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PREMIERE: Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra debuts The Shirt Album on an actual shirt

Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra just debuted The Shirt Album; releasing it in the form of an organic fair-trade T-shirt in place of a CD. You read that right: The Shirt Album was released in the slightly unconventional format of a shirt.

That’s to say, Matt Hsu is a slightly unconventional guy. His childhood stint as a Buddhist monk, tour with Japanese loop ninja Kenta Hayashi, co-founding of the punk band The Mouldy Lovers, and deep interest in both cinematic scores and New Orleans street jazz, are all elements of his life that he says influenced the 13-track record.

Photo: Rod Pilbeam

With an album download on the collar, the shirts were designed by Matt Hsu himself, and are ethically made from organic materials.

It also draws on Matt’s diverse talents; featuring sounds from the 30 instruments he can play. It also features collaborations from Tibetan world music icon Tenzin Choegyal, Triple J Unearthed winner Blaq Carrie, and Kenta Hayashi.

The Shirt Album explores a myriad of styles of sounds, including hip hop, lush orchestral sounds, whimsical bedroom pop, dirty jazz, and ‘found sound’ patchworks. As a whole, it’s about as dynamic as an album can get.

Matt’s choice to release the album as a shirt aims to “do less harm and more good” by opting away from the inevitable plastic waste CDs create. The shirts are made by EarthPositive apparel, and designed by Matt himself. The album download is on the collar.

Listen to The Shirt Album above.

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March 7, 2019