For Record Store Day 2011 on April 16, FatCat Records is releasing a limited-edition (777) cassette release containing early, previously unheard-music by two of the label's most celebrated bands: The Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit. The hand-assembled cassettes have numbered inserts screenprinted onto vintage paper stock, and include a digital download coupon for the tracks. FatCat will be releasing a similar, also limited version of the cassette in the UK, also for Record Store Day.
The Twilight Sad's side of the tape contains never-before heard songs, which were recorded in 2006 and sent as demos to FatCat. The gritty, bare bones nature of the demos are an intriguing listen for those familiar with the band's "wall of sound" squall; a special treat for Frightened Rabbit fans is Twilight Sad's unique take on that band's "Be Less Rude."
The Twilight Sad's Andy MacFarlane explains further:
"We recorded these demos in Kilsyth, Banton or Cumbernauld near Glasgow, mainly in Andy's bedroom, sometimes in James's 'cause it was near the local pub. Everything was always recorded with one really shite mic. It's good to have limitations, but that wasn't deliberate, we didn't have any money for equipment. I remember FatCat asking if we knew Frightened Rabbit, which we didn't at the time, so went along to one of their gigs, and covered "Be Less Rude," which we later renamed "Ravishing Rick Rude." I remember "3iv" was meant to be a Christmas song. I can't remember the other two."
The first Frightened Rabbit demos that FatCat received date back to 2004, when Scott Hutchison self-recorded everything on a four-track at home. The tracks selected for the Record Store Day cassette are from 2005's second installment of demos the label received from Scott and his brother Grant. Fans of the band's debut album "Sings The Greys" will appreciate the raw versions of "Be Less Rude," "Snake," and "The Greys"; "I Feel Better" and "Keep Yourself Warm," which featured on Frightened Rabbit's 2008 breakthrough, The Midnight Organ Fight.
Says Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit:
"We recorded them all in my bedroom at the time; I think the address was 42 Woodlands Drive, top floor left, in Glasgow. We had one shit microphone and a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder, and we did our very best with those 2 pieces of equipment (plus a crap drumkit, Telecaster, Yamaha PSS 270 keyboard and a small 12W Park combo - no effects pedals). I think the limited means forced us to make simple, succinct songs that would have an impact, given that we couldn't rely on fancy recording techniques. It's always worth remembering this when you are layering the 175th track of sound on a big shiny album. Maybe 171 of those tracks are utterly pointless."
DEMOS CASSETTE TRACKLISTING:
SIDE A (Frightened Rabbit)
A1. Be Less Rude
A2. I Feel Better
A4. Keep Yourself Warm
A5. The Greys
SIDE B (The Twilight Sad)
B4. Be Less Rude
See photos of the assembly process at FatCat USA HQ, including a totally sweet animated gif on the FatCat Records tumblr.