The band that never rests, Super Furry Animals, have just announced details of their new album, which may not have a title yet but does have a track list and a release date. Whatever it ends up being called, SFA's ninth studio album will be released digitally on March 13 via the band's website, with physical versions out on Rough Trade on April 13 in the UK and a week later in the US.
With their last album, 2007's Hey Venus!, being SFA's shortest, most focused album in years, what can we expect from the new one? Says the press release: "Musically it's based around riffs and grooves we've been playing around with over the last few years. We have enough now for a whole album so even though it's still very melodic we thought we could leave off the acoustic ballads for the time being."
Not only will their not be any of their signature Bowie-esque ballads (think "Demons" or "Fire in My Heart") but also no "country rock," which has featured prominently on 00's-era SFA platters. "Daf [Leuan, drummer] has developed a pedal steel phobia. Which has confined the great Nashvillian instrument along with the Saxophone to the banned instrument directive of the SFA board. There's only one slow number, which isn't slow at all."
Cover art this time will be by both longtime SFA graphic designer Pete Fowler and Keiichi Tanaami who provided the "interesting" design for Hey Venus!. I don't know whether this is a collaboration between the two or more a "Pete gets the cover, Tanaami gets the inner sleeve" type of thing, we shall see.
Here's the track listing:
1. 'The very best of Neil Diamond'
2. White socks/Flip Flops.
3. Inaugural Trams.
4. Sounds Familiar.
5. Cardiff in the sun.
6. Where do you wanna go?
7. LLiwiau LLachar.
9. Moped eyes.
11. Crazy Naked Girls.
Nice to see what appears to be a Welsh track on there. We haven't had one of those on an album since their all-Welsh record Mwng in 1999.
In addition to the new album, the various members of the band stay busy on their own. Gruff has both solo albums and his Mercury Prize nominated Neon Neon collaboration with Boom Bip; keyboardist Cian Ciaran will finally be releasing a Acid Casuals album this year; and Daf and bassist Guto Pryce spend time in The Peth with actor Rhys Ifans, who if you haven't heard are pretty good: