1990s shoegaze icons Swirlies are in the midst of a two-week tour celebrating 25 years with no official break-up, a new 7″, and the anticipated vinyl reissue of their Blondertongue Audiobaton LP (1993), one of the most influential records from the early US shoegaze scene.
This week the band shares a rare track from the Blondertongue Audiobaton period. “Trudy” was recorded on an 8-track in the basement of an MIT dorm. Originally released as part of the Simple Machines’ ‘Working Holiday’ series (the November 7″, split with Pitchblende’s “A Penny for the Guy”), the track is now available digitally for the very first time. Stream the track over at Stereogum.
Swirlies’ last US appearances were in support of Kurt Vile & The Violators in 2013. The lineup will include founding members Damon Tutunjian (guitar/vocals), Seana Carmody (guitar/vocals), and Andy Bernick (bass/keyboards). The shows will be Seana’s first appearances with the band since 2001. Accompanying the original lineup will be longtime members Adam Pierce (Mice Parade) and Rob Laakso (Kurt Vile & the Violators) on drums and guitar respectively. Both have played in Swirlies since the mid-1990s. Elliott Malvas (You’re Jovian) will join on additional guitar and keyboards.
A new, limited edition 7-inch record entitled Swirlies’ Magic Strop: Orca Vs. Dragon, containing three tracks from UK radio sessions, will be released just prior to the tour on the band’s own Sneaky Flute Empire label. The radio tracks are available to stream now over at SPIN and on SoundCloud.
Also anticipated this summer is a Taang! Records vinyl reissue of their classic Blondertongue Audiobaton LP.
Swirlies formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the summer of 1990, and quickly established themselves as central players in the nascent US shoegaze scene (Lilys, Velocity Girl, etc.). Between 1990 and 1992, Swirlies released singles on Slumberland, Pop Narcotic, Simple Machines, and Nervous Records. In 1992, the band signed to Taang!, where they issued number of EPs and LPs, including the early singles compilation What To Do About Them EP (1992), the shoegaze classic Blondertongue Audiobaton LP (1993), the epic They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days In The Glittering World Of The Salons LP (1996), and the remix LP Strictly East Coast Sneaky Flute Music (1998). In the early 2000s, the band released The Yes Girls LP (2000) on its own Sneaky Flute Empire label and Cats of the Wild: Volume Two (2003) on Bubble Core. Since 2003, the band has continued to release cassettes, CDs, and downloadable albums (e.g., the Swirlies’ Magic Strop series) on Sneaky Flute Empire.
The band’s members have collaborated with a number of noteworthy artists. Damon Tutunjian produced Mew’s first LP, co-wrote a number of their songs, and has performed (guitar, bass, vocals, and keyboards) on all of their recordings to date. Rob Laakso plays bass, guitar, and keyboards for Kurt Vile and the Violators. Adam Pierce has played with Mice Parade, HiM, Philistines Jr. and múm.
SWIRLIES’ 2015 TOUR (SILVER OSTRICH ANNIVERSARY)
7.08 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
7.09 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
7.10 Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
7.11 Indianapolis, IN @ Joyful Noise Recordings
7.12 Chicago, IL @ West Fest
7.13 Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory
7.14 Toronto, ON @ Drake Hotel
7.15 Montreal, QC @ Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B.
3. Vigilant Always
4. His Love Just Washed Away
5. His Life of Academic Freedom
7. Jeremy Parker
8. Park the Car by the Side of the Road
9. Tree Chopped Down
10. Wrong Tube
11. Wait Forever