Song Guide

Carnavas / Swoon / Neck of the Woods / Better Nature / Widow's Weeds

EPs and Singles

"Kissing Families"/"All the Coyotes" / Sunset Junction Demos / Demo EP / Pikul
The Tripwire Sessions: Live in Chicago / Seasick / Let it Decay/Working Title / The Singles Collection


Previews are in Opus format and requires a relatively modern browser to play. Songs marked with a * are bonus tracks that didn't appear on the original album, but are grouped for convenience.


# Name Length Preview
1 Melatonin 4:04 Listen
2 Well Thought Out Twinkles 4:02 Listen
3 Checkered Floor 4:51 Listen
4 Little Lover's So Polite 4:58 Listen
5 Future Foe Scenarios 5:20 Listen
6 Waste it On 4:13 Listen
7 Lazy Eye 5:54 Listen
8 Rusted Wheel 6:00 Listen
9 Dream at Tempo 119 4:52 Listen
10 Three Seed 5:40 Listen
11 Common Reactor 6:01 Listen
* Mercury 5:38 Listen
* Table Scraps 6:18 Listen

Bonus tracks

"Mercury" found on the "Well Thought Out Twinkles" 7". "Table Scraps" found on the "Future Foe Scenarios" 7". Both included on the Japanese CD release of Carnavas, together on a 7" with certain releases of the vinyl, and with the MP3 downloads included with all vinyl releases.

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# Name Length Preview
1 There's No Secrets This Year 5:33 Listen
2 The Royal We 4:47 Listen
3 Growing Old is Getting Old 5:54 Listen
4 It's Nice to Know You Work Alone 4:46 Listen
5 Panic Switch 5:44 Listen
6 Draining 4:55 Listen
8 Sort Of 5:28 Listen
9 Substitution 4:41 Listen
10 Catch and Release 4:40 Listen
11 Surrounded (or Spiraling) 4:45 Listen
* Ne Plus Ultra 5:14 Listen
* Currency of Love 5:30 Listen

Bonus tracks

"Ne Plus Ultra" included with the non-US iTunes release of the "Panic Switch" single. "Currency of Love" found on "Original Television Soundtrack: The Vampire Diaries".

The Seasick EP was recorded during the Swoon sessions.

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Neck of the Woods

# Name Length Preview
1 Skin Graph 6:02 Listen
2 Make Believe 5:13 Listen
3 Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings) 5:10 Listen
4 Busy Bees 5:39 Listen
5 Here We Are (Chancer) 4:47 Listen
6 Mean Spirits 4:49 Listen
7 Simmer 6:51 Listen
8 The Pit 4:41 Listen
9 Dots and Dashes (Enough Already) 5:08 Listen
10 Gun-Shy Sunshine 5:37 Listen
11 Out of Breath 5:02 Listen

Bonus tracks

"Working Title" from Let it Decay/Working Title was recorded during the Neck of the Woods sessions.

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Better Nature

# Name Length Preview
1 Cradle (Better Nature) 5:20 Listen
2 Connection 4:33 Listen
3 Pins & Needles 4:42 Listen
4 Friendly Fires 5:28 Listen
5 Nightlight 4:28 Listen
6 Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance) 3:49 Listen
7 Tapedeck 6:01 Listen
8 Latchkey Kids 3:41 Listen
9 Ragamuffin 6:00 Listen
10 The Wild Kind 6:36 Listen
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Widow's Weeds

# Name Length Preview
1 Neon Wound 5:38 Listen
2 It Doesn't Matter Why 4:08 Listen
3 Freakazoid 4:49 Listen
4 Don't Know Yet 4:24 Listen
5 Straw Man 3:04 Listen
6 Bag of Bones 4:58 Listen
7 Widow's Weeds 5:17 Listen
8 Songbirds 5:04 Listen
9 Simpatico 5:18 Listen
10 We Are Chameleons 5:09 Listen
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EPs and Singles

"Kissing Families"/"All the Coyotes"

# Name Length Preview
1A Kissing Families 5:29 Listen
2B All the Coyotes ?

Split single with Pine Marten, Joe's former band. The Pickups contributed "Kissing Families" while Pine Marten contributed "All the Coyotes". Limited to 500 copies on orange 7" vinyl.

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Sunset Junction Demos

# Name Length Preview
1 Well Thought Out Twinkles 5:17 Listen
2 Dream at Tempo 119 6:05 Listen
3 Kissing Families 5:29 Listen
4 The Fuzz 6:14 Listen
5 Lazy Eye 7:22 Listen
6 Little Lover's So Polite 5:49 Listen
# Others? ?

Formally untitled. This one was sold at Sunset Junction 2003, which the band took part in, and also reportedly at the band's merch table at Spaceland and at some of their other early live shows.

Because this is so highly uncirculated, and I only just barely found a copy for myself, I've broken out of my normal impartial voice into a ramble. More detail about each track, plus a full download of the demo under the cut:

Sunset Junction Demos Notes

First, a few notes about the demo:

