James Leyland Kirby Reemerges as the Stranger for 'Watching Dead Empires in Decay'
Published Sep 09, 2013British sound shaper James Leyland Kirby is a man of many names, having released music as V/Vm, the Caretaker and Leyland Kirby. He also sometimes works as the Stranger, and it's under this name that he will drop Watching Dead Empires in Decay on October 29 through Modern Love.
This is the follow-up to 2008's Bleaklow, and according to the label, Watching Dead Empires in Decay is a beguiling listening experience that forgoes obvious samples or electronic elements. The announcement goes on to call the album "complex, singular, enigmatic, percussive, dark, and you just can't work out how it was constructed. Gone are the sampled 78s of the Caretaker, but it also doesn't exactly sound electronic — you just can't quite fathom how any of it was put together: Field recordings? Found sounds? Sheets of metal scraped and hammered? Drum machines re-wired? It's stark and unsettling, haunted, even troubling — but often just beautiful."
The tracklist is below. Scroll past that to watch a video for the darkly unsettling "Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?" The eerie visuals are taken from Jose Val Del Omar's film Fuego en Castilla from 1960.
Watching Dead Empires in Decay:
1. We Are Enemies But Not Here
2. So Pale It Shone in the Night
3. Spiral of Decline
4. We Scarcely See Sunlight
5. Providence or Fate
6. Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?
7. Grey Day Drift
8. Ill Fares the Land
9. About to Enter a Strange New Period