If you’re into both dream pop and shoegazing, then My Bloody Valentine is a musical staple. Any time you hear new bands that hope to emulate that very distinct fuzzed-out atmospheric, if not at times discordant, sound as married to breathy and ethereal vocals, then you know immediately that MBV is at least one of their musical influences. And sometime within the last year I noticed a new band by the name of The Bilinda Butchers (named after My Bloody Valentine’s female vocalist Bilinda Butcher, of course) out there doing just that and all while putting their own spin on the dream pop genre.
Even with all the musical homages and fan adoration, Kevin Shields has been hinting at a follow-up to 1991’s “Loveless” for years now.
21 years to be exact.
So color me surprised to catch news that the mastering for their third album was finished. Never mind that it didn’t even have a title yet. My first thought, “Dare I hope?” It was then followed by, “Do what the Danish do and trust that it will arrive eventually.”
I think the Danish are onto something considering they’re supposed to be the model of a well-adjusted people.
With that in mind, I’d been watching the music feeds all day for pending news once their new release, now titled “mbv,” seemed imminent. At first the music outlets were reporting that would be out on Feb 2, but then it was all: “wait no Feb 3, because it’s England.” Time zones and speculation not withstanding, links went up as a flood of likes, news sharing, and comments followed. And like many curious folks on the internet discovered, perhaps wondering if there was a joke being had at their expense, I found a 403 Server Error page instead of the new album. It was as if the collective wave of My Bloody Valentine listeners had managed to break Kevin Shields’ server. I wouldn’t even guess as to how many people might have kept checking back repeatedly just so they could be the “first” to own and hear the album. Whatever case, I had real life plans that evening; so I said “Fuck it. I’ve got a movie to go watch.” After doing just that, followed by going out for drinks with friends, I have to admit it. There was a little part of me that was absolutely giddy at the thought of the album being truly available by the time I got home.
So what does a gal do before embarking on her return trip?
Find “Only Shallow” in her iTunes and refresh her memory with a healthy dose of “Loveless.”
At any rate. Their new album “mbv” is here! REALLY. And does it get better? Oh, you bet. Shields told NME: “I think with this record, people who like us will immediately connect with something. Based on the very, very few people who’ve heard stuff – some engineers, the band, and that’s about it – some people think it’s stranger than ‘Loveless’. I don’t. I feel like it really frees us up, and in the bigger picture it’s 100 per cent necessary.”
They’ll also release an EP of new material soon as well.
Production wise, I read via Pitchfork that bassist Debbie Googe said: “Most of it is stuff Kevin has done, certainly guitar wise. It’s been a long process, you know. The drums have been added then taken off at least once. His brother did them at one point, then Colm [O’Ciosoig] came in and redid them. There’s some things Kevin can’t do, like the drums or Bilinda [Butcher]’s vocals, but everything else he can, and I’m certainly happy for him to do that.”
I’m sure as time passes there will be more interviews and eventually that EP will be released. Remember what the Danish do, and trust that Shields will make good on his word…eventually. You’ll be a lot happier that way. All said, I don’t want to ruin the surprise by dissecting each track or even listing a few that I’ve already come to consider favorites, but if you want an idea of what you’re in for this is my take: it’s a little like opening a time capsule full of your favorite things.
As for what Shields said about the sound not being stranger than “Loveless.” I think he’s right. It’s not strange and in some ways it might actually be more accessible for listeners than “Loveless” was/is.
01. she found now
02. only tomorrow
03. who sees you
04. is this and yes
05. if i am
06. new you
07. in another way
08. nothing is
09. wonder 2
Listen to each track streaming:
Purchase “mbv” in the following formats here:
- 180 gram vinyl + CD + digital download of your choice
- CD + digital download of your choice
- digital download of your choice
The digital download is available in following file types:
- 16bit 44.1 K WAV file (cd quality)
- 320kbps MP3
- 24bit 96 K WAV file
“The price of the digital download only is the same regardless of the file quality and size.
The vinyl has been recorded, mixed and mastered in analogue. It is manufactured on 180 gram vinyl and comes in a gatefold sleeve with the CD in a card wallet. The vinyl will be limited due to manufacturing restrictions.
The CD comes in a gatefold card sleeve.
The vinyl and CD artwork is currently being finished and each format will have slightly different but similar artwork to the download artwork that will be attached to your download.”