Hercules & Love Affair 2011

“Painted Eyes” opens Hercules & Love Affair’s excellently lush, pleasingly eclectic/oddball sophomore album Blue Songs with a stringed pastoral flourish. (It’s followed by “My House“’s Soul Train-style dance party.) The album travels to different places than the self-titled debut. As mastermind Andy Butler puts it: “There’s definitely jacking house and there’s definitely even more full-blown disco, but there’s also more experimental, softer music.” Like a full-on rock ’n’ roll lighter anthem, a political piano ballad, a smooth funk song sung by Kele Okereke, etc. It’s an epic offering, one that never buckles beneath the ambition: Butler relocated from NYC to Denver and recorded in Vienna with techno producer Patrick Pulsinger to make it happen. You’d do best to spend a night letting the 70+ minutes slowly unfurl, but here’s “Painted Eyes” halved “Radio Edit” for folks on the move:

The “Painted Eyes (Radio Edit)” coincides with the release of the US version of Blue Songs. It features three bonus tracks — including that cover of the XX’s “Shelter” — and a bonus remix CD. The tracklist:
 
Disc 1
01 “Painted Eyes”
02 ”My House”
03 ”Answers Come In Dreams”
04 “Leonora”
05 ”Boy Blue”
06 “Blue Songs”
07 “Falling”
08 “I Can’t Wait”
09 “Step Up”
10 ”Visitor”
11 ”It’s Alright”
 
Bonus Tracks
12 “Revenge”
13 ”Chanel”
14 ”Shelter”
 
Disc 2 
My House Remixes
01 “Stopmakingm Remix”
02 ”Tensnake Remix”
03 ”Derrick Carter’s BHQ Voodoo Remix”
04 “Andy Butler Remix”
 
Painted Eyes Remixes
05 ”In Flagranti Remix”
06 “Moonlight Matters Remix”
07 “Wolfram Remix”

Blue Songs is out 8/16 in the US via Moshi Moshi. Here are some tour dates as part of the Identity Festival:
 
08/18 – Washington DC @ Jiffy Lube Live
08/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Susquehanna Bank Center
08/20 – Boston, MA @ Comcast or Jiffy Lube Live
08/21 – New York, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach
08/23 – Atlanta, GA @ LakeWood
08/24 – Tampa, FL @ 1-800 Ask Gary Amphitheater
08/25 – Miami, FL @ BayFront
08/27 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Wood Mitchel Pavilion
08/28 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
08/30 – Alburquerque, NM @ The Pavilion
09/02 – San Diego, CA @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
09/03 – San Francisco, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater
09/04 – Irvine Meadows, CA @ Verizon Wireless

[Photo by Jimmy Edgar]

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