XTC’s Andy Partridge next month will release the debut installment of his new My Failed Songwriting Career series, collections of songs he wrote for other artists in the wake of the band’s dissolution following the Apple Venus albums more than 20 years ago.

The four-song EP My Failed Songwriting Career: Volume 1 will be released on CD and vinyl on July 23 through Partridge’s Ape House imprint; pre-orders are being taken now.

The project is described on the Ape House site:

Twang, Hmmm, click, thunk.

When XTC finally downed guitars after the recording and release of “Wasp Star”, their last album to date, one of Andy’s ideas about what to do next, was to become a songwriter in the traditional sense, writing songs for others…

It was something he had been asked to do throughout the XTC years, but never had the time.

Songs were written. Songs were sent. Sometimes speculatively, often specifically requested, many tailor-made for an artist’s requirements, but then choppy waters could still lay ahead. Even where everyone seemed to think that newly written song A would be wonderful if recorded by singer B, whose manager C had initiated the request via music publisher D for album E on record label F…

Well, you begin to see the potential problems of such an approach – almost a quarter of the way through the alphabet and not a note recorded beyond Andy’s original demo. That’s without detailing the sort of horrendous politics that makes a fresh batch of alphabet spaghetti of any of the above as they interact.

Still, songs are like children. A songwriter gives birth to them, feeds them, watches them grow before sending them out into the world. So it’s unfair to abandon them as orphans just because their first experience outdoors might be a traumatic one of being cold shouldered.

As a loving parent, Andy brought them all back together, re-Andy-fied them and buffed them up in his home studio, et voila! Here is the first selection of song siblings that resulted from all of this work, four brothers and sisters, happily reunited and presented as a family group aural snapshot for your entertainment and delight.

It was something he had been asked to do throughout the XTC years, but never had the time.

The new EP follows Partridge’s release last year of a free digital demo of a song called “Cavegirl” that he’d intended for an “aborted bubblegum sampler album” called 12 The Flavors of Hercules that was to have been a best-of compiling tracks from “the mythical American bubblegum label Hercules.”

These releases are part of a slow trickle of new music from Partridge in recent years, including the EP he recorded with Robyn Hitchcock and a pair of covers he released on a 10-inch EP.

 

 

PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS

 

 

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