The Fiery Furnaces have returned with their new song “Down at the So and So on Somewhere,” Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger’s first track together in 11 years.
The brother-sister duo previously teased their musical reunion — including a gig at the Pitchfork Music Festival, since canceled due to COVID-19 — as well as a collaboration with Third Man Records, which will release a 7″ single of the Fiery Furnaces’ new song backed by a vinyl-only B-side “The Fortune Teller’s Revenge.”
The Friedbergers’ first song together since 2009’s I’m Going Away was “recorded in New York City and a few hours north of New York City on February 3 and February 10-12, 2020,” they said in a statement. “‘Down at the So and So on Somewhere’ is a regretful song about having regrets. Now it seems even more sad than we thought it was back then: ‘Will you meet me,’ etc. Matthew was happy to use a Soviet drum machine. Eleanor was happy to play real drums. ‘The Fortune Teller’s Revenge’ is another sad song. We cut out the lines from the first and third verse: ‘with me; just kidding’ and ‘leave everything to me.’ Matthew likes hearing Eleanor sing ‘I’m sorry to say I’ve never made a mistake.’ Eleanor likes that you can’t quite tell who’s singing what, when.”
The decade-plus-long hiatus hasn’t dulled the duo’s spontaneity and tongue-twisting lyricism, as Eleanor Friedberger sings on the opening verse, “Trigonometry tutors often go to dance class three times a week/At some point that night, connecting dots tangent to your cheek/You check your timewarp watch in the car/The angle ain’t all oblique.”
The Fiery Furnaces’ last album — recorded separately from one another — was 2009’s Take Me Round Again, and they last performed onstage together in 2011.