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Cold Specks announces debut album: I Predict A Graceful Expulsion

on February 16, 2012, 2:40pm

cold specks debut Cold Specks announces debut album: I Predict A Graceful Expulsion

Bleak cynicism and an overall sense of impending dread are nothing new to music (see: everything from The Doors to N.W.A.) But in recent years, these tendencies have become stylized badges of honor, worn by bands looking to explore their darker feelings and urges. The resulting infusion has led to the rise of doom metal, doom R&B (Doom&B?), doom pop, and a slew of other sub-sub-genres happily staring into the abyss. Championing a different kind of doom, London-by-way-of-Etobicoke, CA singer-songwriter Al Spx (who fronts/performs as Cold Specks) infuses those same gloomy sensibilities with gorgeous elements of soul.

Taking the project’s name from a line from James Joyce’s Ulysses (“Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil, lights shining in the darkness), Spx cites influences from Lomax Field Recordings and James Carr to Bill Callahan and Tom Waits. For years, Spx worked on her own, crafting music in a unique, self-taught way. However, she traveled to London to work with a group of musicians, including regular PJ Harvey collaborator Rob Ellis. The end result of Spx and company’s work is Cold Specks’ debut album, I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, due out May 22nd via Mute.

Cold Specks’ blend of “doom soul” is epitomized in the music video for “Holland”. Visually, it cuts to the cure of the whole notion that these “doom” acts are striking at: contrasting images of beauty and life with death and decay. That message continues to develop in the track itself, with the heavy, orchestral movement of strings, percussion, and wraith-like backing vocals creating a base of morose modern classical. The light and soul part of the equation comes with Spx’s vocals, damaged and heartbroken but captivating and moving, lifting the listener up if only to bring them back down again and again. Watch the video below.

“Holland” b/w “Old Stepstone” was released as a 7″ back in December (purchase your copy here). Cold Specks will be on tour this spring/early summer. Check out the full tour schedule just below the album tracklist.

I Predict A Graceful Expulsion Tracklist:
01. The Mark
02. Heavy Hands
03. Winter Solstice
04. When The City Lights Dim
05. Hector
06. Holland
07. Elephant Head
08. Send Your Youth
09. Blank Maps
10. Steady
11. Lay Me Down

Cold Specks 2012 Tour Dates:
03/13-18 – Austin, TX @ South by Southwest
03/21 – Guelph, ON @ Co-operators Hall at River Run
03/22 – Toronto, ON @ The Music Gallery
05/01 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
05/02 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
05/03 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Centre
05/04 – Winnipeg, MB @ Wes End Cultural Centre
05/06 – Edmonton, AB @ McDougall United Church
05/07 – Calgary, AB @ Central United Church
05/08 – Lethbridge, AB @ Southminster United CHurch
05/09 – Nelson, BC @ The Royal
05/11 – Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore Ballroom
05/12 – Victoria, BC @ Alix Goolden Hall
05/13 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
05/14 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
05/16 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
05/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
05/19 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Compound Grill
05/20 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
05/22 – Dallas, TX @ Prohet Bar
05/23 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s BBQ
05/24 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
05/25 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
05/26 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
05/27 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
05/28 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas
05/30 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
05/31 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
06/02 – Toronto, ON @ The Music Hall

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