I kept saying I got sick of listening to people’s productions, like people who had no ideas, no songs, nothing to say but could still con people’s ears into thinking those songs were there by the application of production. I kind of wanted my record a little more honest than that: “Well, this is us. We put a microphone on it. Here it is.”
Few things are more fun than having something all to yourself after having discovered it all by yourself. That’s precisely how I feel about Spiritualized. My friends can’t stand them. Good. More for me. Back in my university days I managed to find their second release Pure Phase and instantly fell in love with the band. At the time I was in the breach between the Britpop of my roommates and the thrashing techno/house scene downtown. Spiritualized somehow stayed above and in between those two waves, occupying its own space in which it was left alone and in which I was left alone with it. A few years later came their megahit Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space but by that point I had already departed elswhere and it had passed me by….until last year. I decided to check up on Spiritualized and was blown away by what they had done since we last met. They just released Songs in A&E, their best record since “Ladies and Gentlemen….” and certainly a good lead up to their show at the Virgin Festival in Toronto this September.
Jason Pierce manages to continually explore three intensely personal topics without letting the well dry up: love of drugs, love of Jesus, and death. His songs are reflections of those as they take us to the greatest heights and the most murky of lows. Here’s an excerpt from the Pitchfork interview linked below:
People are now telling me, “Albums are dead. You’ve got to make your records in tiny, bite-size pieces people can download.” Well, I don’t want to fucking do that. I make albums. I make these things that have their own space and time, and they fit. There’s a link and a relationship between certain songs and certain ideas and certain themes. I’m kind of going, “What next? If you want me to do little bite-sized things, I’ll just do the chorus for you. Or I’ll just have them download the notes A and E.” You can read an excerpt from a novel or a book in a magazine, but you can’t deny that it’s from a book, you know?
I don’t make records for this medium with which we’re going to sell it. The selling of it can never be more important than what you’re actually making. There’s too much of that in the world– in everybody’s world, not just in music. There’s too much, “Are you hip to this kind of stuff?” “Hey, this is cool.” “Are you hip to it, because this is what we’re selling today?” I think it’s bullshit. I’m rambling now.
Read the Pitchfork interview with Jason Pierce. And here’s one of my favourite songs “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” from the album of the same name: