Eyelids ‘The Minutes’
CAMILLA AISA chats with EYELIDS about the release of their new single
When the pandemic first hit, Eyelids were starting to explore what their new album could morph into in a live setting. The Accidental Falls had just come out – written in collaboration with poet and Tim Buckley lyricist Larry Beckett and produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck – exquisitely confirming the Portland, OR band as one of today’s finest purveyors of power-poppin’ jangle rock. “We were feeling really good about playing The Accidental Falls live but we only got two shows into our tour before everything folded up”, Eyelids’ Chris Slusarenko recalls. “I remember last year I put on the LP and I just started crying. It was like listening to something for the first time. There were so many songs and cool moments on there that I had forgotten – it was a bit of an out of body experience for someone who was so involved with it. But I loved just listening and hearing everyone’s personalities on it. And it was such a credit to Larry that his lyrics still felt like emotional extensions of us too”.
‘The Minutes’ is one of the songs that came out of Beckett granting the group free access to his impressive songbook, with an invitation to pick whatever they liked best and get creative with it. “It was slightly overwhelming for us to go through all the hundreds of lyrics Larry Beckett has composed, from his early days with Tim Buckley all the way until 2019”, Chris says. “But pretty quickly, John [Moen] and myself found lyrics that resonated for each of us. We tried to find ones that would roll out of us emotionally. ‘The Minutes’ was one of the last ones I wrote the music for. And I like that it’s under two minutes so we didn’t make it to ‘the minutes’ after all”.
Debuting here for the first time, the song’s video provides a nice link to Eyelids’ post-Accidental Falls release, Dubble Live!. “We had decided not to go out on tour due to the pandemic, and putting out the live album seemed like a nice stop-gap way of celebrating the new record under weird circumstances,” John Moen explains. The video is a fun collage of some one-of-a-kind covers John designed for the record. “I love drawing/cartooning and thought that individual covers would be a nice incentive for orders. Chris wisely capped the offer once we’d hit 128 folks, and it still took forever for us to get them out to everyone. I had bitten off more than I could chew. Chomp, chomp. I think it was nearly a year before the last one had been sent out. The drawings are all just inspirations of the moment except for a handful of special requests”. There’s pancake-loving skeletons, cowboys, witches, horrified elves, pissed-off aliens, nods to The Byrds and even a hard-rocking knight that wouldn’t feel out of place in Monty Python & The Holy Grail. “I feel that they range pretty drastically in quality,” John considers. “There may not be a masterpiece in the group, but it was just supposed to be a fun extra. Thanks to all who signed-up, especially for their patience! I can’t really pick a favourite – most of them make me laugh a little bit.”
Since The Accidental Falls and Double Live! came out, Eyelids have welcomed a new member in their ranks. We leave it to John to make introductions: “The lovely and accomplished Victor Krummenacher, formerly of Camper Van Beetoven, Monks Of Doom, Third Mind and so many others! Why did he move to our town? Why did he want to play with us? How can we be so lucky? I’m just asking more questions! He is such a tasteful player; a songwriter’s dream, in terms of collaboration. I know that my younger CBV-fan-self did not anticipate this moment. We are honoured to say the least!”
Krummenacher, who has a new album coming out on 15th October called Silver Smoke Of Dreams, will be on stage with Eyelids this autumn when they finally bring the Accidental Falls magic on tour in the US (starting from Portland on 16th October). “We got some offers to do some online video concerts but we just didn’t want to play alone in separate rooms from each other”, Chris admits. “So we waited until we were vaccinated and could see each other safely. These upcoming tours are our way to finally get the chance to express all those songs to everyone. There’s some intensity to many of these songs and it’ll be fun to see how they collide into each other live.”
Meanwhile, we’re happy to learn they’ve been busy in the studio, recording new songs they mostly wrote during the pandemic with Peter Buck sitting at the producer’s desk once again. New single ‘Everything That I See You See Better’ will be out in February. A quick peek at the tracklist reveals intriguing titles: ‘Pink Chair’, ‘Swinging In The Circus’, ‘Lying In Your Tomb’, ‘Colossal Waste of Light’. What will the album be like? “Basically, it’s moody as fuck, but rocks like hell”, Chris promises.