Of course we could wheel out all the old clichés about how Kevin Shields operates on a different calendar to the rest of the world, but this time we genuinely believe that new MBV material (two decades in the offing) is on its way – though it will be a surprise if the album does arrive by the end of December, as he is quoted by NME as saying. Shields (the main creative driving force behind the Anglo-Irish quartet) has been unusually active this year: not only has he reissued the Valentines’ first two studio albums – Isn’t Anything (1988) and the seminal Loveless (1991) – and their back catalogue of EPs, but he has also given two whole interviews, to Pitchfork and NME. Such a whirlwind of activity bodes well but we’ve been disappointed before; then again, isn’t that part of the fun of following a mercurial talent?

By Barney Horner
Dance Yrself Clean

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