Fiery Furnaces Prep 'Widow,' Go To The Ballet
After a couple of releases for Fat Possum, sibling indie rock duo the Fiery Furnaces is now aligned with Thrill Jockey for the Oct. 9 release of "Widow City," mixed by Tortoise's John McEntire.After a couple of releases for Fat Possum, sibling indie rock duo the Fiery Furnaces is now aligned with Thrill Jockey for the Oct. 9 release of "Widow City," mixed by Tortoise's John McEntire.
"The approach was to please as many people as possible, in The Fiery Furnaces' manner," group member Matthew Friedberger tells Billboard.com. "'Widow City' is just meant to be a huge hit-type record. We tried to use or play with the sounds of and playing styles from past 'huge hits' from the early and mid-'70s."
The Furnaces have been known for lining their works with conceptual elements, such as the backmasking of 2005's "Bitter Tea," as well as 2005's "Rehearsing My Choir," the mostly spoken word album based around the duo's grandmother. "Widow City" also draws from unifying themes, although Friedberger explains they are not limited to the lyrical content.
"The music is supposed to tell the story as much as, or more than, the words do," he says. "The lyrics were written with, or by means of, ads at the back of design magazines from the early '70s, the cultural pages, if any, of local community minority or alternative lifestyle newspapers and depictions of grieving children using the aforementioned Ouija board."
The band has already written another new album, titled "Back to Begamo," which Matthew says is his sister "Eleanor's selection of her favorite 'arias' of mine." They're also working on a rock'n'roll-themed ballet, where the dancing is based upon American Sign Language, and what Friedberger characterizes as "American event social gestures."
"The 'we're number one' finger and the heavy metal horn-sign and, most importantly, the hand-dancing in Indonesian and Pakistani (religious-minded) pop music videos. There wouldn't be any conventional (full-body) dancing," he explains.
The Fiery Furnaces will tour this fall, kicking off in Newport, Ky., on the new album's release date.