For years, vinyl purists have used the cracks and pops of old records as an argument for the format’s superiority. “I just like the atmosphere,” one might say, while scraping a nail to the side of an old Bing Crosby album. At one point, a lover of vinyl found a monkey paw and wished for even more hisses, pops, crackles, and static. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you see things, this was a bargain-price monkey paw, so all it did was put an idea into Aidan Moffat’s head. That idea was for the former Arab Strap frontman and current L. Pierre to put out a new EP consisting almost entirely of vinyl hisses, scratches, and pops. As such, he’s doing exactly that.
On September 20, Moffat will put out a new L. Pierre EP called Surface Noise through Melodic (following up The Island Come True, one of our favorite albums (so far) this year). As directed by the light nudges of the monkey’s paw, Surface Noise will contain just that, surface noise. Though not completely comprised of the noise of record wear, those sounds are the primary element of the recordings. Moffat intends for the EP to be ” an affectionate tribute to the wear and tear of overplayed vinyl; the hiss, scratch and pop of records long loved but worn down.” Appropriately, Surface Noise will be available only on 10-inch format, so you can wonder for the rest of your life what pops came with the record and which came naturally with time. Great news: this record may drive you insane.