The Rentals return with Songs About Time

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Following a hiatus of nearly seven years, The Rentals reunited in 2006 for a tour that culminated in The Last Little Life EP. But that release only left fans hungry for more which, strangely, wasn't forthcoming. One of the group's musicianss, Sara Radle, left and it looked like they might have died off again just as quietly as they'd returned.

Finally, in September the band released a new song for free ("Colorado") and promised big things to come for 2009. But how big they were has surprised just about everyone, considering that it will be 10 years since the band's last full-length release in just a few months. On Jan. 1, the band announced its epic multimedia project Songs About Time.

The idea consists of three prongs:

Photographs About Days: "Every day we will add a photograph to our photo diary. These shots will compose a calendar of images that will chronicle Songs About Time. In addition to the digital images posted in the photo diary, we will also shoot one roll of 35mm film each and every day."

Films About Weeks: "Every Tuesday evening, a new black and white short film will be premiered exclusively on our website... In addition to the songs we are recording we will also be scoring and arranging original music for the 52 films."

Songs About Time: "Every three months, The Rentals will release a new chapter of music from Songs About Time. A total of three digital mini-albums will be recorded and released over the course of 2009. The first release will be in April. The second will be in July and the final release will be in October." 

All of the music will be available for free streaming onthe band's website as it's released.  Pictures and films are already up and, so far, the band has kept up with its goals. At the end of the project the band is releasing the entire thing as downloads, a limited edition boxed set of records, or, for the first 365 people to purchase the box set, a "deluxe limited edition" version that contains an undeveloped roll of film and backstage passes to any Rentals show.

So far some of what the group's produced has been what you'd expect from working on this kind of schedule, but a few of the pictures and in particular the first video and its score have shown the band to have quite an eye. Hopefully their ears can more than match it.

Related links:
Feature: Catching Up With... The Rentals
Feature: Matt Sharp: From Weezer to quiet troubador
Review: Matt Sharp by Matt Sharp

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