The Old Ceremony: “Fairytales And Other Forms Of Suicide”
The Old Ceremony hails from the fertile music scene out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but the group is setting its sights on the wider world. On August 21, the band will release Fairytales And Other Forms Of Suicide, an album that’s as much about bucking trends as it is about embracing them.
Django Haskins formed the band back in 2004, intending it to be a “mini-orchestra” separate from his past rock inclinations. He took his cues from the noir-inflected pop of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, and the band name itself comes from Cohen’s 1975 album New Skin For The Old Ceremony. Still, even with strings and an attention to sonic detail, Haskins made sure the group had a rock backbone. The Old Ceremony has worked with Big Star’s Jody Stephens and the dB’s Chris Stamey, and that kind of pop pedigree carries over in their music. The result is an outfit that can alternately punch and fly with the best of them.
Fairytales And Other Forms Of Suicide is the Old Ceremony’s fourth album to date, but it just might be the one that introduces the rest of the world to the quintet. Haskins took inspiration from his great-grandfather–Titanic survivor Karl Behr–but he took a different path in his songwriting than you might think. “I’m interested in the uses of mythology, whether it be a family mythology or a city’s mythology, and how it can obscure reality in harmful ways,” Haskins says, and it’s this quality that comes across on the album’s title track, today’s song of the day. The music is suitably dark but also rousing, perfectly melding contradictory aspects–old and new, truth and fiction–together into a cohesive whole.