Toronto-London collective The Flowers Of Hell announce the first vinyl pressing of their cult classic ‘Odes’ album, to be released on April 22nd for Record Store Day UK. With a deluxe die-cut sleeve, this 180-gram red coloured pressing will be released via Space Age Recordings (known for its tightly curated roster with releases from Spacemen 3, Spectrum, The Telescopes, Acid Mothers Temple and The Silver Apples).
Lou Reed began the final episode of his BBC6 / Sirius-XM New York Shuffle radio show in 2012 premiering three tracks from this covers album, declaring the release to be “An amazing, amazing album” and praising it as, “So beautiful and great” and “Exquisite”, amongst other compliments shared.
On ‘Odes’, the group pay tribute to some of their favourite songs and influences, creating orchestral-pop covers of works by Bob Dylan, Klaatu, Stereolab, Laurie Anderson, The Velvet Underground, Siouxsie & the Banshees and Neutral Milk Hotel, among others.
The Flowers Of Hell’s mastermind Greg Jarvis notes, “Lou Reed’s praise meant more to us than a Grammy ever would,” says “It also meant all the time I spent in my youth smoking weed while listening to The Velvet Underground wasn’t a waste – it was research!”
The album features appearances from Sea Power’s Neil ‘Hamilton’ Wilkinson and Abi Fry (Bat For Lashes, Sea Power), Prague underground legend Ivo Pospíšil and the Plastic People Of The Universe. Recorded in Toronto, ‘Odes’ was co-produced by the band & Grammy winning engineer Peter J. Moore (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Joe Strummer), who returned to remastered it for vinyl.
Ahead of Record Store Day, the band presents a new video for their rendition of Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’. Released in the months before Ian Curtis’s death in 1980 and becoming a de facto eulogy for both him and the band, this song had long been a touchstone for The Flowers Of Hell with the group’s earliest lineup sometimes playing it at rehearsals.
“Joy Division would have known Lou Reed’s classic line that ‘One chord’s fine, two chords and your pushing it, three chords and your into jazz’ at the time they were writing their own two-chord wonder, ‘Atmosphere’. I think somehow we uncovered a Velvet Underground aspect that lies within the song, which perhaps isn’t so discernible on Joy Division’s original,” says Greg Jarvis.
Since starting in London in 2005, playing Sonic Cathedral and AC30 club, The Flowers Of Hell have traversed the experimental edges of indie and orchestral music with works often rooted in the audio-visual synesthesia of Greg Jarvis. Despite relative obscurity, they’ve also been championed by Spacemen 3’s Pete Kember a.k.a. Sonic Boom, My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields and members of The Legendary Pink Dots, Death In Vegas, The Wedding Present, The Fugs and The Plastic People Of The Universe, not to mention support from NASA’s mission control team and the Tate Gallery.
On May 12th, the group also releases their sixth studio album and their first in six years. ‘Keshakhtaran’ is a 42-minute psilocybin meditation piece in two parts, involving 20 artists, including Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels, Beck) and avant-accordion legend Angel Corpus Christi (Suicide, Spiritualized, Dean Wareham). The advance taster single ‘Foray Through Keshakhtaran’ is out now, across digital platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp.
Following Record Store Day UK, ‘Odes’ will be available on import in international shops two weeks later, on Friday, May 5th.