The Wrens – “At Irish Exit” (Demo)
The day after Election Day, the Wrens said on Twitter that they would release a new song from their long-in-the-works follow-up to The Meadowlands, but it appears that Charles Bissell has reconsidered and decided to release just a mostly instrumental demo from the new album instead. Which isn’t nothing, considering the dearth of material we’ve gotten from the band over the years! The demo is called “At Irish Exit” and a characteristically transparent note that came attached to the track says that “it’s the last [song] still under construction and yes, that means the album is only finishing now.” Hear it and read the full note from the band below.
Sooo…quite a poop week (after quite an ‘interesting’ year or so), a week in which I found myself thinking that many things don’t matter or not in the way I thought, or that they used to, or at least music, or at least being overly precious & perfectionist about music (maybe that’s it, actually).
Which led me in some post-election despair-y fog to say, “what the heck, I’ll post a song” but really, that’s not fair to the label folks who have very, VERY cool & patiently waited for me to eternally wrap my shit up.
So with an eye towards the ideal politics of the hopefully-not-distant future (i.e. as a compromise), this is an instrumental version of the song I happen to be working on right now, it’s the last one still under construction and yes, that means the album is only finishing now.
There a bunch of reasons for that (the work itself, health, working at night like lots of folks, that sort of thing) but I just can’t bear to hear myself go into them all, esp. this week. I’ll post something about all that later.
Meanwhile, the finish line lies right beyond this: I’ll check the vocal version tomorrow and then create a new version w/ parallel limiting/compression to make the parts sorta squeeze out around the vocal; then it goes off to mastering as well (this is the fourth official round of mastering, all due my shortcomings, not the mastering engineer who is a sonic guru).
The upshot, if there is one, of an instrumental v., is it’ll let you hear all the parts that I’m sure, w/ my limited engineering skill-set, will be completely obliterated by the lead vocal. I hate vocals (esp. my own). They ruin everything.
As a reminder, this project has been in progress for more than a decade, since not long after the indie rock heroes released their opus The Meadowlands in 2003. It has been derailed by factors such as family, day job commitments, perfectionism, and — after confirmation of a new label contract, three separate reports that the album was finished, and the release of a new song on limited edition cassette — a cancer diagnosis for de facto band leader Charles Bissell. Still no word as to when the album will drop, but it’s been on our Most Anticipated Albums list for both 2015 and 2016 without materializing, so don’t hold your breath.