The Greatest Remaining Hits is the second album from The Cotton Modules (aka Robin Sloan and Jesse Solomon Clark), and is a sci-fi concept album with a little tappable story.
Sloan, author of books such as Sourdough and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, has written extensively about the process for creating their previous album Shadow Planet and had this to say in his most recent newsletter about todays release:
• The lyrics are all mine. (Cosmic Hemophiliac is perhaps the song that’s most deeply-felt. It expresses something I’ve wanted to get down for a long time.)
• The composition and production is all the work of my bandmate Jesse Solomon Clark. (If a song slaps: Jesse made it slap.)
• The vocals are all generated by an AI model, which I coaxed and guided in its “performances”. (The model was trained on decades of recorded music — a slow-simmered sonic reduction, now spooned with care.)
Given the current discussion around AI, especially in certain communities—from the Hollywood writers strike, to how streaming services will handle AI generated music, to short story magazines getting inundated with AI generated stories and art—talking about using AI as a tool in creation is a sticky proposition.
However, Sloan always puts a lot of thought and effort into using (and even creating) tools in new and exciting ways and, with The Cotton Modules, gives an example of how AI can be used in an effective way.