BIRDS OF AVALON has spent the better part of the past two years on the road with the likes of The Racontuers, The Flaming Lips, Black Mountain, Ted Leo, Mudhoney, Monotonix and more. Never comfortable being stagnant, the band wrote and recorded almost two-dozen new songs during a six-month break from touring, half of which make up their their sophomore LP, Uncanny Valley, that is out today.
Uncanny Valley is the second of two records that the band recorded in the last four months. In January, they wrapped up a recording session at Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium Studio. Following the session, the band found itself back home wanting to write and record additional material instead of getting back on the road as they usually would. “The two records are like two variations on a theme,” says Cheetie Kumar, adding, “The first batch of songs resulted in a more elaborate, dense record, but this second batch seemed to sound like a summer record to us, which is when it’s gonna come out.”
After Easter, the famed producer (REM, Wilco, Pavement), generously offer to lend his 3M tape machine and some old used tape, the band borrowed the remaining equipment from friends around their hometown of Raleigh NC and proceeded to record a second album in their basement-rehearsal space which was transformed within days to a makeshift studio.
BIRDS OF AVALON drew inspiration for this record from a theory by a Japanese roboticist to describe the phenomena by which human beings become more unsettled by robots or other human facsimiles in direct proportion to how lifelike they appear. In keeping with themes of “The Uncanny,” the band’s first MP3 off of Uncanny Valley, “Your Downtime Is Up,” describes how a child’s innocent exploration of underground storm drain tunnels turns into something more sinister. “Across the board, encountering your doppelganger is never a good thing. It's usually an omen of death,” says David Mueller, adding, “The song presents a modern myth in which a child exploring storm tunnels encounters his double and is frozen to the spot. He then helplessly watches the doppelganger leave the tunnel to assume his identity in the world while he remains trapped below forever.”
Go here to download a free mp3 of 'Your Downtime Is Up' and to purchase the album.