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If you catch Ian Svenonius live these days, he’s probably fronting Chain & the Gang or MCing a garage-rock cruise. But the best Svenonius project in recent years may be the least heralded: Felt Letters, his improvisational band with Tom Bunnell and Fugazi‘s Brendan Canty. In early 2010, Washington City Paper wrote about instant classic “600,000 Bands,” from the project’s only single on M’Lady’s Records. “Six hundred thousand bands/Each one makes a sound,” speak-sings Svenonius over a ratty death groove. “Everybody wants you to listen to theirs/But you can’t right now cuz you’re listening to this.”
We didn’t get much more from the band—-the single’s other side, “Lone Wolf-No Club,” plus another song, “(Let’s All Dream) A Mystifying Dream,” on a compilation.
But in the last few days, some more Felt Letters tracks have popped up on Chain & the Gang’s YouTube page (and on Svenonius’ Facebook wall)—-almost an album’s worth. So what’s the deal?
Svenonius, naturally, is a bit mysterious in an email:
I’m glad you noticed my incessant postings … I dunno if it constitutes a story but I could think up something or you could just go to town.
In a second email, he clarifies that they’re from a session from a few years ago. Word. Here are the newly posted tracks: