It’s been just about one year since Manchester Orchestra released their best album since 2011’s Simple Math. A Black Mile to The Surface showed a new side of the band: They were human, they were grown up, and they had come to terms with life and all of its ups and downs. Andy Hull is now a father and if his Instagram feed means anything, he’s deeply in love with being a family man.
As of Friday, Hull and company have shared two new projects at once, not something they’re known for doing. The first is a look inside the process of putting together A Black Mile to the Surface, an all black-and-white documentary that contextualizes the emotions and work that went into creating the album. I Know How to Speak, named after their latest single, was directed by Ted Roach and it includes in-studio footage, onstage footage and interviews with the band.
The second project is a six-song EP of original demo tracks. The Black Mile Demos are “the seeds of how this all started. The initial, rough-around-the edges recordings, done with one microphone in some distant and often strange locations,” said Hull in a statement. The demos can be explored through an immersive digital experience where fans can “journey to the surface” through lyric highlights, track annotations and behind-the scenes footage.
You can begin the black mile and watch the documentary here, then listen to the demos below. Further down, listen to a Hull performance from the Paste archives.