In the autumn of 1991, My Bloody Valentine released their second album — Loveless. It was a massively influential record. Earth-shattering. Game-changing. Genre-defining. All of these things and more. Later on, I’m still going to write about how my relationship with that album got off to a bad start, how I’ve owned about six different copies of it, and other things.
A few years passed, and there were hints that a new album would be out. It got delayed. Shelved. Killed. Although the band split, rumors kept sprouting up that they would re-unite and that they would get to work on new material. Years passed. We just accepted the fact that there was never going to be a new album. However, a few years ago, there was a threat of a new album. It didn’t happen, but things really got warmed up in the autumn of 2012 when Kevin Shields announced that they would go on tour in 2013 and that a new album would be out by the end of 2012. Some people took that “promise” very seriously, while others refused to hold their breath. Even when they announced on December 21 that the album was finished, some people still didn’t want to hold their breath.
My Bloody Valentine played a show last Sunday during which Shields announced that the album “might” be out in “two or three days, maybe”. Again, some people chose to take it very seriously and get their feelings hurt when three days passed.
Finally, at about midnight London time on February 2, the band announce that their new website had gone live and the new album was for sale. Heavy traffic crashed the servers and people had a lot of problems getting through to the online store. After about three hours, I finally got through, bought my physical copy, and got the download.
I listened to the new album three times last night. The first time through, I was just trying to take it all in, and I was really happy with the album. Blown away at times. The second and third time, I was listening for stuff. Today at work, I listened to it about three more times, through my new fancy earbuds. I liked it even more. And each time that I listened, I had a new favorite song.
There are a couple, including the techno-y “nothing is” and the magnificent album-closing song “wonder 2”, that have a different, new sound. Those are exactly what Shields promised when he said that it might be “weirder than Loveless“. “wonder 2” is the “jet engine song” that rumors had been circulating about, and it’s magical. This isn’t about that, though.
There’s about six songs that I love, two that I like a bunch, and one that I’m indifferent about. Tonight’s is from the “love” pile.
Unfortunately, I cannot share this audio file. Trust me, though. It’s very good. Now buy your own copy.
There’s not much “different” or “weird” about this. At least not in the first half of the song. For the most part, it’s really reminiscent of the Loveless sound, with the pitch shifting and the tape winding and the bending of sounds. It’s also really guitar-y. And like a lot of the songs on the new record, it’s a “Bilinda song”. And I absolutely love that.
I don’t think that I noticed it the first time through, but there’s a weird violin-y sound at 1:55. Just one note. It’s pretty amazing. There’s also a saxophone-y guitar sound that emerges in the second half of the song. I was confused by that bit at first, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it.
My Bloody Valentine are about to embark on a short Asian tour. No word yet on a North American tour.
The album was released digitally last night, and in physical form on February 22. You can pre-order your 180 gram vinyl and/or CD from the web shop here. Whichever physical format you buy, you’ll get a digital download in the format of your choice. You can also buy the download as a standalone.