Super Furry Animals' ninth studio album is set for a digital release on 16 March, with a physical one following on 13 April. It's still untitled, but that hasn't stopped the Welsh outfit talking about it. A lot…
"Musically it's based around riffs and grooves we've been playing around with over the last few years," recalls the band in an official statement.
"It's recognisable as a melodic SFA record, but is very focused musically as a cohesive album. And no country rock as Daf [Ieuan, the band's drummer] has developed a pedal steel phobia. Which has confined the great Nashvillian instrument along with the Saxophone to the banned instrument directive of the SFA board. There's only one slow number which isn't slow at all."
"There's only one slow number which isn't slow at all," SFA
Frontman Gruff Rhys and co have also kindly provided a track-by-track guide. Good thing, too: who would have guessed The Very Best Of Neil Diamond is about "houses being destroyed by jets" and LLiwiau LLachar "would be great theme music for 'CSI Cardiff'."
SFA's track-by-track guide
1. The very best of Neil Diamond
"It's about all these houses being destroyed by jets etc. Someone put a Neil Diamond tape on before hand, and you can still hear it playing through the rubble."
2. White socks/Flip Flops
"It's a song by Bunf [Huw Bunford, guitarist] concerning the type of footwear one needs to write a good novel."
3. Inaugural Trams
"A celebratory anthem regarding the opening of a new tram line in a fictitious utopian mainland Europe town. Featuring a rap in German by a special guest."
4. Sounds Familiar
"It does. But not in the way you think!"
5. Cardiff in the sun
"Doesn't happen often, would probably sound like this."
6. Where do you wanna go? / 7. LLiwiau LLachar
"These are twin songs. If they were cities they would probably be Minneapolis and St. Paul. Lliwiau Llachar means Intensely Bright Colours. With all the synth arpeggios and Daf going nuts on drums it's like the Who or something, would be great theme music for 'CSI Cardiff'."
"A euphoric glam rock stomp by Cian [Ciaran, keyboardist] that sounds as big as the title, and concerns people turning molehills into extreme sport venues."
9. Moped eyes
"We've been playing this song live for a couple of years, it's been called 'Hot Clubs' and 'Hot Nuts' in the past. You can see a crude early version on YouTube."
"We've been playing around with this heavy guitar riff for a few years now. It's so heavy it features both Guto [Pryce, bassist] and Bunf on two duelling bass guitars."
11. Crazy Naked Girls
"Bunf wrote this tribute to a Cardiff bar he used to drink in before re-development. It's now a block of unsold 'luxury' flats. It's a song in three parts."
"Anyone who attended a SFA gig on the Hey Venus! tour would know this song. It features very distinct audience participation. You can see numerous versions of it performed from Tokyo to California and beyond on YouTube."
"This song is built on Cian's Moog groove and builds and builds into a great big house or castle of noise."