or someone, good or bad, and that has always stuck with me,” the multiple Oscar and Grammy winner said. -winner.

“I can't just ignore what I know and go about my business and my career and do nothing. This is not how I was raised, or how I want to live my life.”


Greg Cochrane, who hosts the Music and Sustainability podcast It sounds like a planHe described the star's announcement as an “important step.”

He told the BBC: “We've seen examples of this type of release before, but they were generally limited releases or smaller batches, or from smaller artists, but the shift happens when you decide the popularity of an artist Billie Eilish.” To embrace this – and not only embrace this, but also be transparent and honest about her reasons for doing so.”

“Like any community, music needs pioneers and successful examples for others to follow. So it's really important that Billie, Coldplay and others do that while continuing to create music and experiences that people love.”

Image source, Getty Images

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The star has hosted several climate action events, branded “Overheated”, in London

Eilish's announcement comes after the star criticized artists who release multiple vinyl formats to boost album sales, calling the practice “really frustrating.”

“We live in this day and age where, for some reason, it's very important for some artists to make all different types of vinyl and packaging,” the 22-year-old said. In a previous interview With the billboard, “that increases sales, increases numbers, and gets you more money.”

After the singer's mother, Maggie Byrd, interrupted to point out that multiple vinyl sales “count toward debut albums,” Eilish responded: “I can't even express to you how wasteful that is.”

However, Eilish will release eight different vinyl versions of “Hit Me Hard And Soft.” However, the artwork and tracklist will remain the same on each release, reducing the demand for multiple purchases.

The standard black edition will be made from 100% recycled black vinyl. The remaining seven colored versions will be made of Eco-mix or BioVinyl.

Eco-mix is ​​created by recycling outtakes from other albums, regardless of the color used. This process means that each disc will be unique.

The single LP colors will be manufactured using BioVinyl – which replaces the petroleum used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride with recycled used cooking oil.

BioVinyl helps reduce carbon emissions by 90% compared to standard LPs while maintaining the same sound quality.

Additionally, Eilish will be manufacturing cassette tape covers using recycled materials, and her tour merchandise will be created from leftover stock, polyester, organic or recycled cotton, and non-toxic dyes.

The singer told Billboard that she hopes other artists will adopt the same practices, and they will eventually become a standard. It's really that simple.

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