After nearly a year, no doubt in the studio hard at work on several different projects, Johnny Jewel has returned to Soundcloud with a handful of demos, alternative versions and new songs from some of his family of Italians Do It Better bands — Chromatics and Symmetry. Most notably, the previously unreleased “Shadow,” a beautiful number David Lynch would love, and three pieces from what could be Johnny’s soundtrack work for Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River, or something just as awesome. (Update: The omnipresence of Chromatics in 2017’s Twin Peaks: The Return is said to be at least in part a result of the version of “Shadow” I’ve highlighted above.)
The label’s Big Cartel store has also seen some shuffling. Two new releases are marked as “coming soon.” The first is Running From The Sun, an LP of new songs and alternate versions and themes of songs from the 2012 Kill For Love album. The songs are slow, gorgeous and often moody in all the best ways.
1. Dreaming In Color
2. Red Car
3. Kill For Love
4. Last Wish
5. Running From The Sun
7. These Streets Will Never Look The Same
8. Blue Moon
Total Running Time (37:57)
The other, Drumless, honoring its name, is composed of some Kill For Love songs with the drums stripped away. It seems odd, but it’s actually a great idea. The songs take on a new life sans drums, and even provide DJs ample opportunity for edits and alternate mixes.
1. The River
2. The Page
4. Kill For Love
5. Back From The Grave
6. At Your Door
7. A Matter Of Time
8. Into The Black
Another notable entry in the store is a new Chromatics shirt that evokes Italians Do It Better’s enjoyable penchant for tapping into the art of old cinema posters. It’s got that shimmering silver-on-black design of the “Running From The Sun” shirt from 2012/2013, but with the classic blood-splatter incarnation of Chromatics’ name coupled with the design of the recent film posters the label’s been sending out with its products.
This is a great time to be a fan of Jewel and family, and no doubt there are more amazing works on the horizon.
(Photos: Italians Do It Better)