Toronto-London collective The Flowers Of Hell  released the first vinyl pressing of their cult classic ‘Odes’ album on April 22nd for Record Store Day UK. With a deluxe die-cut sleeve, this 180-gram red coloured pressing will be released via Space Age Recordings (known for its tightly curated roster with releases from Spacemen 3, Spectrum, The Telescopes, Acid Mothers Temple and The Silver Apples).

Lou Reed began the final episode of his BBC6 / Sirius-XM New York Shuffle radio show in 2012 premiering three tracks from this covers album, declaring the release to be “An amazing, amazing album” and praising it as, “So beautiful and great” and “Exquisite”, amongst other compliments shared.

The Flowers Of Hell mastermind Greg Jarvis notes, “Lou Reed’s praise meant more to us than a Grammy ever would,” says  “It also meant all the time I spent in my youth smoking weed while listening to The Velvet Underground wasn’t a waste – it was research!”

Paying tribute to some of their favourite artists through orchestral-pop covers of Bob Dylan, Klaatu, Stereolab, Laurie Anderson, The Velvet Underground, Siouxsie & the Banshees and Neutral Milk Hotel, this album features appearances from Sea Power’s Neil ‘Hamilton’ Wilkinson and Abi Fry (Bat For Lashes, Sea Power), Prague underground legend Ivo Pospíšil and the Plastic People Of The Universe. Recorded in Toronto, ‘Odes’ was co-produced by the band & Grammy winning engineer Peter J. Moore (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Joe Strummer), who returned to remastered it for vinyl.

The band has also shared videos for their renditions of Joy Division’s ‘Atmosphere’ and ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’, made famous by Toronto prog-rock group Klaatu (who were, at that time, thought to be The Beatles working under a pseudonym) and later on, The Carpenters. Penned in the early 1970s, this song was inspired by the 1950s International Flying Saucer Society effort to unite their members across the planet with a time and date to telekinetically communicate a specific message to alien lifeforms beyond Earth in hopes they might pick up on this. ‘Calling Occupants’ is now the official anthem of World Contact Day.

The Flower of Hell frontman Greg Jarvis says, “When a 1950s global flying saucer society gets people to telepath a message into outer space and a mysterious ‘70s Toronto prog band turns that message into a tune that a spiraling-out pop act transforms into a 7-minute hit, how could we not try it for our covers album? It’s musically an incredibly complex song to do and so when Lou Reed spun our version on his radio show, it was like getting an A++ in music class.”

Since starting in London in 2005, playing Sonic Cathedral and AC30 club, The Flowers Of Hell have traversed the experimental edges of indie and orchestral music with works often rooted in the audio-visual synesthesia of Greg Jarvis. Despite relative obscurity, they’ve also been championed by Spacemen 3’s Pete Kember a.k.a. Sonic Boom, My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields and members of The Legendary Pink Dots, Death In Vegas, The Wedding Present, The Fugs and The Plastic People Of The Universe, not to mention support from NASA’s mission control team and the Tate Gallery.

On May 12th, the group also releases their sixth studio album and their first in six years. ‘Keshakhtaran’ is a 42-minute psilocybin meditation piece in two parts, involving 20 artists, including Rishi Dhir (Elephant Stone, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels, Beck) and avant-accordion legend Angel Corpus Christi (Suicide, Spiritualized, Dean Wareham). The advance taster single ‘Foray Through Keshakhtaran’ is out now, across digital platforms, including Apple MusicSpotify and Bandcamp.
Following Record Store Day UK, ‘Odes’ will be available on import in international shops two weeks later, on Friday, May 5th.

On June 7, The Flowers of Hell will be putting on a psychedelic feast for the senses at London’s 100 Club, also featuring performances by London psych-rockers The Confederate Dead (Little Cloud Records), Pete Bassman of infamous drug music pioneers Spacemen 3 with memoir stories and songs, and a very rare appearance from Philip Parfitt of cult legends The Perfect Disaster. Plus interim music selections from Tim Holmes (Death In Vegas). Tickets are available now.

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