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Tall Dwarfs – Unravelled: 1981–2002 | Vinyl LP & CD Box Set
Tall Dwarfs – Unravelled: 1981–2002 | Vinyl LP & CD Box Set
Tall Dwarfs – Unravelled: 1981–2002 | Vinyl LP & CD Box Set
TALL DWARFS – Unravelled: 1981–2002
Tall Dwarfs – Unravelled: 1981–2002 | Vinyl LP & CD Box Set
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$195.00

Tall Dwarfs – Unravelled: 1981–2002 (Pre-Order)


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Pre-Order Available Now - Out 19th August 2022

  • Four 180g black vinyl LPs housed in two gatefold jackets
  • 20-page collector's booklet of lyrics, photos, comics, posters, and other ephemera
  • Double CD set in a 4-panel wallet with a 6-panel folded insert of photos and ephemera

“this box set will bless you with some of the catchiest and most intelligent songwriting ever conceived. acoustic outsider poetry punk, mixed with a ‘studio as instrument’ artfulness. what more could you want?” —jeff mangum, neutral milk hotel

Today, Tall Dwarfs – the prized New Zealand duo of Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate – announce Unravelled: 1981–2002, out August 19th on Merge Records. The 4-LP or 2-CD set compiles 55 songs from Tall Dwarfs’ two decades of recordings, shining a loving light on the lo-fi pioneers. The vinyl LP edition is pressed on 180g vinyl housed in two gatefold jackets and includes a 20-page collector’s booklet of photos, comics, posters, and other ephemera, all packaged in a slipcase.

After a failed flirtation with success in their previous band Toy Love, Knox and Bathgate formed Tall Dwarfs in 1981, opting to record themselves on a 4-track reel-to-reel. AudioCulture wrote of the duo’s project: “Early live performances were a ramshackle work in progress. Knox described them in an interview with American magazine Forced Exposure as ‘two minutes of song followed by five minutes of fucking around,’” and they dismayed many Toy Love fans – but the pair had no interest in a career spent in pubs cranking out “Pull Down the Shades.”

Tall Dwarfs was meant to be a one-off, but after the founding of their New Zealand label Flying Nun, they continued to record music for the next 21 years, releasing seven EPs and six albums. Their process was spontaneous, with songs being recorded as they were written. Typically, Bathgate would work up something on guitar while Knox provided vocals, lyrics, and tape loops. Then they added any sounds that seemed necessary to finish a song, using whatever was lying around: pans, chairs, baby rattles. Though Tall Dwarfs could be weird, they were never too experimental; Knox and Bathgate both loved melody too much (“Beatlesque” appeared more often than any other adjective in their reviews).

The songs on Unravelled: 1981–2002 were curated by Bathgate, who also designed the box set packaging; Chris Knox suffered a debilitating stroke in 2009 just as they had started work on a new album. The collection captures the different sides of Tall Dwarfs in 55 songs. Though the band was an excuse for two good friends who lived in different cities to get together, drink beer, watch shitty old movies, and do some recording and drawing, Tall Dwarfs created music unlike anyone else. Capturing the initial excitement of creation and taking pride in what they did, Knox and Bathgate showed a whole generation of musicians what could be done at home on a 4-track and what magic could be made if you mixed pop melodies and hooks galore with homemade sounds.

Track List:

1. Nothing's Going to Happen
2. Luck or Loveliness
3. All My Hollowness to You
4. Maybe
5. Pictures on the Floor
6. Clover
7. Paul's Place
8. The Brain That Wouldn't Die
9. Walking Home
10. Beauty
11. Turning Brown and Torn in Two
12. Crush
13. Shade for Today
14. Pretty Poison
15. Carpetgrabber
16. Sleet
17. Burning Blue
18. Woman (Live)
19. Road and Hedgehog
20. Attack of the Munchies
21. The Slide
22. Waltz of the Good Husband
23. Cant
24. Dog
25. The Winner
26. Bodies
27. Sign the Dotted Line
28. Rorschach
29. Pirouette
30. Wings
31. Lowlands
32. Oatmeal
33. Think Small
34. Life Is Strange
35. We Bleed Love
36. More 54
37. Entropy
38. Bee to Honey
39. Self-Deluded Dreamboy (In a Mess)
40. The Green, Green Grass of Someone Else's Home
41. The Severed Head of Julio
42. Two Minds
43. Jesus the Beast
44. Albumen
45. Cruising with Cochran
46. Fatty Fowl in Gravy Stew
47. The Ugly Mire of Deep Held Feelings
48. Gluey, Gluey
49. Round These Walls
50. Room to Breathe
51. Time to Wait
52. Baby It's Over
53. We Are the Chosen Few
54. The Fatal Flaw of the New
55. Over the Hill

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