Photo by Heather Kaplan
Over the weekend, Robert Smith told XFM that The Cure’s new album, a companion to 2008′s 4:13 Dream said to be called 4:14 Scream, was “a bit of a sore point.” The frontman seemed to imply that since the band’s lineup has shifted since 2008, he wanted to focus on new music with the current members. Now, in a statement posted to the band’s official website, Smith has clarified his remarks and revealed that there are actually three new releases in the works.
Smith spends most of the post, titled “As Clearly and Succinctly as I Can”, mapping out a timeline of events beginning with the recording sessions that led to 4:13 Dream. Thirty-three songs were canned during those sessions, and the intention was to release a 26-track double album with “13 songs on each disc, most with words and vocals, but a few with words and no vocals (IE. ‘instrumentals with words’…!).”
Smith continues, “However, towards the end of the project, I ran out of the energy and conviction I needed to resist a growing commercial (and temporal) pressure from individuals and release structures I was obliged to work with, and (to my discredit?!!) abandoned the double album/instrumentals plan…”
Thirteen of those songs became 4:13 Dream – hence the title – though not presented in the originally intended order. While working on The Cure’s Live in Paris 2008 concert film in 2011, Smith revisited the unreleased recordings and discovered he still liked the work. “Albeit I wasn’t sure about some of the lyrics… So I started writing new words for the instrumental songs, and I started singing them, and resigning others, and I began thinking of ways to finish off the project to my satisfaction.”
Finally in 2014, Smith hopes that “in the next month or three,” he’ll be ready to reveal two limited-edition albums containing some 26 never-before-released songs. First would be the 4:26 Dream double album featuring 26 remixed songs from “the original 4:13 Dream sessions concept album (including the ‘instrumentals with words’).” At least 10 of those songs will have never been released either on 4:13 Dream or its B-sides.
Next would be 4:14 Scream, a 14-track record that would include some of the tracks from 4:26 Dreams, “but these 4:14 Scream versions will all have words and vocals.”
In the end, 32 of the 33 songs recorded in 2008 should end up being made available to the public. How those tracks end up being spread across the 4:00 series of releases will be seen when/if Smith actually ends up finishing the project. And then, of course, he’s also working on music with the current Cure lineup.
Phew. We’ll keep you updated. Read Smith’s original post here.