>> Things are happening in Louisville. In December we made mention of the cracking alt. country combo State Champion, and then in early January we were pitched a largely quiet, folksy album from Louisville's The Parade Schedule. The latter act is primarily Matt Kinder, who is abetted Lilys-style by as many as 33 collaborators on his two-years-in-the-making debut full length Seeds To Be Planted, Trees To Be Cut. Mr. Kinder sings about the things you used to have that hurt you now because you'll never get them back: innocence, young love, you know, that stuff. His music evokes that feeling of laying in the cool grass in the yard on a humid summer night, lover's head resting on your shoulder as you pass a sweating beer back and forth. Elements of the production and mood suggest scene progenitors Palace Brothers to us, although the world of The Parade Schedule seems less gothic and generally more peaceful. Seeds To Be Planted, Trees To Be Cut was released last month by The Record Machine. While the tempo and dynamics pick up in places on the record ("Making A Way" is pretty southern rock, whatever that means these days), it is the pensive, acoustic tracks that hit home most. The paired tracks "Backyard" and "Dye Your Hair" present Kinder's music at its most goosebump-inducing. The former track in particular trades in the sort of palpable, wistful nostalgia we referenced supra. Sadly beautiful. Here's "Backyard."
The Parade Schedule --
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[buy Seeds To Be Planted, Trees To Be Cut from The Record Machine right here]
>> It's been 13 months since we reported that Philly-based shoegaze quartet Relay transmogrified itself into Arc In Round. Our verbiage from December 2008 includes praise for a track posted to MySpace titled "2" which reminded us not a little then of the now-recently reconstituted shoegaze phenoms Lorelei. Well, the latest iteration of the track is still awesome (now going by the Roman numeral "II"), we can report, based on three tracks Arc In Round placed on SoundCloud in late January. We checked in with band fronter Jeff Ziegler (who is also a very busy live sound guy and studio engineer) to get an update on what the four has in store for us. Mr. Zeigler reports that Arc In Round will self-release a debut EP by early April, and the band continues to put the finishing touches on that. A full-length record is apparently already in the can and a fall release date is likely; Arc In Round is also gathering up remixes to package with the planned releases. No labels are currently attached (officially, anyway) to either the EP or the full-length; Relay was signed to Bubble Core. While we all sit around and wait for the EP to drop, how about streaming the shoegaze-arific "II," a finished version of the track we raved about in that 2008 blog post that will be included on the planned full-length. If you can't get enough of that, two additional tracks are posted at the SoundCloud page: "Spirit" will appear on both the planned EP and full length, and "Said Astray" will appear on the LP only.
II by Arc In Round
>> Another record we've spent a lot of time with over the last couple months is a planned EP from Chicago emocore outfit Castevet. The EP, The Echo & The Light, was to be released Feb. 23 in the UK by Big Scary Monsters; it also had the distinction of being Big Scary Monsters' U.S. division's planned first release. However, a publicist told us last week that Castevet and the label have amicably parted ways. For its part, Castevet is returning to the studio to re-record the tracks from The Echo & The Light and record two new songs, which presumably will become part of the final product. We're told the band is already talking to a new label and hopes for an early summer release date. Big Scary Monsters continues to aggressively charge ahead with other releases, include an amazing one-two punch of an Andrew W.K. single and a heavily anticipated Walter Schreifels solo set. Anyway, the shelving of what we suppose we'll call the erstwhile Big Scary Monsters version of The Echo & The Light makes the following MP3 of "Midwest Values" something of a collector's item. So dig it.
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>> One thing we failed to mention in our Johnny Foreigner post last week: the digital version of the forthcoming single for "Every Cloakroom Ever" will be issued Feb. 8, which is, like, really soon. Fans who pre-ordered the vinyl version of the single were promised high-quality MP3s, which would hope will arrive on the same date, as otherwise eager vinyl purchasers will end up being in the position of waiting for something it has paid for that the general public is out there happily snapping up. Are we projecting? Nah, just eager, as the prospect of two new b-sides we've not heard is terribly exciting. Anyway, start counting down the days.