September 10, 2010
Everything Is Alright Forever: Johnny Foreigner Signs To Alcopop! Two Releases Planned, Ghosts Sell Out, American Tour Announcement Imminent
Sometimes being in a different time zone from your favorite band cuts your way, and some days you find yourself chasing the news cycle because you are slaving at the day job while said band finally divulges closely guarded secrets. But perhaps you've been shackled to a desk and monitor yourself, in which case this is the news: Birmingham, England-based noise pop titans Johnny Foreigner announced today it "walk[ed] away from doing a third record with Best Before" and instead will issue its "next couple of releases" on the charming Alcopop! label, home to indie standouts including prog pop geniuses Screaming Maldini. Oxford-based Alcopop! will release in November a six-track Johnny Foreigner EP on 12" vinyl presently germinating under the working title There When You Need It. The trio will promote the 12" -- which it describes as "a schizoid collection of 6 songs that have no common theme apart from us thinking they fit together, like a photo scrapbook of summer adventures or some weird dream where the scenery changed and you didn't notice" -- with a U.K. tour supported by now-labelmates Stagecoach. The 12" package will also include a postcard for each song designed by longtime Johnny Foreigner visual collaborator Lewes Herriot, and the band also recently sent away to have made certain Grace And The Bigger Picture-themed badges Mr. Herriot designed some time ago. According to Johnny Foreigner's epic-lengthed missive here, three of the songs are in a drop-D tuning, and those were recorded by off-again, on-again producing type Dom James, and another of the songs is "probably the loudest we've ever been;" other songs were recorded in bedrooms.
Additionally, Johnny Foreigner promises next week to announce details of a years-in-the-making U.S. tour -- we can't wait. In other news, Johnny Foreigner put up for sale briefly today a run of 20 plush ghosties that can be seen here; the ghosts sold out in a half-hour, sadly, but the band has hinted at a second run. The ghosties came with lyrics, other stuff, and a download of a new track called "199x," which is "a sad new song we made especially for this project that you can't hear anywhere else." The song is unsurprisingly wonderful, but then actually it is also wonderful in surprising ways. Singer/guitarist Alexei Berrow takes a different, gentler, layered approach to delivering the lyric, the song is anchored by a few different piano tracks and mellow acoustic guitar and we think an unamplified electric guitar, and super minimal non-percussion. It is fragile and beautiful and it almost hurts to listen to it, and at the same time the track sounds fresh and like your oldest friend at the same time. An unqualified, stunning victory.
More bulletins as events warrant.