English indie-pop group The xx made their sophomore album Coexist available for streaming this week through a website created in collaboration with Microsoft.
While it is not uncommon for musical artists to release an online stream in advance of an album’s official release date, the website launched by The xx adds an extra level of interactivity to the process by allowing users to track the share history of the album as it is sent from user to user across the globe.
The website displays a world map with the user’s location marked by a small x, and a scrollable timeline on the right side of the page allows users to navigate to specific times since the launch of the website to chart the album’s course around the world. Glowing blue dots on the map represent listeners and at each point on the timeline curves connect those dots, beginning with a tweet, e-mail or Facebook post of the album stream and ending with the location of a new listener.
According to Pitchfork, the band launched the global sharing of the stream with one of their dedicated fans and let it spread from there.
Coexist is now available for pre-order at http://thexx.info/ and will be officially released on Sept. 11.