One week prior to release, ‘The Secret History, Vol. 1′, the Pavement double LP rarities comp. touted in this space previously, is streaming today via NPR Music. NPR’s Jason Heller writes, “these songs have all been floating around for years, either on their original releases, as bonus tracks on reissued albums, or as bootlegs. But bundling them has a purpose, aside from simple commerce: In a recent Pitchfork interview, Malkmus called History “the album that could have been between Slanted And Enchanted and Crooked Rain [the album on which 'Cut Your Hair' appears].” He’s right. There’s a coherence to the chaos of these 30 misfit songs, each one an off-kilter, self-sabotaging gem. By stringing them together, they speak powerfully to the way Pavement celebrated songcraft while gnawing at its foundations. If the ’90s had turned out differently, Pavement could have been as popular as, say, Weezer. Instead, as History proves, they were always destined for something stranger.” Also, Weezer are/were terrible! Thanks, Jason!
After the digital release of Hælos’ “Earth Not Above” EP back in June, we are pleased to say that you will now be able to physically get your hands on a limited edition 12″ version as of August 14th, which will mark the first of it’s kind for the London trio. You can pre-order from the following links below:
Over the summer so far the band have been playing at several festivals including Field Day, Secret Garden Party, Latitude and Heartbeats, and will be performing with TV on the Radio at their London Roundhouse shows. Full list of tour dates below.
Having been the subject and willing conspirator of many intentional lies planted in Sonic Youth bios over the years, I know first hand the way album lore can bend reality to its truth. After the infamous Byron Coley originated the SY “Trilogy” myth in the Murray Street bio, we had no choice but to fulfill those expectations with Sonic Nurse. “Why did you decide to make a trilogy?” was always the first question asked in interviews around that time.
But this is Kurt Vile’s bio, and I wont do that to him. Anyway, Kurt does his own myth making; a boy/man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything becoming something else, which is why this focused, brilliantly clear and seemingly candid record is a breath of fresh air. Recorded and mixed in a number of locations, including Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, b’lieve i’m goin down… is a handshake across the country, east to west coast, thru the dustbowl history (“valley of ashes”) of woody honest strait forward talk guthrie, and a cali canyon dead still nite floating in a nearly waterless landscape. The record is all air, weightless, bodyless, but grounded in convincing authenticity, in the best version of singer songwriter upcycling. In Kurt’s words, “I wanted to get back into the habit of writing a sad song on my couch, with nobody waiting on me. I really wanted it to sound like it’s on my couch — not in a lo-fi way, just more unguarded and vulnerable.”
For a record that plays like a cohesive acoustic experience, its musicality marks Kurt’s departure from an electric guitar experience to include a range of instrumentation with a large group of players. From the banjo he plays on “I’m an Outlaw” to the piano and lapsteel on “Life Like This,” and the myriad other instruments on other songs, including farfisa, resonator, arps, horns and synth, one never thinks about what exactly yr listening to as it all serves the song. The heart of the record is “Stand Inside.” The music is quiet and the melody, like a hymn, folds in on itself, and embraces full strength in a sexy, floating forcelessness that slowly gathers into a wave that doesn’t go where you think it will or rather gives in to itself and celebrates a man willing to be defined by a woman and his love for her as witness to each other’s lives… Don’t stand by my side, stand inside gives up roleplaying for true exposure and vulnerability.
It’s a weird, accepting, mature record, acknowledging the inherent immaturity of being a person whether father, husband, partner, adult, musician, not perfect, but compelling for its understanding … that’s life though so sad to say… I love this record,
b’lieve i’m goin down.
TRACK LISTING – b’lieve i’m goin down…
2.I’m an Outlaw
4.That’s Life, tho (almost hate to say)
6.Life Like This
7.All in a Daze Work
8.Lost my Head there