The Fiery Furnaces, the perversely unique musical project of siblings Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, was supposed to be on the road playing reunion shows this summer. Or at least they were on the lineup for a music festival that has since been cancelled due to the pandemic like everything else, so presumably they had other shows on deck that have also been scrapped before anyone even knew about them. It’s a bummer, but fortunately it isn’t stopping them from moving forward with new music.
Today the band has released their first song in a decade, “Down At The So And So On Somewhere.” It’s the A-side from a new 7″ on Third Man that was originally supposed to be a Record Store Day release, backed by another new song called “Fortune Teller’s Revenge.” Some comments from the band:
This is the first new music from The Fiery Furnaces in ten years. The songs were recorded in New York City and a few hours north of New York City on February 3 and February 10 – 12, 2020. “Down at the So and So on Somewhere” is a regretful song about having regrets. Now it seems even more sad than we thought it was back then: “Will you meet me,” etc. Matthew was happy to use a Soviet drum machine. Eleanor was happy to play real drums. “The Fortune Teller’s Revenge” is another sad song. We cut out the lines from the first and third verse: “with me; just kidding” and “leave everything to me.” Matthew likes hearing Eleanor sing “I’m sorry to say I’ve never made a mistake.” Eleanor likes that you can’t quite tell who’s singing what, when.
It’s cool that this single is coming out via Jack White’s label given that some of us initially wrote off the Furnaces as White Stripes ripoff artists due to superficial resemblances. Their gloriously weird prog odyssey Blueberry Boat changed that perception for me real quick. There is no band quite like the Fiery Furnaces. It’s good to have them back.
The new Fiery Furnaces 7″ is available now via Third Man.