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The Pastels collaborate with Japan’s Tenniscoats on new Domino album, Two Sunsets

By June 29, 2009No Comments

The Pastels and Tenniscoats

Domino and Geographic are thrilled to announce that the long-awaited Pastels and Tenniscoats collaboration, Two Sunsets, will be release this Fall. It will be available on vinyl, CD and download on September 22.

Recorded in Glasgow over a two or three year period usually around Tenniscoats’ UK touring, the album started out casually from a simple idea of booking some studio time to see what happens. Songs seemed to arrive as needed and a group mode was established, usually Saya and Ueno from Tenniscoats with Stephen, Katrina and Gerard Love from The Pastels with Tom Crossley, Alison Mitchell, and sometimes Norman Blake and Bill Wells dropping by. The sound is sort of compact but not too earth-bound; it opens out with graceful notes, odd notes, the melodic clang of cars and trees in the summer, and birds, trees, slopes, adventures. It’s melodic, optimistic, brilliant.


The album will be preceded by a single for “Vivid Youth” with the b-sides “About You” (a JAMC cover) and “About You (Instrumental)”

“Vivid Youth” looks like this summer but makes you think of last summer too; hopeful and kind of strident sounding, the spectacular moment when a bonfire really catches fire. And in the shadow there’s something else too, something secretive, beautiful and exciting. This Pastels / Tenniscoats sound is very summer-ish, everyone’s playing feels very of the moment; maybe it’s the evening to Billy Stewart’s “Sitting In The Park” or Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing In The Grass.” Night time is inevitably Question Mark & The Mysterians. That’s what I think anyway. A bright coloured, brilliant moment, a Gerard Love and Katrina Mitchell composition. An ‘almost’ pop single? An unhesitant yes.

“About You” feels like another type of summer feeling. It’s raining heavily outside and maybe for a moment you feel a bit stuck. You feel a weight, a certain melancholy, but only for a moment because actually the summer rain’s great to walk around in and you feel alive and warm. It’s finding the good in everything, and summer rain is the best kind and that’s what this feels like. The sound is like this… it’s sort of organic but not right on, it’s running loops too, soft, almost mechanical rain. It’s a song from The Jesus And Mary Chain’s Darklands album which The Pastels recorded with Tenniscoats as part of a commission for a theatre production but which felt like it belonged in the album session. Initial recordings with Norman Blake in Queens Park, Glasgow, expanding out into other places.

The Pastels are from Glasgow and Tenniscoats from Tokyo. They have different sounds but something in common too. This collaboration which eventually became the Two Sunsets album arose from a suggestion by Tenniscoats that some studio time be booked while they were in Glasgow, just to see what happens, and maybe to try to find out what it is that they have in common. The first recording was promising and slightly rushed, but suggested enough to carry on. Tenniscoats had often been playing shows in Scotland, over a two or three year period at various recording sessions, it suddenly seemed like they’d accumulated about an album of songs which originated from members of both groups, Saya and Ueno from Tenniscoats, and Stephen and Katrina from The Pastels, with Gerard Love always there too, and often Tom Crossley, Alison Mitchell, and sometimes Norman Blake and Bill Wells.

It all felt very natural; graceful notes, odd notes and finally now arriving as if on the summer air, through the trees, and down the slope, this single and then an album, not one, Two Sunsets.

The Pastels / Tenniscoats
Two Sunsets
(Domino / Geographic)
Street date: Sept. 22, 2009

1. So Many Stars
2. Two Sunsets
3. Song For A Friend
4. Vivid Youth
5. Yomigaeru
6. Modesty Piece
7. About You
8. Boats
9. Hikoki
10. From On A Mountain_Sodane
11. Mou Mou Rainbow
12. Start Slowly


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