Matthew Friedberger is one half of the brother and sister duo The Fiery Furnaces. After 3 years of work, he has completed his first solo release, a double album titled Winter Women / Holy Ghost Language School, which will hit stores on August 8, 2006 – it’s also the first release on the newly formed label 859 Recordings run by Keith Wood in upstate New York.
The first disc, Winter Women, clocking in at one hour, showcases Friedberger’s strength as a songwriter, and features some of the most accessible pop songs he’s ever written, including the infectious “Ruth versus Richard” and the 60s-tinged “Up the River.” Women is intended to be a summer record, full of memorable, catchy and un-ironic pop songs.
The second disc, Holy Ghost Language School, is more experimental – a 46 minute sonic novel with the requisite backwards guitars and strange samples which makes Matt’s work so original. It veers closer to some of the Furnaces’ more experimental outings, but it’s not outright noise, the album as a whole is bound by a strange sense of structure. Some reference points for this record might be Faust, The Residents, or the most “out” moments of Brian Eno’s solo records.
Matt wrote and arranged all the music, played all the instruments (except for some drumming from John McEntire from Tortoise on a few tracks), and sings all the songs. The record was co-produced by Bill Skibbe at Key Club Recording at Benton Harbor, Michigan in March of this year.
The Fiery Furnaces launch their European tour this Thursday in Manchester and will wrap it up with an appearance at All Tomorrow’s Parties on May 20th. In June they’ll be touring the US with a focus on the West Coast and Midwest.
Winter Women track listing:
1. Under The Hood At The Paradise Garage.
2. The Pennsylvania Rock Oil Co. Resignation Letter.
3. Up The River.
4. Ruth versus Richard.
5. Her Chinese Typewriter.
6. Big Bill Crib & His Ladies Of The Desert.
7. Don’t You Remember?
8. Betcha Don’t.
9. PS.213 Mini School.
10. Theme From Never Going Home Again.
12. Quick As Cupid.
13. I Love You Cedric.
14. Servant In Distress.
16. Wisconsin River Blues.
Holy Ghost Language School track listing:
1. Seventh Loop Highway.
2. Holy Ghost Language School.
3. The Cross And The Switchblade.
4. I Started Drinking Alcohol At The Age Of Eleven.
5. Do You Like Blondes?
6. Azusa St.
7. Topeka and San Antonio.
8. A Mystical Preparative To Lewdness.
9. Ship Scrap Beach Business.
10. First Day Of School.
11. Things Were Going So Well.
12. All In Vain Or The Opposite.
13. Moral and Epilouge.
www.859recordings.com – coming soon