Tom Scott, otherwise known as Avantdale Bowling Club, has leaked his collaboration with producer choicevaughan shortly after winning Album of the Year at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
Avantdale Bowling Club's first, eponymous album propelled Auckland-based rapper Tom Scott to new heights. After working in groups Home Brew and Average Rap Band earlier in his career, Avantdale Bowling Club was a personal project for Scott. He was acclaimed by critics and the public alike.
The next Tom Scott album, Deuce, could therefore be expected to attract a lot of attention. A collaboration with producer choicevaughan, Deuce brought together Scott and a range of Auckland artists for a six-track record about life in Auckland.
The album was scheduled for release next Friday. But on Thursday, Scott chose to leak it, posting a link to a full and free download on social media.
Scott is comfortable with causing a little controversy. Earlier in the month, he used his Album of the Year acceptance speech to tell Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to visit Ihumātao. On Thursday, he posted private messages he had exchanged with Ardern regarding armed police forces. On Deuce, he continues his battle for land rights: "F**k Paula Bennett and her philosophy / the country's colonised, needs a colonoscopy."
Artists including Scott, SWIDT's INF, and Melodownz made a six-track collaborative record that spoke to the political and economical ills affecting local artists.
The leak is apparently because of a release clash with Deuce-contributor Melodownz. Melodownz's label, Def Jam/Sniffers, is having a launch party for his single release 'No Mercy' next Saturday. Deuce was slated for release next Friday.
The Spinoff understands that Sniffers asked Scott and choicevaughan to postpone Deuce's release until next year. Instead, Scott placed a link to a WeTransfer download on his Instagram page, which contained the full six-track album. In an Instagram post, Scott explained this choice: "I need to start this next decade free of this thing."
The songs on Deuce will not be on any forthcoming Avantdale Bowling Club albums. Scott has described the album as both "lazy" and "no magnum opus". He wrote the songs "for the working folk I see everyday".
Listening through the album, it's clear the project has been a long time in the making. 'Beyond', a track which veers between nihilism and calling listeners to action, contains references that could date the album back a couple of years. 'To Live and Die in Ad', the collaboration with Melodownz, is explicitly Avondale-based, and speaks to a passion for the suburb that has burned inside Scott since the beginning of his musical career.
Choicevaughan produced the entire album and was not expecting the leak. He has placed the album on his Bandcamp account without the song featuring Melodownz ('To Live and Die in Ad') as a pay-what-you-want download.
The Spinoff approached both Scott and Sniffers representatives for comment, but all declined.