Tuesday, January 5, 2010
eels to release 'break-up abum'
If you were left a little disappointed by eels' 2009 release Hombre Lobo, it mightn't be time to write off Mark 'E' Everett just yet: on January 19th, another album will follow hot on its heels, and by the sound of things it's more in keeping with the agonisingly direct, soul-baring songwriting that led to classics like Electro-Shock Blues and Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. E has a habit of writing music for separate projects simultaneously, and it may well be that Hombre Lobo was to the forthcoming album what records like Souljacker and Shootenanny! were to his ambitious Blinking Lights double-set: loose, rocky diversions from the thematic structures that characterise his more intense work.
Apparently this album is so personal that E is refusing to do interviews to promote it. From eels' official website:
" The eighth EELS studio album, END TIMES, is the sound of an artist growing older in uncertain times. An artist who has lost his great love while struggling with his faith in an increasingly hostile world teetering on self-destruction. Largely self-recorded on an old four track tape machine by EELS leader Mark Oliver Everett aka E in his Los Angeles basement, it's a "divorce album" with a modern twist: the artist equates his personal loss with the world he lives in losing its integrity. When Everett finds comfort "in a dying world," the END TIMES he speaks of isn't about "Mayan calendar conspiracy theory bullshit," he says, but, "the state of the desperate times we live in. The bottom line-ness of it all. The end of common decency. The loss of caring about doing a good job. These are tough times. Who can you trust? Walter Cronkite is just a ghost."
...While the last EELS album, HOMBRE LOBO tackled the subject of desire, "the before, the spark that ignites everything," Everett says, END TIMES is about the other side: the after. And while HOMBRE LOBO was written from the point of view of a fictional character, END TIMES is pure real life. "
"In my younger days
I would've just chalked it up
As part of my ongoing education
But I've had enough
Been through some stuff
And I don't need any more misery
To teach me what I should be
I just need you back"
- 'In My Younger Days'
Now when you bear in mind that eels' 1998 album Electro-Shock Blues dealt with the loss of Everett's sister to suicide and his mother's terminal illness in harrowing detail, it's a pretty safe bet that a break-up album from the same man probably isn't going to be the feel-good release of 2010.
The track 'Little Bird' is available as a free download from eels' official website:
...and here's the video for 'In My Younger Days':