SIDE A.: Recorded 15 May 2011 in Rantoul, IL
1. New Year’s Prayer
2. The Strangest Music in the World
3. The Divine Eye
4. Viva Las Vegas (Love Went Away)
SIDE B.: Recorded 26 May 2011 in Chicago, IL
1. Two Houses
2. Soft Target
3. The Trouble with Cinderella
4. And, Tenderness is Alchemy
While a number of other musical acts have toyed with anachronistic ideas and themes, this record may be the first to truly act as a time machine to the early days of recorded music. Thomas Negovan’s debut solo album By Popular Demand features 8 original songs recorded using the most archaic of techniques: the wax cylinder. By stripping the music-making process of the gluttonously infinite possibilities of the digital age, By Popular Demand relied on the intimacy of the singer, his instruments, and the wax cylinder recorder. This meant no overdubs, no equalization, no editing, and most notable of all: NO ELECTRICITY. Using the most sophisticated recording techniques of 1911, By Popular Demand by name possesses a quality that is retro enough to be charming and ridiculous enough to be entertaining.
The album was recorded in two grueling one day sessions, requiring Negovan to use the sheer power of his voice and 12-string guitar to move a small sapphire needle across wax cylinders. By utilizing the bygone artistry of wax cylinder recording popularized at the turn of the century by Thomas Edison, Negovan’s decision to bypass modern digital method makes for a sound that is undeniably haunting and organic.
The record itself comes in three versions with limited pressings. The retail version features marbled black and translucent red vinyl housed in a sleeve overlaid with work by colloidial photographer Greg Martin. The other two are deluxe versions, pressed in both black lacquered and red translucent vinyl, with hand silkscreened sleeves adorned in artwork by Cursed Pirate Girl creator Jeremy A. Bastian.
By Popular Demand features the debut single “The Divine Eye,” to be released on wax cylinder in a limited edition of 50. The single is a first of its kind since 1924: recorded AND released on wax cylinder.