The service provides artists "an independent and nurturing space in which to make work (generally around music) that is collaborative, spontaneous and expressive in nature," People states.
People, which launched Wednesday, will host the first release from Big Red Machine, a collaborative project between Aaron Dessner, Vernon and guests including Sufjan Stevens and Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry.
"We are a steadily growing group of artists, freely creating and sharing our work with each other and everyone," the website writes. "It was born of a wish to establish an independent and nurturing space in which to make work (generally around music) that is collaborative, spontaneous and expressive in nature and where all unnecessary distractions or obstacles that get in the way are removed. People is for the benefit and development of the artists involved and just as importantly, for those who would like to access and enjoy the output. It is as much about the process of making work and showing all that openly, as the final outcome."
In an interview with the Guardian, the Dessners and Vernon further explained People's goal. "Take a band that releases 10 songs on a record. What about the other 30 songs they didn’t release? What about the way those songs changed? What about the outtakes? All that stuff is fascinating, but it doesn't have a place where it can live," Bryce Dessner said of People. "Hopefully this will be an environment where new types of music, new types of collaboration can pop up that don't fit in with a standard release. If it's just National B-sides, it won't be a success."
Vernon added, "It feels like one of the major reasons 'pro' musicians get caught up and lose focus, consistency and confidence is because they sometimes have to wait to put albums out months after they are done, and that really screws with your rhythm. So for me, People is a necessity for publishing certain music without cause for PR alarm, or any other reason than just to publish it."
People is currently invite-only, with musicians inviting fellow artists to the service. "It's not open to everyone, like Soundcloud, but it's also not fully curated," Berlin hotelier Tom Michelberger, another People founder, told the Guardian.
People will also host a week-long residency in Berlin. "About 160 artists will spend a week to work and play together," People writes of the event. "On the weekend of August 18th/19th we open the doors to perform across all stages and studios at Funkhaus Berlin. Inside and outside. There will be artists you have not heard before and ones you know every song of. The work itself lighting the way." Tickets for the event are available at the People site.