Photo by Vanessa Heins
Frog Eyes, the Canadian indie rock project led by Carey Mercer, will release a new album on August 28th via Paper Bag. Pickpocket’s Locket spans 10 tracks and follows 2013’s well-received Carey’s Cold Spring.
For the LP, Mercer’s joined by Melanie Campbell, his life-partner and long-time drummer, Shyla Seller on piano, and Terri Upton on stand-up bass, and electric bass. A press release also notes that Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown’s Spencer Krug — who plays with Mercer in the supergroup Swan Lake — also contributes strings.
According to Mercer, Pickpocket’s Locket was originally built around songs on the acoustic guitar. “An acoustic guitar is still, in 2015, a very effective way of transmitting one’s songs,” he explains in a statement. “I made a deal with myself: write ten songs, write all the words before anyone gets to hear any of the songs, memorize the songs so that I become the hard-drive that the acoustic guitar accesses.” The end result, however, is something he describes as “Douglas Sirk strings, a noble spin on Corky’s Debt to His Father, some Darkness on the Edge of Town vibes.”
Our first preview of the LP comes with “Joe with the Jam”, which definitely recalls a string-heavy version of Bruce Springsteen.
Below, find the tracklist for the new album, followed by new Frog Eyes tour dates.
Pickpocket’s Locket Tracklist:
01. Two Girls (One for Heaven and the Other One for Rome)
02. Joe with the Jam
03. The Beat Is Down (Four Wretched Singers Beyond Any World That You Have Known)
04. Death’s Ship
05. The Demon Runner
06. Rejoinders In a Storm
07. In a Hut
08. Crystal Blip
09. I Ain’t Around Much
10. Rip Down the Fences That Fence the Garden
Frog Eyes 2015 Tour Dates:
07/31-08/02 – Sackville, NB @ SappyFest
09/11 – Toronto, ON @ Smiling Buddha
09/11-12 – Hamilton, ON @ Supercrawl
09/17-20 – Victoria, BC @ Rifflandia
09/18 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
09/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore *
09/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater *
09/21 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place
09/23 – Bellingham, WA @ Shakedown
10/16 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune *
10/17 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom *
* = w/ Destroyer
Also, read an accompanying message from Mercer himself:
“My dad left me his acoustic guitar in his will; it was all he had to give, because he wasn’t a rich man. I wrote ten songs on it, and I think that was the real gift he gave me: a love of music, not just the way you all love it (music lovers), but also a love of creating it, sowing myself, in some small way, into the story of music.
“I was holding the guitar a lot, kind of savoring it: a Martin D-18. I had been making records for a few years with a computer, piling tracks on tracks, writing words over guitar licks already recorded in a studio.
“I came to think of an acoustic guitar as somehow akin to a computer, only in the sense that they are both tools of transmission, both effective in their own way.
“An acoustic guitar is still, in 2015, a very effective way of transmitting one’s songs. I made a deal with myself: write ten songs, write all the words before anyone gets to hear any of the songs, memorize the songs so that I become the hard-drive that the acoustic guitar accesses. I mostly, if not totally, kept to this deal, which is rare: I’m generally pretty easy on myself.
“I wrote about Joseph Beuys, about B. Traven, about God and Abraham and Isaac, about my dad being addicted to speed when he was 17.
“I needed my crew and I found them. Three women: Melanie Campbell, my life-partner and long-time drummer, returned to the band after a hiatus. And my old friend Shyla Seller, an archivist and book designer who happens to also be a really precise and powerful piano player. And Terri Upton, who plays both stand-up bass, and electric bass.
“I am a lucky person.
“And then we needed some more crew, and we found them: our old friend and colleague Spencer Krug, who wrote string parts over the songs. And then Jesse Zubot, who played every string part on the record in one 10-hour day. And John Paton, who plays saxophone. And Paul Rigby, who caught a taxi cab over with his pedal steel guitar.
“I wanted the following: Douglas Sirk strings, a noble spin on Corky’s Debt to His Father, some Darkness on the Edge of Town vibes.”