Updated August 17th
An autographed test pressing of Sketches Of Brunswick East sold on ebay for AU $2,950.00 tonight with all proceeds going to an unspecified charity. Since the auction ended the album was surprise digitally released and is streaming now on bandcamp. Pre-orders for a limited edition of 1000 copies world-wide (printed on 200 gram white vinyl with ultra-deluxe embossed cover) are now available at flightlessrecords.com to ship September 25th. A pre-order for a black vinyl edition is also available now at Stones Throw, shipping October 13th.
Last November King Gizzard teased that they would release five studio albums in 2017. With two already out and a third done and ready for release, they just might.
In February they issued Flying Microtonal Banana, an excursion in recording with a custom-designed guitar tuned to allow intervals smaller than Western music’s standard twelve equally divided pitches per octave (stream the full album on bandcamp). They followed it last month with Murder Of The Universe, a concept album combining three separate stories relying on spoken word narration (stream the full album on bandcamp). In the past week numerous details about their next album have been revealed, mostly from an interview that frontman Stu McKenzie and drummer Eric Moore gave to Triple J radio’s Veronica and Lewis program, as well as from a leak of what’s believed to be its album cover. Check it out below in this handy list of everything we know (and think we know) about the forthcoming LP:
As confirmed by Heavenly Records, the title of the album is Sketches Of Brunswick East. Aside from being released on Heavenly Recordings in the United Kingdom, it’s expected on ATO Records in the United States and Moore’s Flightless Records in Australia.
The Album Cover And Tracklist
Allegedly the band was hacked two days after Jason Galea finished Sketches Of Brunswick East’s album art – which includes its tracklist. It subsequently leaked online:
- Sketches Of Brunswick East I
- Cities, Planes, Migraines
- The Spider And Me
- Sketches Of Brunswick East II
- Dusk To Dawn On Lygon Street
- The Book
- A Journey To
- Rolling Stoned
- You Can Be Your Silhouette
- Sketches Of Brunswick East III
Note the tenth track’s title is incomplete. It appears to be a “A Journey To” somewhere, but the writing of the end of the line is illegible.
Stu Mackenzie made a guest appearance at Mild High Club’s September 6, 2015 show playing flute on one of the songs that’s since been recorded for Sketches of Brunswick East, “Rolling Stoned.” A snippet of a studio version of the song appeared in the opening seconds of a video uploaded to YouTube earlier this year called “LA SUX – Episode 1.” (Compare the live recording to the studio snippet here.)
Release “Very Soon”
King Gizzard drummer Eric Moore (founder of the band’s Flightless Records) confirmed to Triple J that the LP is now finished and will be issued “hopefully very soon,” though stopped short of announcing a release date. “We’re just gonna drop it at any point,” Moore said. “It’s just coming out, straight up.” An article published August 1st by konbini.com initially claimed Sketches of Brunswick East is due August 25th, but has since been edited to remove any specific date and replace it with a generic “coming soon.”
Recording Process Details
Sketches Of Brunswick East is a collaboration with Mild High Club frontman Alexander Brettin. McKenzie explained the genius of the album on Triple J:
“[Mild High Club] came over and played Gizzfest with us in December and [Alex] just stayed at my house for a few weeks. We were sending each other these really rough, vague ideas before that…usually just a chord progression or a melody.” McKenzie told Triple J that while Brettin was staying with them they worked on about 15 recordings. McKenzie explained in an interview with Artist Direct last month how this process led to the title of the album: “Alex from Mild High Club, they came over and played Gizzfest in December, and ended up just staying at my house for a few weeks. We had really, really vague ideas before we started, a handful of iPhone voice memos to each other, which we ended up calling sketches. Mostly they were just a chord progression or some melodic part with a chord thing underneath it. It was just simple stuff. They really were just jump off points, and when we finally got together, we sort of fleshed these songs out together.”
