New Annuals – “Nah Keseyi”

Whether it’s making nice with Grizzly Bear down at Bonnaroo, or engaging in some reciprocal cover love on a tour-only 7″ with Atlanta-based tourmates Manchester Orchestra (tracks below), BTW Annuals seem to make for good friends. Reader Jon writes in to inform us they make for good b-sides, too. “Nah Keysei,” a previously unreleased track the Raleigh, NC sextet is offering today should slay fans of the band’s Be He Me LP. Opening with melodic repititions of the titular mantra and not much more lyrically, the track conforms to the “Brother”ish mold: gentle at the start, exploding after the head. Cue the bombastic horns, the apocalyptic drama, the cooing harmonies, the warped vocal chants for propulsive punctuation. Understandable that the band would keep it for b-side treatment (not much movement beyond the dynamics and devices), but it’s a sweet overview of the band’s sonic bends.

[Annuals + Grizzly Bear family portrait from Bonnaroo ’07]

Annuals – “Nah Keseyi” (MP3)

That’s from the Annuals forthcoming EP Frelen Mas (Be He Me B-Sides), containing a collection of BHM b-sides and a cover of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” in case you’re feeling like hearing some indie gospel. MP3 bonus: Manchester Orchestra covering Annuals’ “Brother,” Annuals covering Manchester Orchestra’s “Where Have You Been.”

Annuals – “Where Have You Been” (MP3)
Manchester Orchestra – “Brother” (MP3)

The Frelen Mas

Meanwhile, work has begun on Annuals’ second LP. Frontman Adam Baker tells Billboard they have 25 tunes to choose from, with plans to pare that down to 16 or 17. And the “big” sound isn’t going anywhere:

As with many artists that break out, Annuals have found themselves with a higher recording budget, of which Baker is excited to take advantage. “We intend to hire a high school or college orchestra to take into the studio. And hopefully we’ll get into some different studios around the country,” he says.

And for fans of record label signings, Billboard reports Annuals have graduated from Ace Fu and moved on to the greener, more major label pastures of Sony imprint Canvasback. More on LP2 as we hear it.