Episode 226: Manchester Orchestra


In 2014, Manchester Orchestra released Hope, a new album with an identical track listening as its predecessor, Cope, released the same year. The two albums represented dramatically different musical takes on the same songs — the first was the band’s hardest edge record to date, and the second wholly stripped down. The pair of albums was the work of a band looking to shake things up a decade into its existence. The following year, the band was given the opportunity to think entirely out of the box, scoring the soundtrack to Swiss Army Man. The tale of a young man and his farting corpse of a best friend required an equally off-beat set of songs, so Andy Hull and Robert McDowell performed the whole thing a capella, layering as many as 150 tracks to accomplish the task. I met the duo on the eve of a record listening party, for their latest work, A Black Mile to the Surface. The album finds the band newly refreshed and introspective. We sat down in a soundproof booth and recorded a wide ranging conversation with the aid of the event’s whiskey sponsor, which helped ensure a free flowing conversation about musical work ethic, movie passes and starting a family.

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