Phantom Limb are sharing their brand new, full-length LP, Pastoral, streaming in full exclusively at New Noise.

Frontman Andrew Laningham navigated the pandemic in the same way many others did, stuck in self-isolation in his apartment and dreaming about wide open expanses. While the pandemic contributed to his solitude, he spent the time producing music that would eventually end up as the track list on Pastoral. Phantom Limb infuse a blend of garage pop songwriting with electronic tweaking reminiscent of Animal Collective, displaying chopped and screwed samples of preachers and comedians found in thrift stores throughout the American South.

The record looks at the “pastoral” as a wider-reaching idea of comfort and ease, careful not to push into mockery or treating the South with contempt. Instead, Laningham focuses on the beauty surrounding him in Alabama.

“Every media depiction I see of Alabama or the rural South in general is very much the old hillbilly from the old Mountain Dew ads,” he says. “The rural South is so much weirder and more complicated and messier and more confusing than that.”

He calls the album a meditation on the concepts of home, memory, the South, and paranoia, the songs exploring a loose narrative about coming to terms with the idea of “home” being imperfect, even sinister.

“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,” Laningham says. “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.”

He adds that most of the album’s tracks are about how the past can still haunt the present, in one way or another.

“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,” he says.

Check out Pastoral in full below:

For more from Phantom Limb, find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Bandcamp.

Photo courtesy of Phantom Limb

Author

Keegan Williams is a freelance journalist and artist. Keegan is based in Los Angeles, CA and lives quaintly with their hairless cat, two model skeletons, and Furby baby.

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