This ‘endangered song’ wants to help save Sumatran tigers

Psych-rock outfit Portugal. The Man have released a record that degrades over time to raise awareness of the animal's dwindling numbers

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"Sumatran Tiger" in its vinyl form – sadly not as majestic as a real tiger

There are only 400 Sumatran tigers left in existence, a number that's steadily declining and will continue to do so without human intervention. In order to draw attention to the plight of these beautiful animals, an unlikely ally has come in the form of the indie music. More specifically, the psych-rock outfit Portugal. The Man (the full stop is deliberate, FYI). 

They've teamed up with The Smithsonian's National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute to create a song called "Sumatran Tiger" to raise awareness of the endangered animal. The "endangered song", as it's been dubbed, only exists in the form of 400 7-inch singles made from polycarbonate plastic, which means they will degrade after a certain amount of plays. The band are encouraging anybody that they've sent the record to upload it online so that it can be preserved before it disappears forever. The song's endangered too, geddit?

You can listen to it here:

"It's a metaphor for endangered species that we hope raises awareness for the tigers," says bassist Zach Carouthers. "We want people to keep the song alive and keep the tigers alive... There's a lot of things we used to have that aren't there anymore, if nobody takes part then the song will disappear."

Obviously, you can't really upload a Sumatran tiger to Soundcloud and then illegally rip the track, so the metaphor only goes so far. Regardless, the dreamy Tama Impala-esque track has good intentions, so who are we to judge? You can download #endangeredsong and pass it around here.

Check out the band talking about the project below:

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