Hey Clockface (Red)Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Recorded in Helsinki, Paris and New York, Hey Clockface is the latest Elvis Costello and Sebastian Krys production, following their collaboration on Elvis Costello and The Imposters' Grammy-winning album Look Now. Hey Clockface also features contributions from Bill Frisell, Nels Cline and Steve Nieve. "I wanted the record to be vivid, whether the songs demanded playing that was loud and jagged or intimate and beautiful," Costello said of the project's emotional and dynamic range.
Following the solo recording of "No Flag," "Hetty O'Hara Confidential" and "We Are All Cowards Now" at Suomenlinnan Studio, Helsinkiby Eetü Seppälä in February 2020, Costello immediately traveled to Paris for a weekend session at Les Studios Saint Germain. The ensemble, dubbed, "Le Quintette Saint Germain," was recruited for these dates by Nieve (who plays grand piano, upright piano, organ, mellotron & melodica) features Mickaél Gasche on trumpet, flugel horn and serpent, Pierre-François ‘Titi' Dufour on cello and the drums, percussion and high harmonies of Ajuq. Reed player, Renaud-Gabriel Pion brought many tones and colors to the performances, playing, contrabass clarinet, bass clarinet, Bb clarinet, tenor saxophone, bass flute and cor anglais. The Paris sessions were recorded by François Delabrière.
The New York sessions were produced by composer, arranger and trumpet player, Michael Leonhart in collaboration with Frisell and Cline and completed, lyrically and vocally by Costello, "via Electrical Wire." "Michael sent this music to me from New York at the perfect time," Costello adds. "It connected to elements in both of the previous sessions and completed the picture."
The Boy Named If (IEX purple)Regular price $36.00 Save $-36.00
Elvis Costello & The Imposters return with The Boy Named If, an album of urgent, immediate songs with bright melodies, stinging guitar solos, and a quick step to the rhythm. Co-produced with Sebastian Krys, the 13 snapshots "...take us from the last days of a bewildered boyhood to that mortifying moment when you are told to stop acting like a child – which for most men (and perhaps a few gals too) can be any time in the next fifty years," as Costello put it. "The full title of this record is ‘The Boy Named If (And Other Children's Stories).' ‘If' is a nickname for your imaginary friend; your secret self, the one who knows everything you deny, the one you blame for the shattered crockery and the hearts you break, even your own."
"I started The Boy Named If with just an electric guitar, some sharps and flats, high heels and lowdowns, with five songs in bright major keys and carried on to write a whole new record for The Imposters to play," Costello notes. Speaking of the recording sessions, Costello said, "The initial rhythm section for this record was my guitar and Pete Thomas' Gretsch drums, recorded down in Bonaparte Rooms West. Our Imposter pal of 20 years standing, Davey Faragher soon dialed in his Fender bass and vocals while we awaited dispatches from France. If the record sounded swell as a trio, Steve Nieve's organ was the icing on the cake, the cherry and the little silver balls."
And on the lyrical content of the record, Elvis shares, "Once upon a time, when I didn't know what a kiss could do and didn't even dare to caress, the way ahead was a mystery; a departing from that magic state called innocence for the pain that leads to pleasure and all that jazz. Don't get me started about the guilt and shame and all those other useless possessions that you must throw overboard before you set sail with your dreamboat (and a runcible spoon)."
This Year's Model (Remastered)Regular price $28.00 Save $-28.00
The first record he made with his legendary backing band the Attractions, This Year's Model is Elvis Costello's most explosive and urgent album. Picking up where his fine My Aim Is True left off, the British singer/guitarist blasts through 12 excellent tracks with the fervent purpose and headlong pace of someone who has a cab waiting for him outside. Stylistically versatile, deeply varied, and melodically catchy, this where Costello came into his own – and where the chemistry between virtuosic keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas, and drummer Pete Thomas produced one of rock's best groups.
A dynamic maelstrom of emotional spite, bitter frustration, sexual angst, and caustic political commentary, the 1978 set boosted Costello's star and yielded innumerable standards: the undying MOR protest "Radio Radio," fervent "Pump It Up," and spunky "No Action" are all here. While often cited as Costello's "angry" record, This Year's Model has more to do with disappointments and denials. The album bursts forth with a savage energy not possible without the Attractions, which are responsible for the songs being built from the ground up. Where Costello's voice and twangy guitar dominate My Aim Is True, here, sizzling rhythms and Nieve's colorful organ runs anchor the foundations. This is a group effort, with Costello's biting lyrics taking chances and forcing the listener to mull double meanings all the while the music zooms by at a fast clip.
Railing against unachievable desires, Costello and company delight in the anguish, and spit such torment back out in the form of hook-ridden music that functions as a brilliant form of situational confirmation and emotional catharsis well over 40 years later. This Year's Model has been newly remastered and is available here on 180g vinyl LP with the addition of "Big Tears" and "Radio Radio."