(screenshot from Alex Body’s “Blood Orange” video)

Alex Body is poised to stake a claim as the most consistent and prolific songwriter in Iowa City–a title currently held by Samuel Locke Ward. On Thursday, Body announced a Kanye-esque roll-out for his latest album, Cutting Down Camelot. Friday he declared that he’d release “one track every day or so” leading up to the album’s release, which “will be available on 12″ [LP] by the time [he goes] on tour.”
The first track is album opener, “Punishment and Separation.” The first volley is easily Camelot‘s longest and, I think, the weakest cut. (In other words, it’s all uphill from here, kids.) At seven minutes and 19 seconds, “Punishment and Separation” takes a long time to get started. Though, when it finally does, at just over the 3:30 mark, the bass thumps and Body’s flinty coos, blasting through the web of euphonium (provided by Super Sonic Piss‘ Josh Hoffman) and violin scrapes (care of Skye Carrasco), are eerily affecting.

There’s an immediate turnaround with track two, “Easy Money.” Body’s rocking a propulsive, burbling bass line and a dollop of oozing, bleeding synth drones atop. “Easy Money” also has a cool, ghostly chorus to boot.

Body dropped one more jam over the weekend: “Goner.” Body gets mighty close to the playful, euphoria of High Places’ self-titled debut with the whistling loop and the percolating synth bubbles of the third cut from Cutting Down Camelot. That playfulness does, however, hide the sad isolation of the song’s lyrical content. It’s becoming commonplace to expect that kind of deft juxtaposition from Body now. Hop on over to his bandcamp site daily, or so, to catch the next six tracks yet to come from this nine-song stunner.

The hit parade keeps on rolling, because Body’s also got himself a music video for “Blood Orange.” And, it should come as no suprise, it’s an odd one. Body let this cut loose on the world a few months back, and in January had this video minted. The choir of sock puppets and an extended fight sequence from a hokey sci-fi flick should make this a  Tim and Eric-approved video; dudes would slap a big ol’ “Great Job!” on this one. (It should be noted that this video was posted back in January, so none of the parties involved had any knowledge of the tragedy which recently struck Japan.)

And now the emerging details on that aforementioned tour:

4/29: St. Louis, MO – Cranky Yellow
4/30: Chicago, IL – Streetside Cafe w/ T’Bone, Nude Sunrise
5/1: Sandusky, OH – House
5/2: Pittsburgh, PA – TBA
5/4: Philadephia, PA – Danger Danger Gallery w/ Univox
5/5: Boston, MA – Whitehaus
5/6: Portland, ME – Aphodian Theater
5/7: Providence, RI – TBA
5/9: Brooklyn, NY – Death By Audio
5/10: Baltimore, MD – The Bank
5/11: Oberlin, OH – TBA
5/12: Bloomington, IN – TBA
5/13: Champaign/Urbana, IL – TBA
5/14: Carbondale IL – TBA w/ Ga’an, Drunk Viagro

You can still score Body’s amazing cassette, Chief of Time and Frequency (one of my favorites of 2010), from Night-People Records here. You can stream everything Body’s released to date–including Cheif–on his Bandcamp site where you can also download, for free, Just Say Yes and Little Hazey. Last but not least, if you’re lucky enough to track down Body or members of Lwa, you may be able to score a copy of their split, lathe-cut 10″. Body’s side reps a pair of his singles from the tail end of last year, “The Field of the Cloth of Gold” and “Blood Orange.”

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