Saint Etienne -- Home Counties

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New album ahoy:

Our new album will be out on Jun 2nd 2017

It's called 'Home Counties'

It contains 19 'tracks' inspired by our bitter-sweet relationship with the eponymous shires that have always been part of our lives.

We recorded it in the summer and autumn of 2016 and it's co-produced by Shawn Lee of Wall Of Sound and Young Gun Silver Fox fame.

You can pre-order now on limited edition gatefold double vinyl, cd and of course cassette - with some exclusive extras - from our shop here.

Sarah Cracknell says: "We had so much fun writing for this album, drawing influence from our teenage years growing up in the home counties. Bob, Pete and I led almost parallel lives while I was in Windsor and they were in Surrey, developing our passion for music and London. Shawn Lee was a joy to work with, he's a wonderful multi-instrumentalist who seemed to have some kind of telepathy with us and translated our ideas perfectly. The record is quite varied in styles and brings together a little something from all our past albums whilst sounding completely new."

Bob Stanley says "Suburbia's anonymity is exactly why it's a source of inspiration. They said it couldn't happen here - and it didn't."

Whilst Pete added "We took a ride and ran with the dogs"

And new song from same, "Heather"

https://soundcloud.com/pias-uk/heather-saint-etienne/s-3lq6h

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:38 (eight months ago) Permalink

ordered!

nomar, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:29 (eight months ago) Permalink

The single is really strange. Definitely not as instant as Tonight.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:31 (eight months ago) Permalink

SKILLED MUSICIANS WITH OVER TWENTY FIVE YEARS EXPERIENCE <3

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:39 (eight months ago) Permalink

How We Used to Live and the Sarah Cracknell 10" were both beautiful albums. Hopefully this one is as good. I've just preorderd.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:41 (eight months ago) Permalink

Good news too -- UK *and* US tour dates!

--

The list of dates is as follows:

26 May - Hebden Bridge, Trades Club
27 May - Oxford, Common People Festival
31 May - Barcelona, Primavera Festival
2 Jun London, Royal FestivalHall
3 Jun Cardiff, Tramshed
4 Jun Birmingham, Town Hall
6 Jun Bexhill, De La Warr Pavillion
8 Jun Newcastle, Sage
9 Jun Edinburgh, Queens Hall
10 Jun Sheffield, City Hall Ballroom
11 Jun Manchester, RNMC Concert Hall
20 Aug Glanusk Park, Green Man Festival (2nd stage headline)

Saint Etienne will also be touring the U.S. in September / October:

25 Sep New York, Bowery Ballroom
26 Sep Brooklyn, Music Hall Of Williamsburg
27 Sep Washington DC, U Street Music Hall
29 Sep Chicago, Park West
2 Oct Seattle, Neptune
4 Oct San Francisco, The Fillmore
5 Oct Pomona, Glass House
6 Oct Los Angeles,The Fonda Theatre

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:08 (eight months ago) Permalink

Yay new Saint Etienne album!

also hoping the breakup of America happens soon so I can stop getting my hopes up when I see a band I like is "touring the US" and instead just be like "huh, they're touring Cascadia and New England"

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

I think Chicago and DC might have some thoughts about your take.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:49 (eight months ago) Permalink

DC would be part of New England. Chicago I assume would be absorbed by Canada.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:50 (eight months ago) Permalink

A casual disregard for far-flung regional boundaries is de rigueur for Texans. Maybe we'd be more cosmopolitan if Saint Etienne played some shows here.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

the last album was so beautiful – one of my insta-classics.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

When you say the last album, do you mean Words and Music or How We Used to Live? How We Used To Live is probably my 3rd fav. St Et LP and definitely my most played of the last few years.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 17:05 (eight months ago) Permalink

W&M.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 22 March 2017 17:05 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm assuming Alfred is talking about Words and Music, which i do think is a classic. their best since the first three, at least.

though my sentimental favorite is Good Humor, since that's where I discovered them.

nomar, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 17:09 (eight months ago) Permalink

Good Humor was where I thought they went wrong at the time. Retrospectively, I like it, but it signaled a change from their previous sound and not in a way I was ready for at the time.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 17:13 (eight months ago) Permalink

Fairfax High is maybe even better than Good Humor, too. They were really on top of it that year!

erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 22 March 2017 17:21 (eight months ago) Permalink

I like the single!

