Today, Phantom Limb shares their brand new full-length LP, Pastoral, via Earth Libraries.
Speaking on the album, frontman Andrew Laningham wrote:
“Pastoral is a meditation on the concepts of home, memory, the South, and paranoia. The songs comprise a loose narrative about coming to terms with the idea of home as imperfect, and kind of sinister. It’s also about the internet being overstimulating to the point of numbness, and figuring out the differences between how you see yourself and how you exist in the real world. I wrote a record about the South, my relationship to it, and its relationship to me.
I wanted Pastoral to sound like it was being haunted by old AM radio signals, but I didn’t have much experience recording or have access to professional equipment. What I did have, though, was some microphones, guitar amps, a synthesizer, and a pretty large collection of tapes I found sifting through thrift stores in rural Alabama.
Those tapes ended up defining the sound of Pastoral. All of the instruments on the record (outside of guitars/bass/drums/synths) came from samples of cassette tapes that I found. A lot of the tapes that I was listening to were home recorded by the people that lived near me. I found these types of samples intriguing because they grounded the record in a very specific place: Alabama.
I was reading a lot of Mark Fisher’s writing on Hauntology when making Pastoral. Fisher talks about how nostalgia and the past can impede our ability to conceptualize the future. Unintentionally, I made a record that illustrates that idea and contextualizes it in the South. Most of the songs on Pastoral are about how the past can still haunt the present in one way or another, and the sonic palette of the record is supposed to feel like songs being swallowed by symbols of the past. I think the central idea of the record is this: nostalgia can be comforting, but sometimes you have to let nostalgia go in order to move forward in life.”