Matthew Friedberger, one half of sibling duo the Fiery Furnaces, has a warning for fans about the upcoming Bitter Tea. “This record, if you have it too loud, you’ll hurt yourself,” he cautions about the more rock-oriented disc, which is due April 18th from Fat Possum Records.
Originally intended for release last fall to accompany Rehearsing My Choir — the Furnaces’ narrative-based album that features Friedberger’s grandmother, Olga, reminiscing about her life over synthesizer backdrops — Bitter Tea favors more conventional song structures, and even has drums.
“[Rehearsing My Choir] was supposed to sound like an older person’s living room,” Friedberger says. “Bitter Tea is a very girly record: bouncy and full of candy-colored sounds.”
Although the new one is a bit more straightforward than their last, Friedberger and his sister Eleanor are hardly playing by standard rock & roll rules. “There’s backwards stuff on every song,” Friedberger says. “A lot of backwards singing, a lot of backwards everything in the texture of the music. Maybe it’s not as conventional as it sounds to us.”
The Fiery Furnaces will debut material from Bitter Tea on their winter tour, which kicks off Friday.