Portland band Wampire has been relatively quiet lately, but expect that all to change in 2013: The band is opening for Unknown Mortal Orchestra on that band's upcoming national tour, plus Polyvinyl Records just announced that they signed the Portland duo of Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps, and will put out their new album Curiosity on May 7. There's also a new single, "The Hearse," which premiered on Pitchfork today and which you can hear right now.
"The Hearse" comes out on a purple vinyl 7-inch (with racy cover!) on March 5 and will be backed by a cover of Kraftwerk's "Das Modell." Meanwhile, the nine-track Curiosity was produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Jacob Portrait, whose production credits also include Blouse, and who also reportedly became very well integrated into Wampire, according to the band's new press bio:
And so, in mid-August Tinder and Phipps each brought fragments of song ideas into the studio, before deconstructing, re-arranging, and fitting them back together piece by piece — at times lyrics and melodies were thrown out, brought back from the dead, or improvised on the spot.Other album track titles include "The Orchard," "Trains," and "Magic Light." Meanwhile, "The Hearse" is a fine showcase for Wampire's development, maintaining the bedazzled, zooted sound of the band's previous, dance-friendly records but offering something a little more urgent and impassioned. It makes me think the titular hearse is in the middle of a high-speed chase, a bizarre but cinematic image that's appropriate for Wampire's new sound.
This loosely structured approach made the process truly collaborative, with producer Portrait occasionally chipping in ideas for lyrics, arrangements, and instrumentation.