Barely out of high school when their debut album, I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child, emerged in 2006, Manchester Orchestra are showing signs of exponential growth with “I Was a Lid,” available here exclusively for download, from the band’s Let My Pride Be What’s Left Behind EP, out Oct. 14.
Recorded earlier this year in the band’s hometown of Atlanta, the song opens with a docile acoustic intro, seeped in rootsy Americana, before surging into a sonic buildup that melds Southern fried swagger with a jagged guitar line seemingly peeled off a British post-punk classic.
Listen: Manchester Orchestra, “I Was A Lid” (DOWNLOAD MP3)
“This song was an experiment for us, in that we didn’t record it as traditionally as we are used to,” frontman Andy Hull tells SPIN.com. “We started from scratch and tried to gradually evolve it from a dark pop song into some of the heaviest guitar tones I’ve been able to find for us.”
As the musical transition occurs, so does a change in Hull’s voice, shifting from an earnest whisper to a dense, multi-tracked assault. “Instead of focusing on one particular vocal line, I tried to pair up several lines at once and layer them on top of each other,” Hull says. The effect cleverly depicts an individual grasping many things at once, and being crushed by the accumulated weight of them. “I always get the feeling when I listen to the lyrics that they’re from this man who realizes nothing is actually kind,” Hull explains. “It’s like he is angry that he has been deceived for so long by thinking that being good will actually get you somewhere.”
The EP also includes “I Can Feel a Hot One,” another new track that ended up in a recent episode of Gossip Girl and is slated to appear on Manchester Orchestra’s next album, Mean Everything to Nothing, due in early 2009 and in production now. Three live versions of songs from I’m Like a Virgin round out the EP.
After wrapping the new album, Manchester Orchestra will tour the country in November and December with Kevin Devine, Dead Confederate, and All Get Out.