Lost and Safe

The Books

Vinyl LP

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2005, Tomlab

VINYL FORMAT. A few deep breaths after finishing their acclaimed record The Lemon of Pink, The Books set out to make their third album, Lost and Safe. Still based in North Adams, MA, The Books moved their studio across town from a freezing cold pantry in a ramshackle tenement into a moderately sized bedroom in the attic of a historic Victorian, heat included. They busied themselves buying up unmarked audio tapes at Salvation Armies across the east coast, expanding their notorious library of found sounds and samples to truly absurd proportions.

Along with The Books' mainstays of cello, guitar, mandolin and banjo, which all make appearances in Lost and Safe, they also invested in a few new instruments, most notably: a set of tuned plastic drain pipes, a cheap metal filing cabinet with subwoofers installed in it, and a vintage Hohner clavinet, which they salvaged from a Dutch basement and restored to funkiness. Also, Nick taught himself how to sing, more or less, and Paul forged ahead in building an impressive library of found video and fonts.

A syn-aesthetic quality pervades Lost and Safe as it explores new territory within the collage-based production style set forth by its predecessors. It is a song-based album, conceived of as a whole, that weaves found voices and original lyrics together with a constantly shifting instrumentation that defies classification. Ancient texts cross-pollinate readymade vocals while sticks and stones excite the resonant frequencies of bendy straws and altered furniture. Inside-out cellos harmonize with slow-motion ring tones. Awesome.


Disc 1
1 Little Longing Goes Away
2 Be Good to Them Always
3 Vogt Dig for Kloppervok
4 Smells Like Content
5 It Never Changes to Stop
6 Animated Description of Mr. Maps
7 Venice
8 None But Shining Hours
9 If Not Now, Whenever
10 Owl With Knees
11 Twelve Fold Chain

Customer Reviews


1 reviews

Joshua D Hughes, Portland, OR
beautiful and sparse melodies. silky production and found audio clips set the mood though out.
one of my favorites. the review above did a good job of telling how it feels/sounds.

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