Philadelphia art-rock duo Tulipomania release their fifth album Dreaming of Sleep, today via Sursumcorda Records and we are unveiling it below. The duo was heavily immersed in electronic means of creation, artful and mysterious, this record grapples with anxiety through dramatic vocal explorations and synth textures, one can hear echoes of esoteric electro of Throbbing Gristle and early Pulp.
With cover artwork by Michael Speed, senior designer at Beggars Group London, this record involves Executive Producer Howard Thompson, renowned for his contributions as a record industry executive (Elektra, Island, Almo Sounds), having discovered and/or worked with Adam and the Ants, Billy Bragg, MC5, Mötorhead, PiL, Psychedelic Furs, Robyn Hitchcock, The Sugarcubes, Suicide, among others.
“Having something to show for our efforts always feels like a triumph although the circumstances that motivated this album were anything but – there lies the contradiction. Attempting to grapple with the state of the things in the world recently is extremely satisfying, nonetheless.
The music and the animations that support it explore outrage, powerlessness – and the knowing kind of sorrow that emerges from those states of mind – often in bursts of absurdity. Being aware of the ridiculous often feels like salvation,” says Cheryl Gelover, who first met Tom Murray, the other half of Tulipomania, through experimental film and animation classes.
The latest animated video for ‘Then and Only Then’ features lip sync, original and vintage footage shot frame by frame, collaged on sheets of black paper – is an official selection at the CutOut Fest International festival of animation and digital art this November in Mexico.
“Musically, the album feels like an interpretive dance to me. A reaction to overwhelming anxiety and frustration – while also mirroring and grappling with this ridiculous anxious age we are living in. Lyrically, consciously, and subconsciously, the themes of loss, frustration and fear are I think clearly on display – with anger, disbelief and a realization of a total lack of control or even influence beyond what we could exert on the instrumentation, the songs and the animations themselves,” says Tom Murray.
“We tried to use only the first takes of any performances or musical ideas as much as possible. Vocals were recorded in one or two takes in almost every case. We wanted to make everything about the groove and the song. We wanted to not be tempted to use instrumentation we are already comfortable with. I think this lack of control and slight on-edge process pairs well with the music and lyrics. I hope the results speak for themselves.”
Tulipomania’s animated music videos have been featured in film festivals worldwide, with several already showcasing their latest few videos as an official selection, including the Leeds International Film Festival (UK), StopTrik (Croatia, Poland), AniFilm (Czech Republic), Insomnia (Russia), Malatesta (Italy) and CutOut animation festival (Mexico), as well as earning an Honorable Mention at the Montreal International Animation Film Festival – Animaze and named as finalist af the Amarcort Film Festival in Fellini’s hometown.
Tulipomania also created animated music videos – ‘Hush’ and ‘Shock To The Body’ – for Cabaret Voltaire founder / frontman Stephen Mallinder in support of his solo album ‘tick, tick, tick’ (out now via Dais Records).