BioIn Summer 1997, Risk Records / EMI released two albums by Los Angeles’ The Autumns. "Suicide at Strell Park" (EP) created a stir in seemingly random markets: Utah, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, and California. Full-length "The Angel Pool" had a greater impact. Within eighteen months of its release, The Autumns would tour the United States four times, have their songs featured on three prime-time television shows, and garner widespread plaudits as, among other things, "the top third generation shoegazer band" (Chickpages.com), "Risk Records’ finest" (HITS magazine), "a hypnotic pop masterpiece" (Flipside), "truly phenomenal" (Mehmag), "glorious noise" (Big Takeover), "melodically pristine" (College Music Journal), "**** . . . a fine debut . . . an addictive combination" (All Music Guide), and "the best band this side of the Velvet Underground" (Cocteau Twins bassist Simon Raymonde). Raymonde, in fact, joined the band on-stage in London, Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Austin’s SXSW music festival. He would go on to produce The Autumns’ second full-length, "In the Russet Gold of This Vain Hour" (2000), deemed "a sumptuous album" (CMJ), "very worthwhile" (MTV Online), "a tidal force" (Outburn), "intelligent, seductive, and a little bit cruel" (San Francisco Weekly), and "sublimely beautiful" (Evil Sponge). Unfortunately, potential listeners were spared such pleasures; "Russet Gold" was never released due to the collapse of the long-ailing Risk.
At this juncture, the band decided to clean up shop. They released "Le Carillon," an EP of 50s -flavored pop, and the limited edition "3" Covers" along with a split 7" with Bella Union’s Lift to Experience. While the latter two were strictly fan-oriented releases, "Le Carillon" further solidified the band’s reputation for the "extremely well-conceived" and "excellent" (Babysue), "crisp, beautiful guitarwork...and wonderful vocals" (Delusions of Adequacy), "some of the most beautiful sounds that exist today" (Meanstreet), "a crooning sigh you could die for" (Ink 19), and "un pop sophistique" (Canoe). "Le Carillon” also led critics to note the band’s considerable diversity. All Music Guide called it "a departure [from] their previous releases,” commenting that "the guitars hang big icy halos over the gorgeously fragile purity of sweet harmonies and chilly atmospherics," while Exclaim admired the band’s "expertise at mellow retro-pop." Others took notice as well. Angela Shelton, whose debut movie Tumbleweeds earned an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe, hired The Autumns to score her next two films (“Angela Shelton” and “Fake,” respectively).
Meanwhile, the band regained the rights to their Risk Records catalog. Rather than seek a home for the unreleased "Russet Gold," they shifted their focus to the next album. In Fall 2001, the recording of the new album commenced, with Jamie Seyberth (Teenage Fanclub, Sugarplastic, Beachwood Sparks) engineering. At the same time, the Los Angeles branch of The Autumns’ notoriously "giant fanbase" swelled yet again (LA2Nite.com). Regular appearances at LA’s Spaceland and Troubadour nightclubs drew several hundred enthusiasts consistently, further expanding their "legion of fans" (Orange County Weekly). This latest surge was due in no small part to the debuting of the sprawling masterpieces of the new self-titled release. As the June 2003 issue of Under the Radar observed, "It’s taken them two years to even near completion of the album, and their rabid fanbase is getting pissy with the wait."
Alas, the wait is over. Nearly three years after the arduous project began, the new record is finally completed. In a four-star review, MOJO hails it as "unutterably beautiful" and "hugely powerful." Q calls it "impressive stuff... a swooning juggernaut" and UNCUT a "searing rock drama." And as Babysue puts it: "Pop music just doesn't get much better than this." The most ambitious and prodigious Autumns work to date, the new album promises to reach a still larger audience, increasing the ranks of one of the most remarkable word-of-mouth phenomena in the world of independent music today.