Super Furry Animals have announced details of a new EP, ‘Ice Hockey Hair’, released on May 25, a rarities and B-sides album due out in September, plus the launch of their own record label, Placid Casual.
The EP features three new tracks, ‘Smokin”, ‘Mu-Tron’, and ‘Let’s Quit Smokin”, as well as lead track ‘Ice Hockey Hair’, which singer Gruff Rhys describes as “a Badfinger-style power ballad”.
Some of the tracks were recorded during sessions that SFA did for the soundtrack for a series of Channel 4 programmes about the seven deadly sins. Gruff said: “The EP was a good chance to do something in isolation, because the tracks on it won’t fit in with the new album, and they didn’t fit in with the old one.” The band’s new album of rarities, B-sides and other tracks will span the past four years of their career and will include non-LP songs like ‘The Man Don’t Give A Fuck’.
Gruff added: “It’s a chance to get it out worldwide along with various other things that haven’t been heard much. It’ll bring out another side to the band.” The first release from the band’s new label is single ‘Just Another Fun Love Song’ by North Wales band Psycho VII. Gruff said they had been friends of the Super Furries for years. “We mixed the track for them and we got the money together to put it out,” he said. “No-one else wanted to touch it, but we wanted people to hear it. It’s completely nepotistic! We might put something else out as well. If we’re inspired by a good song, then cool.”
The band start work on their third studio album in June, the follow-up to last year’s acclaimed ‘Radiator’. Gruff said it would be “melodic, poetic and uplifting”. It is due for release next year.
Meanwhile, SFA begin their biggest ever UK and Irish tour next month and Gruff warned the audience should expect some surprises but would not disclose details for “legal reasons” only to say, “it’s going to be a full-on experience.” As previously announced, the dates are at Cork Metropole Hotel (May 7), Dublin Olympia (8), Llangollen International Pavilion (9), Sheffield Octagon (11), Nottingham Rock City (12), Glasgow Barrowlands (14), Middlesbrough Town Hall (15), Manchester Academy (16), Norwich UEA (18), Southampton Guildhall (19), London Shepherd’s Bush Empire (20 & 21) and Port Talbot Afan Lido (23). Support has yet to be announced. Tickets are available from the NME 24-Hour Ticketline on 0870 1212 500. All calls are charged at national standard rate.