Post Electric Blues

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Post Electric Blues
Studio album by Idlewild
Released June 11, 2009 (pre-order)
October 5, 2009 (standard release)
Recorded Bryn Derwyn, Wales & Chem 19, Glasgow, Scotland in February & March 2009
Genre Indie rock
Length 40:45
Label Self-released, Cooking Vinyl
Producer Dave Eringa
Idlewild chronology
Make Another World
(2007)
Post Electric Blues
(2009)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Drowned In Sound (7/10)[2]
God is in the TV 4.5/5 stars[3]
The Music Magazine (favourable)[4]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[5]
The Skinny 4/5 stars[6]

Post Electric Blues is the sixth full-length studio album by Scottish indie rock band Idlewild, self-released to around 3000 fans in June 2009. The album was subsequently released on October 5, 2009 on Cooking Vinyl.[7] Prior to recording, guitarist Rod Jones revealed that the album has "quite an upbeat musical feel," and that it sounds "like a band having a good time."[8]

Upon the album's traditional release, Jones stated: "I think the way we approached making this record, and doing things ourselves and involving our fans just gave us the freedom and time to do what we wanted to do without any pressure. I think it has been a turning point for us."[9]

The album peaked at #90 in the UK Album Charts in its first week of physical release. It might have charted higher but the band sold a number of pre-order copies via their website, which is not a registered chart company.

The album's first single, "Readers & Writers" was released digitally on September 28.[7]

The album was performed in full on May 19, 2009 at Dingwalls, in London.[10]

Background and recording[edit]

Following the release of Make Another World, Idlewild's label, Sanctuary Records, went into administration, leaving the band without a recording contract. Idlewild subsequently decided to release their next studio album directly to their fanbase. In November 2008, the band launched a new website, www.idlewildmusic.com, with the following message:[11]

After 11 years of recording and releasing records within the constraints of the record industry we now feel that the time is right and the technology exists for us to deal more quickly and directly with the fans. It also allows us total control of our music and will ultimately mean that should you choose to get involved you will hear our music as soon as it is available. Although the album will have a more traditional release some time later in 2009 we hope you will support us in our efforts to try something new and choose to pre-order the album now.

Those that pre-ordered the album received fifteen exclusive live tracks from the band's recent King Tut's residency, blog entries from band members and exclusive video footage from the recording process.

According to vocalist Roddy Woomble, the first track written for Post Electric Blues was album opener "Younger Than America". Influenced by Westerns and Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Woomble states that:[12]

"after [we had] written the song, I thought the record might turn into an American sounding piece of classic rock, but it didn't turn out that way really, especially after writing "Readers and Writers". The record went in whatever direction it chose to."

Regarding the album's lyrical content, Woomble states that he wanted "to have a more off-the-cuff feel to the record".

In early January 2009, the band entered pre-production with frequent producer Dave Eringa at their rehearsal space in Rosyth, Fife.[13] In February, Idlwild and Eriga decamped to a converted farm house in Bethesda, Wales, near Snowdonia National Park, to record the album. The band spent two weeks recording the album in Wales, before returning to Scotland to add overdubs from additional musicians, John Blackshaw, John McCusker and Heidi Talbot at Chem19 Studios. By March, guitarist Rod Jones and Eringa had relocated to Eringa's house in London to being mixing the album. At this time, Jones began recording his debut solo album, A Sentimental Education using Eringa's equipment.[14]

The album was subsequently posted to fans in June 2009, and released on October 5, 2009 on Cooking Vinyl records.

Artwork[edit]

The album's artwork features band photographs taken by photographer David Gillanders. The photographs were taken in January 2009 at the band's rehearsal studio in Rosyth. Regarding the album's artwork, vocalist Roddy Woomble states that:[15]

In the past we've favored black and white, and sepia styles, but I've been looking a lot of old Jazz LP covers from the early 70s and I love the look of them. So it's going to be colorful. The Glaswegian photographer David Gillanders came to the practice space last week and spent the afternoon taking pictures while we played. [...] David’s photographs are always great. He’s done some really important documentary work in far off places, including Malawi, Madagascar and Ukraine. His photo study of Knife crime in Glasgow is particularly harrowing.

Leak[edit]

A note was included with the pre-order album package thanking fans for their patience and asking them not to upload the album on to the internet. However, this note was ignored and it has been freely available on the internet since mid-June 2009.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Jones/Newton/Russell/Stewart/Woomble.

  1. "Younger Than America" – 3:57
  2. "Readers & Writers" – 2:50
  3. "City Hall" – 3:21
  4. "(The Night Will) Bring You Back to Life" – 3:24
  5. "Dreams of Nothing" – 3:08
  6. "Take Me Back to the Islands" – 4:58
  7. "Post-electric" – 5:08
  8. "All Over the Town" – 2:07
  9. "To Be Forgotten" – 3:23
  10. "Circles in Stars" – 3:47
  11. "Take Me Back in Time" – 4:38

B-sides[edit]

  • "No Wiser" – 3:26 (pre-order bonus track)
  • "Take Away the Night Time" (standard release bonus track)
  • "Take Me Back In Time" (demo) (standard release bonus track)
  • "(The Night Will) Bring You Back to Life" (demo) ("Readers & Writers" b-side)

Personnel[edit]

  • Roddy Woomble - lead vocals
  • Rod Jones - guitar, backing vocals, keyboards
  • Colin Newton - drums, percussion
  • Allan Stewart - guitar
  • Gareth Russell - bass
  • John Blackshaw - trumpet ("Readers & Writers")
  • John McCusker - violin ("Younger Than America" and "Take Me Back to the Islands")
  • Heidi Talbot - vocals ("Younger Than America" and "Take Me Back to the Islands")
  • Dave Eringa - producer, engineer, mixing, hammond organ ("Younger Than America", "Readers & Writers" and "Take Me Back to the Islands")
  • Tom Loffman - mixing engineer
  • Ed Woods - mastering
  • David Gillanders - photography
  • Monkeywithapen - design
  • Andy Irvine - web tech
  • Mika Okamoto - additional web tech

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Drowned In Sound review
  3. ^ God is in the TV review
  4. ^ The Music Magazine review
  5. ^ PopMatters review
  6. ^ The Skinny review
  7. ^ a b Lindsay, Andrew. "Idlewild set official release date for “Post Electric Blues”". stereokill.net. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  8. ^ Lindsay, Andrew. "Interview: Rod Jones (Idlewild)". stereokill.net. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  9. ^ Lindsay, Andrew. "Interview: Rod Jones". stereokill.net. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  10. ^ Lindsay, Andrew. "Idlewild perform new album in full". stereokill.net. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  11. ^ "Idlewild". Idlewildmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "Idlewild › Registration Form". Members.idlewildmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  14. ^ "Idlewild › Registration Form". Members.idlewildmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  15. ^ "Idlewild › Registration Form". Members.idlewildmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  16. ^ Note included within package