This week on Triple J McKenzie said the worked on the album almost every day Brettin was staying with them in December 2016. He previously described the sessions to Artist Direct noting the casual manner the material developed. “A lot of the time Alex and I sitting on the couch in my living room with two unplugged electric guitars, just sort of noodling, until we kind of felt like we were somewhere. Going to the studio just like, I don’t know, whoever was around, usually there were four or five of us and we would just get together and kind of try and make these little sort of doodly things into songs, which is probably not that uncommon of a way to try and make music, but there is a certain pressure that was there when you know that Alex or you know that the person that you are working with isn’t going to be there for very long.
We were just making these bizarre recordings that weren’t songs by any stretch, though some of them felt like they were more songs than others, and there were a lot of pieces of music that were like, “okay that’s something, but what is it?” And it took a long time, up until now really, to feel like… We’ve been kind of going back and forth, sending each other overdubs and recording vocals and flushing out these songs and just getting all the sort of disparate… a lot of them were, at the time, improvised somewhat jazz-inspired pieces of music, and try to make them into what felt like a record or a cohesive thing that was worthy of being a record, and I think we got there in the end, but it took a long time.”
Since the December 2016 sessions Gizz and Brettin “spent up until a month ago going back and forward, changing them, cutting things out… [and] finished the record that way.” Stu previously discussed the completion of the album with Artist Direct:
“I wasn’t sure if this was going to take another year, or if we needed to get together again and work on this a little more, but I think what we came up with is really interesting and it’s funny to me, maybe not to anyone else, but it’s funny to me that when I listen to the record it actually kind of does sound like in between Mild High Club and King Gizzard, so I’m not sure if that was just always what was going to happen, but it’s funny that that was kind of the end result, to me at least.”
“It’s just a strange record.”
On Triple J McKenzie described the material as “interesting, chilled, jazzy, loose improvised pieces.” He previously told Artist Direct, “it’s a lot more relaxed than Murder of the Universe obviously, and there are more sort of individual songs, but a lot of the songs segue to other pieces of music and there are a lot of interlinking things and there is some fun instrumentation on the record.
Alex and I were saying to each other when we were making this record because Alex has been working on another Mild High Club record as well and we just kept saying to each other, ‘This is the record where we just do weird stuff. This is the record where we just do anything, who care? Let’s just make some weird music, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it. It’s just a strange record. It just is it’s own thing, let us stretch our limbs and just see what happens. We have three weeks, let’s make some bizarre music,’ and funny enough it didn’t end up that bizarre, but it’s something.”
All That Jazz
The title of the album is a nod to Sketches of Spain, Miles Davis’ classic 1960 collaborative LP with Gil Evans. A Heavenly Recordings April 2017 press statement first revealed Sketches Of Brunswick East is “a jazz-based, improv- leaning collection entitled Sketches Of Brunswick East, whose name alludes to both Miles Davis’ Sketches Of Spain, the notion of sketches as outlines for ideas and all- round sketchy behaviour.”
Speaking to Artist Direct Mackenzie explained, “it’s jazzy, it’s definitely not a jazz improvisation album. As much as I’d like it to be a jazz improvisation album, I think that would be fairly flattering. There is improvisation on this record. It’s a weird record, it’s all over the place, and the nature of it being collaboration and the nature of the way we made, caused it to be a certain thing.”
Three Down, Two To Go
As for the two albums to follow Sketches Of Brunswick East and complete Gizzard’s ambition of five studio releases in 2017, at last update Mackenzie admitted they’re “sort of distant at the moment, but we’ll see. We’ve got a little bit of time at home, so I think we’ll do it. But who knows.” Note the aforementioned Heavenly Recordings April press statement that revealed Sketches of Brunswick East’s album title and jazz inspirations also confirmed “two more albums will follow that in 2017. But that is a story for another day…”
In Other News
Last week the band met Baby Driver director Edgar Wright, a self-described massive fan of the band:
This past spring the two parties exchanged tweets suggesting Wright – best known for directing Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End) may direct an upcoming video for the band:
Also last week King Gizzard released an official video for “Invisible Face” (from last year’s Nonagon Infinity):