Ivan The Tolerable And His Elastic Band – The Long Year (Full Album. Stolen Body Records)


    After the release of last years album Out Of Season (feat Mike Watt) we are delighted to release the follow up The Long Year on November 29th.

    With sounds reminiscent of CAN and NEU with spoken word provided by Karen Schoemer (who provided the lyrics to Out Of Season as well). Elements of Krautrock, free form jazz and even afro beat bring this immersive album all together. The Long Year is an album, a journey, which is best listened to as a whole.

    “…when the eye can’t see, the mind steps in…”

    Oli recruited his Elastic Band again and Karen on vocals. We asked them to describe the making of the album.


    I started making this record straight after i finished OUT OF SEASON in 2020 – there was little else to do with no work to go to and no pubs open so I just carried on working on music. Ive worked with Karen on and off since 2013 but we were in touch a lot during this period and after she wrote all the words for OUT OF SEASON for Mike Watt to deliver. I thought it would be nice to have her do the vocal on this album. I sent her rough mixes of all the music I’d recorded remotely, with Mees Siderius (Utrecht, drums), Elsa Van Der Linden (Utrecht, sax and clarinet) and Ryan Duncan (Chicago, Modular synth) and she wrote words and sent vocals back – I sent them to Hugh Major (studio wizard behind BENEFITS – current favourites of Frank Black and Sleaford Mods) as I was keen for a different approach and sound to the previous two Elastic Band albums and he rebuilt everything from the ground up to make a really deep, spacious and clear sounding record.

    Ive made 9 albums since Covid struck in Feb 2020 but this is definitely one of my favourites. I don’t think it sounds like anything else…. its equal parts serene and claustrophobic – which is how my world was at the time so I guess all these things come out in the wash.


    I like writing in specific locations—I’ll go to a place over the course of several days and free-write like crazy, then pan through pages and pages of notes in search of a story I didn’t know I was telling. These pieces were developed before the pandemic but I adapted them to Oli’s music in isolation. There’s loneliness in all of them, a loneliness that comes from being disconnected from people you love. Venice of the Americas was written during an unfortunately rather unhappy vacation to Venice Beach in California as a relationship was crumbling. I’d go to the canals every morning with my notebook—I was fascinated by the pretty cement bridges and stagnant water and birds coasting through archways. I Have to Push Myself to Be Tender was written during weekly visits to the Prospect Park Zoo when I was attending graduate school in Brooklyn. I grew infatuated with the performing seals—their touching and also disturbing dependence on their trainers. Night Hospital was partly written in a hospital when someone I loved had overdosed on prescription drugs. Thankfully she’s okay now. I’m the kind of ghoulish writer who pulls out a notebook at a time like that—I like the Randy Newman quote that he’d run his mother over for a song.

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