  • My copy is very clearly a recompressed MP3 copy. I apologize. I don't think this is how it was originally sold to people. If someone has a lead on an original CD-R (for this or the 2004 demo, really), get in touch, I'll buy it. ("Little Lover's" update: this track came in a different bitrate than the rest, and I don't think that was from my source. Really, as far as generations go, I'm operating in the dark here, but I suspect these were MP3s to begin with, burned to CD-R, ripped at 192kbps, and then transcoded to 320kbps. Messy stuff, another reason I'd like to re-rip the original in lossless one day.)
  • It's been reported that 18 songs were recorded in all and each copy had a different bonus track. I now have one of these, the early "Little Lover's So Polite".
  • These were not recorded all in the same sitting. The "Kissing Families" was recorded in January 2002, and I suspect others were mostly done in 2003. It's definitely Chris' drums on the other tracks, but Joe isn't on this demo, so it certainly predates his entry into the band.
  1. Well Thought Out Twinkles: Very early version that starts with the bridge of the Carnavas version. Slower than the final. Brian's vocals are under heavy effects throughout the track, and there's no lyrics on the later bridge at all.
  2. Dream at Tempo 119: Slower than the later 2004 demo (actually around 119bpm), but the arrangement is very similar, right down to the ambient sounds of cars. Brian's vocals are a little scratchy and off-key (and affected, naturally), but generally okay.
  3. Kissing Families: Is actually the earlier Pine Marten split version of the song, which was recorded in 2002. The band must've held onto this version as they felt it was a strong showing. I'm inclined to agree. Much slower than the later 2004 demo/Pikul version, but very similar arrangement.
  4. The Fuzz: True to my speculation, this is in fact the Pikul version. It's very roughly mixed; the two drum tracks throughout are at very different levels, which doesn't help the ragged MP3 compression any. Mark's backing vocals are far more audible, and the guitars are pushed down in the mix. You can really hear how neutered the bass on the Pikul mix is compared to this.
  5. Lazy Eye: A very early version, in fact slower than the 2004 demo. Very pleasant, with some whale noise guitar in the verses which I can only guess is Kennedy's doing because it's not in any other version. Brian's vocals are very quiet, very shy, and the bridge sees him burying them in effects again. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same arrangement, right down to Nikki's harmonizing post-bridge. Possibly my favorite version of the song to date.
  6. Little Lover's So Polite: The fabled, uncirculated early version. "Long, slow, and strange" was how Brian described it, and that's apt, but I'd add "peaceful" to the end of that. Totally different structure, no Nikki singing bit, unfinished lyrics, and a much slower tempo. Neat version, and a curious look into how the band would come to rebuild songs later in their career. (Many thanks to Renan Lopez for sharing this one, as my copy didn't come with it.)

Here's my full copy of the demo. (If you previously downloaded it, there's an extra track in there now, so redownload.)

This demo came in two different album art variants, one being the Sunset Junction sign, and the other being what looks to be a view of Los Angeles from a rooftop with the colors inverted. Both came on novelty Verbatim "vinyl" CD-Rs.

The alternate Sunset Junction Demos cover art and CD-R
The guy who posted this on eBay wanted $120 for it. As a starting bid. I'm stealing your images, you scalping fuck.
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Demo EP

# Name Length Preview
1 Dream at Tempo 119 5:43 Listen
2 Kissing Families 5:03 Listen
3 Booksmart Devil 4:58 Listen
4 Lazy Eye 7:28 Listen

Formally untitled. "Kissing Families" and "Booksmart Devil" are the same versions as on Pikul, only unmastered. "Dream at Tempo 119" and "Lazy Eye" are earlier takes with different arrangements and scratch vocals.

Given the rarity of the demo, I've elected to reupload my copy of it here. Compared to the earlier demo, it's in strikingly good quality, but I suspect there's still some encoding fuckery going on, especially on "Lazy Eye". Again, get in touch if you have an original CD-R or at least a lossless rip of it and I'll post it here.

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# Name Length Preview
1 Kissing Families 4:51 Listen
2 Comeback kid 4:10 Listen
3 Booksmart Devil 4:26 Listen
4 The Fuzz 5:55 Listen
5 Creation Lake 3:44 Listen
6 ...All the Go-Inbetweens 7:50 Listen
7 Sci-Fi Lullaby 5:00 Listen

"Sci-Fi Lullaby" is a hidden track on the vinyl and CD releases.

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The Tripwire Session: Live in Chicago

# Name Length Preview
1 Future Foe Scenarios 5:07 Listen
2 Well Thought Out Twinkles 3:52 Listen
3 Comeback Kid 3:59 Listen
4 Dream at Tempo 119 4:25 Listen

Came with copies of Carnavas sold in independent record stores. Recorded for thetripwire.com, a now-defunct music tastemaker rag, on August 14, 2006.

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# Name Length Preview
1A Seasick 6:45 Listen
2B Broken Bottles 3:44 Listen
3B Ribbons & Detours 3:27 Listen

Three outtakes from the Swoon sessions. Released for Record Store Day's 2011 "Back to Black Friday" event. Available on 10" and digitally, with the vinyl limited to 2,500 copies.

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Let it Decay/Working Title

# Name Length Preview
1A Let it Decay 3:36 Listen
2B Working Title 4:40 Listen

Released for Record Store Day's 2013 Black Friday event. Limited to 3,000 copies on 10" black vinyl.

"Let it Decay" was recorded in the same session that yielded "Cannibal", later released on The Singles Collection, while "Working Title" is a Neck of the Woods outtake.

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The Singles Collection

# Name Length Preview
1 Kissing Families 4:51 Listen
2 Lazy Eye 5:54 Listen
3 Well Thought Out Twinkles 4:02 Listen
4 Little Lover's So Polite 4:58 Listen
5 Panic Switch 5:44 Listen
6 Substitution 4:41 Listen
7 The Royal We 4:47 Listen
8 Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings) 5:10 Listen
9 The Pit 4:41 Listen
10 Dots and Dashes (Enough Already) 5:08 Listen
11 Cannibal 3:44 Listen
12 Devil's Cup 3:02 Listen

A "greatest hits" boxset from the band's first three records, Carnavas, Swoon, and Neck of the Woods, plus Pikul. Includes two exclusive tracks, "Cannibal" (recorded for The Singles Collection), and "Devil's Cup", a Swoon outtake that's exclusive to the vinyl release of the boxset.

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