Just over five years ago, the impossible happened: My Bloody Valentine actually, finally released a followup to their seminal, immortal 1991 LP Loveless. Insofar as any collection of music could live up to a 22 year wait, the great m b v was a satisfying new chapter that was also exciting: Surely, mad genius Kevin Shields would be able to follow this one quicker now that he’d succeeded in the gargantuan task of producing a sequel to Loveless, right?
Well … maybe? The shoegaze titans have been quiet for a bit, but things seemed to be percolating in the last six months. They announced their first show in five years, and we’d been hearing rumblings about a new “all over the place” My Bloody Valentine album set for sometime this summer. Now, in a conversation with Bob Boilen over at NPR, Shields has detailed his plans to release a succession of MBV EPs before another full-fledged LP.
The main premise of the interview is actually the new vinyl reissues of Isn’t Anything and Loveless, and Boilen and Shields get into a lot of the technical nitty-gritty of making an album. But, naturally, the conversation also turns to the band’s future and that’s where Shields starts to outline what’s coming next. He mentions that they were working on an album, but that he now envisions the project as a “sprawling EP” that will set a template for another forthcoming MBV collection:
It’s more like I’m making an EP, but I don’t want to be constrained to four songs or a certain length or anything. It’s really an EP but it’s a sprawling EP. I’m going to do a couple of them before I do an album. I think we’re going to play live in the summer and we’re just going to start introducing new ideas. So I just want to mix it up a bit and get away from my “every 20 years and make an album and then tour and disappear for five years.”
In fairness, even amongst the new album talk last year Shields had described a project that was “about 40 minutes long and either six or seven tracks,” which he also allowed could only turn out to be five tracks, all of which does indeed seem to potentially equate a “sprawling EP” more than an album. So, it sounds like we might yet hear new MBV music at some point this year, whether recorded or onstage. And if Shields sticks to his own admittedly idiosyncratic and excruciatingly patient pace, looks like we could have another EP to look forward to in 2023 and an album in, say, 2035?