I think the weirdness comes from the syncopation of the beat/unusual time signature? Also, really weird choice of drum sound.

daavid, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 17:54 (eight months ago) Permalink

TBH I'm just glad they didn't go full acoustic/folksy

daavid, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 17:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

I love this band with all my heart, and I'm sure the album will be fantastic as usual, but I'm not sure I'm feelin' 'Heather'...

So excited, though!

KevRus, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 20:41 (eight months ago) Permalink

So 'Heather' on Spotify is actually 'Magpie Eyes,' and it's pretty good.

KevRus, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 21:12 (eight months ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, I like Magpie Eyes a lot more.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 22 March 2017 22:26 (eight months ago) Permalink

For US fans -- PR note went out that the New York dates are currently on sale, the rest will go on sale on Friday at 10 am.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 16:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

They look like people I'd happily go to the pub with, these days.

djh, Wednesday, 29 March 2017 18:50 (seven months ago) Permalink

And here's "Magpie Eyes" properly

http://www.stereogum.com/1934331/saint-etienne-magpie-eyes/premiere/

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 April 2017 14:51 (seven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I'm feeling kinda nervous about this...there's been, like, no hype for the album. The two released tracks were just kinda "thrown" out there, and they're both pretty underwhelming imo.

There's another track floating around now. It's instrumental, and nice enough. http://thequietus.com/articles/22438-interview-saint-etienne-twin-peaks-angelo-badalamenti

KevRus, Friday, 19 May 2017 00:20 (six months ago) Permalink

I had forgotten how obvious the Lynch/Badalamenti influence is on some of their tracks. It's nice to hear they are fans! Pete mentions a couple of songs, but their version of "Puppy Love" surely takes the cake! (couldn't find on YouTube).

At this point I don't really care/hope for Saint Etienne doing well commercially as long as they put out good stuff. And I think they have a strong enough fanbase for them to worry about those things. They're probably going to keep making records anyway.

daavid, Friday, 19 May 2017 00:34 (six months ago) Permalink

I'm feeling kinda nervous about this...there's been, like, no hype for the album. The two released tracks were just kinda "thrown" out there, and they're both pretty underwhelming imo.

― KevRus

I know exactly what you mean. There seemed to be so much excitement for Words & Music. Tonight was such an incredible comeback single and the album completely lived up to the hype. This era kind of feels like we're back to the Sound Of Water/Finisterre days. Nobody seemed interested anymore and those are their two weakest albums for me. Hopefully it's going to be better than that.

kitchen person, Friday, 19 May 2017 00:59 (six months ago) Permalink

I'm guessing they don't have a lot of money to spend on promoting the new album... do they even have a US label?

erry red flag (f. hazel), Friday, 19 May 2017 01:27 (six months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

out of my mind sounds like life on mars

johnny crunch, Friday, 2 June 2017 13:29 (five months ago) Permalink

this is on whole far less poppy than words and music, does feel a bit of a throwback

johnny crunch, Friday, 2 June 2017 13:31 (five months ago) Permalink

After one full listen I found it exhausting: almost an hour long??

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 2 June 2017 13:37 (five months ago) Permalink

I once listened to an album that was OVER an hour long. Madness that way lies.

dorsalstop, Friday, 2 June 2017 14:38 (five months ago) Permalink

Found myself liking the moody latter half more. Not least the obligatory epic track with spoken verses ("Sweet Arcardia")

Maximum big surprise! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Friday, 2 June 2017 14:59 (five months ago) Permalink

out of my mind sounds like life on mars

― johnny crunch, Friday, June 2, 2017 2:29 PM

huh, didn't get this at all. It's Take On Me.

kraudive, Friday, 2 June 2017 17:49 (five months ago) Permalink

idk, i'm really loving this! it's so sad and dreamy.

it's got some rad basslines ('Unopened Fan Mail,' 'Dive,' 'What Kind Of World'), dreampop-ish vibes ('Whyteleafe'), moody 'Sound of Water' extended jams ('Sweet Arcadia'), and even pop cuts that seem like they could have worked on W&M with different instrumentation ('Out of My Mind').

sign me up!

