Album of the Week: Spiritualized

And Nothing Hurt Out Now via Fat Possum and Bella Union

Sep 07, 2018
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Spiritualized (aka Jason Pierce and backing band) released a new album, And Nothing Hurt, today via Fat Possum (and Bella Union in the U.K.) and it's easily our Album of the Week. It's been a long six years since Spiritualized's last album, 2012's Sweet Heart Sweet Light. The gap is not explained away by a broken heart or health problems, Pierce was simply struggling to translate the ambitious album in his head to tape, with limited recourses. He recorded most of the album at home, which is amazing to think about when you hear the lush results. Production-wise, And Nothing Hurt doesn't sound a million miles away from Spiritualized's best work on 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space and 2001's Let It Come Down, both recorded with bigger budgets in full-on professional studios.

"Making this record on my own sent me more mad than anything I've done before," Pierce said in a press release announcing the album. "We'd been playing these big shows and I really wanted to capture that sound we were making but, without the funds to do, I had to find a way to work within the constraints of what money I had. So I bought a laptop and made it all in a little room in my house.

"The biggest thing for me was to try to make it sound like a studio session," Pierce continued. "There are bits that I went to a studio to record - mainly drums and percussion. I mean, there's no way I'm going to get timpani up my stairs. When I came to terms with how I was going to make the record, I assumed it was going to sound like Lee Perry - all flying in from different angles; all extraordinary and not hi-tech in construction. But I was new to it all, I didn't have all the short cuts people use when they're making records - I just sat there for weeks... for months... moving every level up bit by bit just to try to get the sounds right."

Pierce finally worked out his process, but admits it would have been much easier if he had recorded in a regular studio. "With a bit of trial and lot of error, I found ways of doing something that's quite simple, if you've got the resources," he said. "I spent two weeks listening to classical records and strumming the chord that I wanted on my guitar. When I found something to match what I wanted, I'd sample that bit and go for the next chord and try to match that. It took weeks, trying to put together and layer convincing string sounds. But, if I'm honest, all I wanted was for someone to come and play the part and bring their own thing to the record."

When the album was announced, Spiritualized shared two songs from it, "I'm Your Man" and "A Perfect Miracle," as well as a video for "I'm Your Man." The two songs both made our Songs of the Week list. Then Pierce shared another song from the album, the fairly relaxed "Here It Comes (The Road) Let's Go," which also made our Songs of the Week list.

Pierce previously said that this could be the last Spiritualized album, that he found it too frustrating to replicate the sounds in his head. He commented on this in the press release. "I was quite sincere about that and I still feel like it might be the case," he confirmed. "It was such hard work. I found myself going crazy for so long. It's not like there's no coming back, I'm fine now...it's just such a hard thing to do, to make a record like this on your own. It's almost as if, if I'm not pushing myself to point of madness, it's not going to be right. I think the biggest goal is to make something that's worthy of all that time and effort. And the more time and effort, the bigger the goal. I knew I had to make something that was good enough that it should be made. And a massive positive about making the record is that we get to play it live. That's always the most joyous thing; this amazing thing that seems to come right through the roof."

Read our 2008 interview with Jason Pierce.

Spiritualized Tour Dates:

Friday 21st September - London - Eventim Apollo
Saturday 22nd September - Angers, France - Levitation
Sunday 23rd September - Paris - Cabaret Sauvage 
Thursday 11th October - New York City - Kings Theatre 
Tuesday 16th October - Los Angeles - The Orpheum Theatre 
Friday 2nd November - Barcelona - Razzmatazz 
Saturday 3rd November - Madrid - La Rivera 
Saturday 24th November - Berlin - Synasthesie Festival 

www.spiritualized.com

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

Eric Bachmann: No Recover (Merge)

Paul McCartney: Egypt Station (Capitol)

Mothers: Render Another Ugly Method (ANTI-)

Teleman: Family of Aliens (Moshi Moshi)

Waxahatchee: Great Thunder EP (Merge)

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