Relient K's The Bird and the Bee Sides - scheduled for July 1st release by Gotee Records - is by far the most ambitious EP of the band's career. In fact, with 26 songs (including 13 brand new ones) and a running time of 70 minutes, it may be one of the most ambitious EPs ever released, period. And, as improbable as it sounds, there's still more: Prior to street date, Relient K will launch an online scavenger hunt that will give fans a chance to download numerous b-sides that will not be included on the disc. The hunt begins June 16th at the band's MySpace site and will continue through June 30th. For additional information and clues, visit: http://www.myspace.com/relientk
The band typically releases an EP between studio albums. So following Five Score And Seven Years Ago - which debuted at #6 on The Billboard 200 in 2007, becoming Relient K's highest charting album to date - the guys decided to make their latest EP something of an alternate career retrospective, comprised of b-sides, demos and other rarities from its 10 year history.
"We were just trying to think of what our fans would want from a b-sides record," explains lead singer/guitarist/pianist Matt Thiessen. "We're like, they probably just want everything - so let's try to give it to them." Along the way, the band decided to include some new tracks, a concept that quickly morphed into "hey, why doesn't everybody in the band write a song?"
Thus the EP begins with a baker's dozen of original new tunes collected under the moniker of The Nashville Tennis EP. With all five members writing and taking turns on lead vocals, it's perhaps Relient K's most diverse effort to date, including Thiessen's alt-country "At Least We Made It This Far," bassist John Warne's "The Last, The Lost, The Least," which is explosive both sonically and in its social commentary, and new drummer Ethan Luck's punk rock reggae "No Reaction," to name but a few highlights.
Working in a Spring Hill, TN studio with producer Mark Lee Townsend and mix engineer J.R. McNeely, the team behind the boards for 2004's mmhmm, Relient K laid down the new tracks and raided its archives, remixing and re-mastering the 13 songs that comprise the second half of the EP, The Bird and the Bee Sides. There are tunes from The Vinyl Countdown, The Employee Of The Month EP, The Creepy EP, and, as Thiessen puts it, "a ton of other stuff that you can't even find on the internet - at least not yet." Rarities include several demos ("Here I Go," "The Stenographer" and "Jefferson Aeroplane"), "Hope For Every Fallen Man," a b-side from the Five Score and Seven Years Ago sessions, and an acoustic version of the Top 20 hit single "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been."
Tapped as a co-headliner for the Vans Warped Tour '08, Relient K is eager to get back on the road. "This is the first time we've been out for the entire endeavor - it's going to be a blast," says Thiessen, who relishes the Warped tour's "hot, dirty summercamp awesomeness." They'll be bringing along a representative from Blood:Water Mission http://www.bloodwatermission.com/, a non-profit organization working to promote clean blood and clean water efforts in Africa, tangibly reducing the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic while addressing the underlying issues of poverty, injustice and oppression.
The track listing for The Bird and the Bee Sides is as follows:
[2001 - 2017]
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