KevRus, Saturday, 3 June 2017 00:24 (five months ago) Permalink

This is a lovely album but it's nowhere near as instantly enjoyable as Turnpike House and Words & Music.

kitchen person, Saturday, 3 June 2017 01:39 (five months ago) Permalink

this record is great

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 3 June 2017 16:30 (five months ago) Permalink

especially "out of my mind," wow

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 3 June 2017 16:37 (five months ago) Permalink

kind of amazed at this album. Sound of Water and Finisterre were mentioned upthread as being their low points and I agree (though those lows are i still think really pretty good), but the three albums since are a really superior run.

nomar, Saturday, 3 June 2017 21:23 (five months ago) Permalink

It's way too long -- nearly an hour! "Magpie Eyes" and "Dive" are the standouts so far.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 3 June 2017 21:53 (five months ago) Permalink

Finisterre is their best b/w Tiger Bayand W&M.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 3 June 2017 21:54 (five months ago) Permalink

lol -- I forgot I made the comment about length yesterday.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 3 June 2017 21:54 (five months ago) Permalink

i find that i do not mind spending almost an hour in this space

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Sunday, 4 June 2017 02:01 (five months ago) Permalink

"Out of My Mind" is glorious.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 4 June 2017 02:09 (five months ago) Permalink

It's the same length as Foxbase, So Tough and Turnpike.

dorsalstop, Sunday, 4 June 2017 13:35 (five months ago) Permalink

Oh, I give in. Going to order it ...

djh, Sunday, 4 June 2017 17:42 (five months ago) Permalink

Went for the cassette version because lol.

Mark G, Sunday, 4 June 2017 18:52 (five months ago) Permalink

Cracknell is so mild that I forgot it takes a couple spins for me to love their albums, as I love this one now.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 4 June 2017 18:52 (five months ago) Permalink

This is the album I always hoped they would make. Turns out Saint Etienne and Shawn Lee are a perfect match. Probably my LP of the year so far. (Not sure about "Sweet Arcadia", spoken word lists of exotic English places feels like a St. Et parody by this point. The rest is ace though.)

Also kudos for the packaging, especially the fake stickers on the front cover (which as someone who habitually peels/scrapes off stickers from CD and vinyl front covers is going to drive me crazy for ever).

Jeff W, Monday, 5 June 2017 11:55 (five months ago) Permalink

It's odd they released one of the album's least catchy songs as a single when they had "Out of My Mind," "Dive," "Magpie Eyes," and "Train Drivers in Eyeliner."

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 5 June 2017 12:38 (five months ago) Permalink

"dive" is so fuckin good

adam, Monday, 5 June 2017 12:41 (five months ago) Permalink

It's odd they released one of the album's least catchy songs as a single when they had "Out of My Mind," "Dive," "Magpie Eyes," and "Train Drivers in Eyeliner."

"Magpie Eyes" is the only single released from this album.

dorsalstop, Monday, 5 June 2017 13:16 (five months ago) Permalink

hmm I've got the "Heather' single. Could it be an American release?

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 5 June 2017 13:17 (five months ago) Permalink

To my knowledge, "Heather" was like a teaser track, and "Magpie Eyes" the 'official' single. Not sure it's important, since neither was released in physical formats (were they?)

dorsalstop, Monday, 5 June 2017 13:42 (five months ago) Permalink

(Either way, I agree with the sentiment.)

dorsalstop, Monday, 5 June 2017 13:44 (five months ago) Permalink

Cracknell is so mild that I forgot it takes a couple spins for me to love their albums, as I love this one now.

― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, June 4, 2017 7:52 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i think it's pretty amazing what she can convey w/her more mild presence. on every album of theirs she has at least 3 or 4 vocal performances that are pretty stunning but it usually takes multiple listens for me to get everything she's doing. cf. Stop and Think It Over from Finisterre, Underneath the Stars from her solo album, Marble Lions from Tiger Bay...many more. her mildness tends to at first make you miss how good she is at delivering some of the lyrics. (not disagreeing with you here, i think "mild" in her case is a compliment.)

nomar, Monday, 5 June 2017 19:24 (five months ago) Permalink

It is! And those picks are otm.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 5 June 2017 19:26 (five months ago) Permalink

"Marble Lions" is her masterpiece maybe - that devastating combination of wisdom and generosity her vocals capture, as if she can see every single one of your failures but cares for you anyway.

(Have yet to hear the new record)

Tim F, Monday, 5 June 2017 19:50 (five months ago) Permalink

She reminds me of Christine McVie absent a bit of the sensuality.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 5 June 2017 19:53 (five months ago) Permalink

i think her delivery of:

Marble lions
at the gates of Eden
Screaming songs to lull the rage.
Let's raise a flag
that has no colours,
Release the sun into the empty cathedral, yeah.

is probably her single greatest moment

nomar, Monday, 5 June 2017 19:55 (five months ago) Permalink

The way she sings the commonplace "The devil's in the details" on the new album's "Unopened Fan Mail" is the key to her continuing charm and warmth.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 5 June 2017 20:21 (five months ago) Permalink

(Have yet to hear the new record)

― Tim F, Monday, June 5, 2017 12:50 PM (thirty-seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oh i think you'll love it tim

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 5 June 2017 20:28 (five months ago) Permalink

it's more chamber-y and miniaturist than anything on words and music but they work a lot of full-bodied jams out of a more restrained palette

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 5 June 2017 20:47 (five months ago) Permalink

has anyone mentioned "take it all in" yet, it's magnificent

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 5 June 2017 20:49 (five months ago) Permalink

From that interview:

I love the transition between “Angel of Woodhatch” and “The Reunion”

Yes, that transition between the final song and the first song works really well...

dorsalstop, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 16:54 (five months ago) Permalink

Any "Cool Kids of Death"-style bangers on this album?

everything, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 19:47 (five months ago) Permalink

Nope, not even close.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 19:48 (five months ago) Permalink

You'd need Rick Smith programming the synths to get something as good as Cool Kids of Death.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 19:48 (five months ago) Permalink

Yeah the 14 minute Underworld mix is probably my favourite thing they ever did. But then there were a lot of cool bangers on the bonus disc from Words & Music. Love that extra disc - the first 7 or 8 in a row are all superb.

everything, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 23:56 (five months ago) Permalink

Which one? There's been a few..

Mark G, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 06:50 (five months ago) Permalink

Oh, the first 'remix' one, right.

Mark G, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 06:50 (five months ago) Permalink

lol at 'Hatfield and The North!' 'err-aaarrrgkg'

The XX pants (ledge), Thursday, 8 June 2017 10:17 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

feelin this on the new dive ep ~ 18 views !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFoUzigkmN8

johnny crunch, Saturday, 9 September 2017 20:03 (two months ago) Permalink

The CD EP sold out too fast. I had it in my cart on my phone and the checkout page wouldn't load so I waited a day to order and it was gone. Got the 12" but wanted the CD too. Still enjoying the songs on this album.

brotherlovesdub, Saturday, 9 September 2017 23:12 (two months ago) Permalink

I said of the LP that they were parodying themselves a bit. "London Like A Distant Sun" is an uber-self-parody. It's magnificent.

Jeff W, Sunday, 10 September 2017 14:48 (two months ago) Permalink

anyone catching their Sept/Oct US gigs? I'm hoping the energy's as good as their W&M tour!

KevRus, Sunday, 10 September 2017 23:49 (two months ago) Permalink

I am, it's my first time and I'm super stoked

northwest pass-agg (Stevie D(eux)), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 13:37 (two months ago) Permalink

Same here, very much looking forward to the SF show!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 13:41 (two months ago) Permalink

I think they're the band for which I had the longest run of "buying every release". Used to love their CD singles. Still not heard the latest album, mind (Have had it on order from Norman Records for an age ... Should cancel it, really).

