Skip to content

Stream Throwing Muses’ Two New Songs, From First Album in 10 Years

throwing muses, purgatory/paradise, new album, art book

Throwing Muses will finally return this fall with their first new album in 10 years. Titled Purgatory/Paradise, the upcoming record is formatted as a multimedia set — a 64-page art book that comes with a 32-track CD. The book features design by drummer Dave Narcizo and promises a collage of lyrics, photographs, and writing by frontwoman Kristin Hersh, one of SPIN’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. According to an official announcement, the book will hit shelves on October 28, while the full release is due November 11 via Harper Collins’ It Books (U.S.) and Friday Project (U.K.) imprints.

Hersh has been teasing the new LP — the band’s ninth overall and first since 2003’s self-titled effort — for years. Back in January 2011, she confirmed on Twitter that Throwing Muses had finished early recording sessions. Then, last November, she revealed that she had “just finished writing the book that is throwing muses’ new record.”

Now, not only do we know what she meant by that cryptic clue, but we’ve also got two samples of the impending full-length: Throwing Muses have shared “sleepwalking 1” and “sunray venus,” two slate-gray, sore-throated tunes included on Purgatory/Paradise. Stream the darkly jangling “sleepwalking 1” below, and head over to Throwing Muses’ official website to hear the bluesy “sunray venus.”

Purgatory/Paradise also packs in a slew of exclusive downloadable content, including commentary and instrumentals. And aside from the physical release, the project will be available as an interactive e-book/music app.

Formed in 1981 in Rhode Island, Throwing Muses were alt-rock pioneers, becoming the first American band to be signed by 4AD, the British record label that eventually signed another beloved band from the New England area, the Pixies. As mentioned in SPIN’s in-depth 2004 oral history of the Pixies, the two groups toured together and became close friends. Eventually, Tanya Donelly, a founding member of Throwing Muses, left the band after forming the Breeders with the Pixies’ (now ex-bassist) Kim Deal. For a look into the scene that surrounded those three bands, read Life to the Pixies.

Purgatory/Paradise track list:

1. “smoky hands”
2. “morning birds 1”
3. “sleepwalking 2”
4. “sunray venus”
5. “cherry candy 1”
6. “film”
7. “opiates”
8. “cherry candy 2”
9. “freesia”
10. “curtains 1”
11. “triangle quanitico”
12. “morning birds 2”
13. “lazy eye”
14. “blurry 1”
15. “folding fire”
16. “slippershell”
17. “bluff”
18. “blurry 2”
19. “terra nova”
20. “walking talking”
21. “milan”
22. “curtains 2”
23. “folding fire 1”
24. “static”
25. “clark’s nutcracker”
26. “dripping trees”
27. “sleepwalking 1”
28. “smoky hands 2”
29. “speedbath”
30. “quick”
31. “dripping trees 2”
32. “glass cats”