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Jeffrey Lewis

“A Turn In The Dream-Songs”, exclusive streaming

Jeffrey Lewis

Jeffrey Lewis says he is not too amused to leave his beloved New York right now. People are taking to the streets demanding equality and justice, and asking the government not to trample on their right to a dignified life. He says that if he could, he would join up with the demonstrators by slagging off Wall Street or whatever was politically necessary.

This is an important moment for his city, and for the victims of the economical crisis. Something that doesn’t come as a surprise for a man, who has been of key importance in the origins of the antifolk movement. His lo-fi songs are full of witty lyrics, and dark and nihilistic humour.

Jeffrey can’t be in New York because he has a tour that kicked off this past sunday in Exeter. With further dates to follow in Spain and Portugal. He then returns back to the UK until the beginning of November.

He will be playing songs from his new album “A Turn In The Dream-Songs” (Acuarela / Rough Trade 2011), which is released next week. However, you have the chance to stream it in it’s entirety here (thanks to Acuarela), while you read Jeffrey’s comments of each song. 1. “To Go And Return”

"Sometimes a guitar part can hypnotize me, and I keep rotating in it until the words follow the pull of their own sounds and rhymes and rhythms, and this is a song which allows me to be in love with the sound. Unexpectedly we got Lucy Baines of Misty's Big Adventure stopping by our recording studio with her saxophone, and when she blew sax all over this it really sent the whole thing into the stratosphere for me. We just played it till the tape reel ran out. That's the sound at the end of the track, the cello feedback stops abruptly because the tape ran out." {mp3}01 To Go And Return{/mp3}

2. “How Can It Be”

"Maybe the oldest song on the album, I've been playing this live for about 3 years, but I never had a good recording of it. The crazy backing vocal arrangement on this recording is a new idea, that's all from Dr. Dog, we've done a lot of touring with Dr. Dog and they were kind enough to contribute these backing vocals, it's a great skill that they have." {mp3}02 How Can It Be{/mp3}

3. “I Got Lost”

"I don't often play piano nowadays but I used to play piano a bit before I picked up guitar. I'm not doing anything very fancy with this piano but I think this recording might be my favorite on the album, I love the piano, I love the drums, and Franic's mandolin playing was very inspirational here. Franic is the bass player of the Wave Pictures but he's secretly a great mandolin player, he's not as busy as some other mandolin players but he has a superb sense of melody and phrasing on the mandolin, and his mandolin approach is a big part of the sound of this whole record. I think a lot of people seem to focus on the songs of mine that have a whole lot of words, but I do also write a lot of songs with very few words, and this is a few-word song." {mp3}03 I Got Lost{/mp3}

4. “Boom Tube”

"Every fan of 1970s Jack Kirby comics will know that a Boom Tube is a way of getting from place to place. In house in Manchester I found a DVD player with a strange feature, it would allow you to play CDs backwards but not entirely backwards; it would play a few seconds backwards then a few seconds forwards, then a few seconds backwards, like walking forwards and backwards at the same time, that's what I used to make this song." {mp3}04 Boom Tube{/mp3}

5. “Time Trades”

"The older you get, the faster time seems to go, everybody knows that. So how come people don't wait until later in life to do things that take a long time? It would be so much faster to do a 3-year project when you're 40 years old than it would be to do a 3-year project when you're 20 years old." {mp3}05 Time Trades{/mp3}

6. “Cult Boyfriend”

"Every girlfriend I've ever had has seemed like they're totally insane for me, and then when I'm single nobody is interested at all. So if I'm the kind of person you either really like a lot or have no interest in, then I'm like the boyfriend equivalent of The Grateful Dead. Or maybe Phish, to be more humble about it. Okay, okay, Insane Clown Posse." {mp3}06 Cult Boyfriend{/mp3}

7. “Krongu Green Slime”

"This is all about green slime as the title says, though it's really too sad to play this song live very much, I don't even like listening to it much. It's the best song on the album probably, in my own opinion. That's also why I just left it alone, no extra instruments. This was originally written on the back of an envelope on a 9-hour bus ride from Maine to New York, I was trying to sleep but every few minutes I would think of another line and scribble it down." {mp3}07 Krongu Green Slime{/mp3}

8. “Try It Again” "This song, and Reaching at the end of the album, are both a different kind of song for me, I think How Can It Be is also in this new category for me, they are all really pop songs and that is not something I've done before. They are all very short songs, but with musically different verse and chorus sections and nice melodies and harmonies. I guess to most people that's what a song is in the first place, but to me it's something new. Try It Again in particular is a trickier song than I usually play, with a weird chord change and a harmonized vocal on the chorus, and an electric guitar. It was difficult to teach my band at first, and there's a pretty funny demo recording of it from a year or so ago, the drums and the bass are totally falling apart all over it because the timing is a little weird and they hadn't got it yet."

{mp3}08 Try It Again{/mp3}

9. “When You're By Yourself” "Food has always been charged with sorrow for me, I don't know why, maybe when I was young somebody hit me in the head with a loaf of bread or something. The sorrow of the world can be found in food, maybe because when you have food you have met your body's needs and you are forced to realize that there's nothing else." {mp3}09 When Youre By Yourself{/mp3}

10. “So What If I Couldn't Take It Anymore”

"Usually in the past I've noticed that a lot of my songwriting tended to sift through bad situations until I could find a way to twist my idea of it into an idea that was hopeful, some way to use creativity to bend my own perspective out of despair into hopefulness, but now I think I've run out of hopefulness, at least for the time being it seems. The only thing to do is look at the despair so closely and so deeply that it turns funny, it's not exactly hope but if I can laugh then everything's okay." {mp3}10 So What If I Couldnt Take It{/mp3}

11. “From Draz” "A duet for snare drum and phaser pedals. I've got more instrumental stuff recorded, some longer things, I'd like to put out more of the instrumental material some time, it reflects some of the sounds we get as a live band and it has a sense of discovery that goes outside of words. Still, I can never quite get into jazz." {mp3}11 From Draz{/mp3}

12. “Water Leaking, Water Moving”

"I kept trying to get sounds like Ira Kaplan, my favorite guitar player, but Franic advised me not to try to do that and instead to think about what Neil Young might do, and Franic's advice was very helpful." {mp3}12 Water Leaking, Water Moving{/mp3}

13. “Reaching” "Annie Hart from Au Revoir Simone sang this as a duet with me, I was originally going to get Diane Cluck to sing it but she wanted to re-write all the words and I liked it the way I already had it. Annie brought her little baby to the studio, you can hear him cry a tiny bit in the background at one part though it is very quiet." {mp3}13 Reaching{/mp3}

Stream “A Turn In The Dream-Songs” in it’s entirety here, while you read Jeffrey’s comments of each song.

UK TOUR Oct 23 - Coventry, UK - Taylor John's House Oct 24 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny Tickets available here. Oct 25 - Manchester, UK - The Ruby Lounge Tickets available here. Oct 26 - Edinburgh, Scotland - Third Door at The Internationale (formerly Medina) Tickets available here. Oct 27 - Glasgow, Scotland - Stereo Tickets available here. Oct 28 - Birmingham, UK - The Ballroom (formerly The Academy) Tickets available here. Oct 29 - Leicester, UK - Lock 42 Oct 30 - Cardiff, UK - The Globe Tickets available here. Oct 31 - Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms Tickets available here. Nov 1 - Bristol, UK - The Thekla Tickets available here. Nov 2 - London, UK - HEAVEN Advance tickets here. Nov 3 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club Nov 4 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt Tickets available here.

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