On April 15th, 2022, Sub Pop will digitally release Flock of Dimes’ Head of Roses: Phantom Limb, a collection of unreleased tracks written around the same time as Head of Roses, previously unheard demos, favorite live performances, and covers. In addition to today’s announcement, the official video for new single “It Just Goes On,” co-directed by Jenn Wasner and Spence Kelly, is out now.
Wasner says of ”It Just Goes On”, “This is perhaps one of the most simple and direct songs I’ve ever made (and, also, one of my favorites!)—so it made sense to try and create a video that was similarly straightforward and heart-on-sleeve. I haven’t been to many parties over the past few years (for obvious reasons) so it felt particularly surreal to stage this one with some of my actual friends in Durham, NC. The party was fake but the feelings were real. Thanks so much to my friends for letting me invite them to a party and then force them to watch me be an absolute bummer the entire time.”
The selection of live recordings here run the spectrum, from solitary to exuberant. Some were made solo, in the summer of 2020, while other tracks are electrified with the energy that comes from a day cooped up making music with your friends. The versions of “Spring in Winter” and “Like So Much Desire,” from Wasner’s 2020 Like So Much Desire EP, were both recorded alone, on a grand piano in the rural sprawl of Pittsboro, North Carolina at Manifold Studios. The undulating, subdued version of “Hard Way” was recorded live for a KEXP session while Wasner was holed up in the Californian desert, and the live versions of “Two,” “One More Hour,” and “Price of Blue” that live on the bonus disc were recorded with the help of Wasner’s friends Mountain Man, Matt McCaughan, Joe Westerlund, Michael Libramento, Alan Good Parker, and Nick Sanborn out at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. There are also covers of two of Wasner’s favorite songwriters — Joan Armatrading’s “The Weakness in Me” and Joni Mitchell’s “Amelia,” the latter featuring contributions from former bandmate Aaron Roche.
Among the second disc of bonus material is a Head of Roses beginning – the acoustic demo of “Lightning,” recorded ages ago in the secondary room at Betty’s, before the song hit its final shape on Head of Roses. There’s also a handful of previously-unreleased Head of Roses outtakes – “Wonder” and “Go With Good,” both written at the same time as the rest of the record, but ultimately left on the cutting room floor. And then there’s a kind of postscript: Wasner wrote and recorded “It Just Goes On” in one afternoon at her friend Stella Mozgawa’s studio, and the version that exists here—guitar, bass, vocals, and drums—are those first unedited performances of hers, along with some invaluable production contributions by Ethan Gruska. Head of Roses was complete by that time, but she knew this brand new song was still connected to that collection —a last word, a sort of epilogue. In that same way, Phantom Limb serves as a bid adieu, a final reflection on the past two years of Wasner’s songwriting.
1. It Just Goes On (Recorded at Sunfair Studios in Joshua Tree, CA)*
2. Go With Good (Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)*
3. Price of Blue (NPR “Tiny Desk” version; Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)
4. Through Me (Adult Swim Singles Series contribution; Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)
5. Wonder (Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)*
6. Two (Live at Betty‘s Version; Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)
7. Hard Way (Live at KEXP version; Recorded at Sunfair Studios in Joshua Tree, CA)*
8. The Weakness in Me (Joan Armatrading cover; Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)*
9. Like So Much Desire (Live piano version; Recorded at Manifold Recording in Pittsboro, NC)*
10. One More Hour (Live at Betty‘s Version; Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)
11. Lightning (Acoustic Demo; Recorded in the B room at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)*
12. Amelia (Joni Mitchell cover; Recorded at home in Carrboro, NC & Ko Arts Residency program at The Columns in New Orleans, LA)*
13. Awake for the Sunrise (Live at Betty‘s Version; Recorded at Betty’s in Chapel Hill, NC)*
14. Spring in Winter (Solo piano version; Recorded at Manifold Recording in Pittsboro, NC)*
*Available for first time on DSPs
Flock of Dimes will also embark on a 6-date headline in support of Head of Roses that runs through late April and early May.
Thu. Apr. 28 – Asheville, NC – Isis Music Hall
Fri. Apr. 29 – Saxapahaw, NC – Haw River Ballroom
Sat. Apr. 30 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
Sun. May 01 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
Tue. May 03 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
Wed. May 04 – Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere Zone One