2017 was a good year to be a Manchester Orchestra fan, since they released their fifth album, A Black Mile To The Surface, and it was one of the year’s best rock albums. Fortunately, they’re not quite done with the record yet, as the group has shared a pair of projects that help the album live on in 2018: A documentary about its making, and a collection of demos.
The documentary, I Know How To Speak, is legitimate, a 30-minute film about the making of the album that Andy Hull says in a statement “encompasses the wide range of emotions that the studio process brings.” Meanwhile, The Black Mile Demos are exactly what they sound like: A six-track EP of demos from the making of the album, which Hull calls “the initial, rough-around-the edges recordings, done with one microphone in some distant and often strange locations.” The band also introduced a new website today to coincide with the documentary and demos collection, which is an interactive look at the album and its making featuring lyric annotations from Hull.
Hull’s full statement about the simultaneously released projects is as follows:
“It’s been nearly one year since we released A Black Mile To The Surface. Since then, so many beautiful things have happened… A worldwide tour of playing these songs to our incredible fans, who have embraced this album in the most heartfelt way and truly moved us beyond words. We are currently in the middle of the craziest summer schedule we’ve had as a band, playing amazing festivals to wonderful crowds all over America, and having more fun than ever.
Today we are releasing two projects at once, something that we have never done before. First, a fly on the wall glimpse of the process of making this album — the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. I Know How To Speak encompasses the wide range of emotions that the studio process brings, and we hope you enjoy seeing the work behind the scenes. We are also releasing a collection of these songs’ original demos in their earliest, rawest form. The Black Mile Demos are the seeds of how this all started. The initial, rough-around-the edges recordings, done with one microphone in some distant and often strange locations before they were continued to be worked on in Asheville, NC at Echo Mountain studio.”
Watch the full I Know How To Speak documentary above, and listen to The Black Mile Demos below.