Frog Eyes are set to release their final album Violet Psalms May 18th on Paper Bag Records. Listen to the band’s new single “Pay For Fire” over at Stereogum. Frog Eyes have announced a North American tour in support of the album. Full details below. Pre-order Violet Psalms here.
Frog Eyes have made their last album. 17 years after their teetering debut, the Vancouver band unveils Violet Psalms—a giddy lament; a gnashing jubilee; a rain-drenched allocution on hope vs.horror, paradise vs. pride, Marx and Brexit and bad acid trips.
It’s an ending like a beginning. “We were trying to pretend it was our first record,” Carey Mercer says. This is their final record, Frog Eyes’ last gasp—but the art-rockers wanted to capture the energy of a debut, the freedom you feel “when there’s no expectation that anyone will actually listen.” They made it at home, burrowing under the house where Mercer lives with drummer Melanie Campbell. The goal was to blot out the world, focusing on what they could grow down there, four musicians in a basement. Could they squeeze out ten songs? Was there enough paste in the tube to squeeze out 10? “In the end there was. Which is rad.”
No guests, no engineers. A self-invention. Violet Psalms began with its frantic, reverb-drenched guitar, squiggling over a modulation pedal. Next Mercer and Campbell concocted the drum parts—imagining them as onomatopoeia then recording them in fragments, kickdrum by kickdrum, tom by tom, with tailored effects. “The goal was to disorientate,” Mercer explains, but also to work by instinct, gut—a cut-up of music and image, songs that coil back and kiss. The band pruned as they went, adding Terri Upton‘s bass parts, taking other parts away. Whereas past LPs used piano, Shyla Seller worked with shimmering synths—chords like bleeding watercolour, shadows casting on a wall.
May 11th, Kamloops, The Office of Surrealist Investigations*
May 12th, Kelowna, Milkcrate Records*
May 18th, Toronto, The Garrison*
May 19th, Montreal, The Ritz*
May 20th, Ottawa, Makerspace North*
May 21st, Hamilton, Mill’s Hardware*
May 25th, Victoria, Copper Owl*
May 26th, Vancouver, China Cloud*
June 29th, Bellingham, Shakedown Tavern*
June 30th, Portland, The Bunk Bar*
July 1st, Seattle, Sunset Tavern*
July 3rd: LA, The Moroccan Lounge*$
July 5th: SF, Bottom of the Hill*$
July 7th: NYC, Elsewhere: Zone One*#
July 8th: Philadelphia, Johnny Brenda’s*
July 9th, Washington DC, DC9 club*
* = With Hello Blue Roses
$ = With Skygreen Leopards
# = With Zachary Cale