New track – “Dead Rabbit Hopes” by The Shoe

The Shoe

Late last week, Jena Malone sent out (via Tumblr and Twitter) a link to a new song by The Shoe (her band with co-collaborator and improvisor Lem Jay Ignacio). The song, “Dead Rabbit Hopes” is a first look at the band’s new EP, coming out in late spring. And, upon listening, it seems to represent a pretty significant development for the band.

We’ve been following The Shoe for years. The Shoe has never been a celebrity vanity project (though you wouldn’t know that from the lazy print review I read in a magazine five years ago). The Shoe is a violon d’Ingres. The Shoe is a band. A band that had, up until now, always seemed to be built around the principles of portability and improvisation. (Perhaps you remember the song they sent us for Christmas a few years ago?) But “Dead Rabbit Hopes”, if it is any indication of what’s to come, is the work of a band taking a more measured approach. The result is still lo-fi, the lyrics still tinted with a touch of the surreal, but this is the work of a band who put their blood, sweat, and tears into their music (which, to be fair, is exactly what the tweet says). As opposed to their earlier EP, this is more reminiscent of Rose Dougall‘s earliest recordings post-Pipettes, or that first Parlours song I fell in love with all those years ago.

The new EP, apparently self-titled, will be released in the spring. No word yet on the format, or whether it will be released through Jena’s own label, There Was An Old Woman, which has handled almost everything up until now (The Bloodstains once had a 7-inch on another label), but I’ll be sure to find out as soon as I can.

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Merry Christmas from The Shoe (and also from me)

The Shoe

I got you something. Well—I wanted to get you something. I was recently given some demos of dubious legality that I thought I might pass along to you all, but serendipity and my fear of the RIAA finally got the better of me. And besides, I’ve got something even better for you. More specifically, Jena Malone has something better for you.

A few of you may remember this post from about 20 months ago (that’s about 12,000 years in Internet Time) in which I confessed to one of my several celebrity crushes and passive-aggressively suggested that Jena Malone and Lem Jay Ignacio (a.k.a. The Shoe) record a Christmas song that I could one day include in an Indie Handbook Christmas compilation. Well, I may not have a full compilation album to give you, but I do have a new track from The Shoe called ‘Mary’s Xmas’.

It’s been a while since I’ve featured something quite like this, but it’s a cool track that bears repeated listening, especially if you dig some of the more off-kilter stuff like The Babblers, Slapp Happy, or The Fibonaccis. You can download ‘Mary’s Xmas’ below.

While we’re at it, you might like to know that The Shoe should have their EP on iTunes some time in January coupled with a few shows in the vicinity of L.A. And, even more exciting, there’s a new album due in March as well as even more tour dates. Hopefully, I’ll have more information for you as details become available, but you should probably keep an eye on their website anyway.

Download – The Shoe, ‘Mary’s Xmas’ mp3