djh, Wednesday, 13 September 2017 20:27 (two months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Well last night was very great -- that Sarah described herself as 'slightly poorly,' kept sipping tea and encouraged us to sing along loudly on the choruses made it all even better, really. (Debsey's presence was perfect as a result.) Solid mix of early standards, stuff from the new album (Shawn Lee, who produced, was also the opener and appeared on various songs in the set) and some ringers here and there, including a small clutch of Words and Music tracks. Any set that started with "Kiss and Make Up," had a first encore ending with "He's On the Phone" and a second encore with "You're In a Bad Way" is all right by me. The amount of passionate gay men of a certain age and beard length around me who were having happy breakdowns when 'their song' came on, whichever song in question it was, was very sweet, really.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 October 2017 14:11 (one month ago) Permalink

Ditto on the Seattle show being great, though we just got one encore. The tea sipping was endearing, but as with past shows I've seen, Sarah has the crowd already in her palm before she walks out. Loved Debsey's dancing and singing, and the drummer made the songs even punchier to me. The screen cards ("Please Pardon Our Appearance", "We're Actually Very Tired", "This is a Saint Etienne Show") were fun, as were the visuals (I haven't seen "Barbarella", but recognized Fonda, and enjoyed those cycled clips). I was up in the balcony but peering over, the floor seemed easily 3/4ths men in their 30s/40s. There were enough younger folk, felt like they're still gaining fans.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Thursday, 5 October 2017 14:46 (one month ago) Permalink

St. Etienne put on one of my fave shows of all time behind "Good Humour." Saw them a second time on the same tour, again with a killer band. Then I saw them as a trio with tons of backing tracks and it just totally lacked the spark (for me). If I had known they were touring with a band again I totally would have gone last night. Oh well.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 5 October 2017 14:51 (one month ago) Permalink

I was at the Seattle show. Sarah was really struggling. I almost left about 20mins in, but i'm glad I stuck around. It was easily the worst St. Etienne show i've seen though.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 5 October 2017 15:35 (one month ago) Permalink

The screen cards ("Please Pardon Our Appearance", "We're Actually Very Tired", "This is a Saint Etienne Show") were fun, as were the visuals (I haven't seen "Barbarella", but recognized Fonda, and enjoyed those cycled clips).

Ah now that's interesting -- we didn't get those at all! No projections, just lights. Wonder why?

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 October 2017 16:05 (one month ago) Permalink

Who was the older english man on keyboards off to the right? He was also at the incredibly disappointing merch table.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 5 October 2017 17:30 (one month ago) Permalink

I think it may have been Gerard Johnson: https://www.discogs.com/artist/240866-Gerard-Johnson

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 5 October 2017 17:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Merch table was about what I expected, honestly.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 5 October 2017 18:18 (one month ago) Permalink

Not sure what SF had, but we had signed posters, cd remixes for Dive, and 1 size of 1 style of women's t-shirts. There is a ton of merch on their greedbag store. I kind of assumed I'd be able to support them by buying something direct, but there was nothing I needed.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 5 October 2017 18:35 (one month ago) Permalink

Bought the signed poster for that same support reason. Was hoping for the Dive single with the non-album tracks, but no luck.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Thursday, 5 October 2017 18:52 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, I need the Dive single with the non-album tracks too. I have several signed items from Saint Etienne over the years and don't really care about signatures, so the poster wasn't a big draw for me. I bought the deluxe LP w/ signed print already.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 5 October 2017 19:46 (one month ago) Permalink

SF gig was fantastic! Enthusiastic crowd, too. I thought Sarah sounded great. Wouldn't have even noticed she was ill had she not mentioned it.

I'm more into synthy Saint Etienne than full-band Saint Etienne, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel, but wow - what a tight ensemble! 'Out of My Mind' had a great guitar solo outro, and the guitar + bass really made 'Magpie Eyes' rock hard (not really into it on the album).

KevRus, Friday, 6 October 2017 00:25 (one month ago) Permalink

we saw them in L.A. Friday night and Sarah was having trouble at the beginning but seemed to get stronger as the night went along (the bourbon maybe helped?) She was charming throughout as per usual. I thought it was a great show. Super tight band, the new tunes sounded great, enthusiastic audience, positive vibes all around. Debsey was killing it in particular. So much cowbell!

nomar, Monday, 9 October 2017 19:12 (one month ago) Permalink


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