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MP3 The Fiery Furnaces - "Tropical Ice-Land" (single version)
The siblings Friedberger, Matthew & Eleanor, just won't let up. The bro & sis duo that make up Brooklyn's (by way of Illinois) the Fiery Furnaces first dumped their odd blues-rock debut Gallowsbird's Bark on the general public in the fall of 2003, garnering accolades & appearing on year-end "best of" lists galore. Then they returned in the spring of this year with this entirely re-arranged version of Bark's "Tropical Ice-Land" as a UK single, just a couple months before releasing the behemoth that is their sophomore LP, Blueberry Boat, with its 10 minute sprawling songs & innate ability to polarize listeners. And as I mentioned before, Pitchfork has reported that 2005 will see three, yup, three releases from the Friedbergers, including one recorded with their grandmother Olga Sarantos. Talk about prolific.

I originally downloaded this jazzed-up version of "Tropical Ice-Land" from iTunes back in the spring, and it was posted in the early days of this blog. But you will soon be able to get this track on disc stateside, as it is on the great new EP that will be released on January 11, which I wrote about a week & a half ago (scroll down). The Furnaces' label Rough Trade were extremely generous to send me an advance copy, a kind gesture that was similarly experienced by bloggers such as bradley's almanac (scroll way down) and WeirdCurves. Anybody else have this happen to them?

I absolutely love this single version of "Tropical Ice-land". The more quiet, guitar-strummed version that appears on Gallowsbird's Bark is lovely, bird chirps & all. But that Matt & Eleanor could take such a calm, soulful tune & turn into a frantically upbeat, catchy as all get-out, orgiastic circus-ride of a song just goes to show how utterly talented they really are. It's an all-out aural assault pop masterpiece, and certainly one of my favorite tracks of the year. It's too bad they had to do those weird backward effects over the lyrics about "hash or weed" & "Denmark", though it still sounds cool.



Track 01: The Arcade Fire - "Wake Up"
Track 02: Frou Frou - "Let Go"
Track 03: The Walkmen - "The Rat"
Track 04: Interpol - "C'mere"
Track 05: Franz Ferdinand - "Jacqueline"
Track 06: The Killers - "Somebody Told Me"
Track 07: Junior Boys - "Bellona"
Track 08: Kings of Convenience - "I'd Rather Dance With You"
Track 09: The Go! Team - "Bottle Rocket"
Track 10: Belle & Sebastian - "Your Cover's Blown"
Track 11: TV on the Radio - "The Wrong Way"
Track 12: Metric - "Succexy"

MP3 The Fiery Furnaces - "Single Again"
This is the lead-off track on EP, which also was released as a UK single back in July, just before Blueberry Boat came out. I first heard this song when JRDN & I saw the Furnaces at the Entry in the fall of 2003. Fluxblog posted a live version (as part of a triptych) back in June & TTIKTDA followed up with the studio version the following month. Now Insound is nice enough to host it as a free download in anticipation of EP's upcoming release.

MP3 The Fiery Furnaces - "Evergreen"
This is the third track on EP, though it was also the b-side of the import "Single Again" cd single. It starts a little abruptly because it flows right out of "Here Comes The Summer" (track two), which TTIKDTA posted a short while back (still active as of today). This song was played during the Furnaces' 400 Bar performance that JRDN attended back in September (scroll down), which was one of the best shows I saw all year (during which I celebrated my 26th birthday). And this song makes me smile.

Just Concerts apparently has the Furnaces' September 12th performance from Toronto streamable via real audio, though I couldn't get it to work on my computer. Heads up from the outstanding Blueberry Boat fansite.

ETA: Listen up for a Har Mar song on tonite's episode of The O.C. (via Bolt).

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