Merge Records Preps Vinyl Reissue of Reigning Sound’s ‘Home for Orphans’

On June 26, Merge Records will celebrate the 15th anniversary of Reigning Sound’s long-out-of-print compilation Home for Orphans with a vinyl reissue! When frontman Greg Cartwright assembled the album’s tracklist in 2005, he was mining from a moody pool of outtakes and rarities cut at various locations across his hometown of Memphis. Stephen Deusner wrote in his review for Pitchfork: “Greg Cartwright has an ear for the hooks and hits from the mid-20th century, when rock, country, and r&b were only just beginning to diverge, and his songs with the Reigning Sound have the authenticity of dusty 45s by long-forgotten artists, buried for decades in some lonely LP store or flea market.”

Cue up Home for Orphans now wherever you listen to music, and pre-order the vinyl reissue today in the Merge store.

Opening the aptly titled Home for Orphans is “Find Me Now,” a lonely-hearted gem that was omitted from the band’s previous album, Too Much Guitar. Another similar “orphan” included here is “What Could I Do?,” a shining example of Cartwright’s ability to tastefully and poetically lay down heartbreaking ballads. Two songs from the band’s debut 7-inch, a fuzzy live take of The Breakers’ “Don’t Send Me No Flowers, I Ain’t Dead Yet,” and five more originals round out this varied yet cohesive collection of rarities and outtakes.

Having Cartwright’s original Memphis lineup on these sessions deepens the dynamic range of sounds. With bassist Jeremy Scott, drummer Greg Roberson, and organist Alex Greene on board, Home for Orphans presents the band’s classic sonic blueprint.

Photo credit: Dan Ball

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