It's official: Smashing Pumpkins have returned. Billy Corgan and Co. are streaming their new album, Oceania, in its entirety on iTunes before its official June 19 release date via EMI. Listen right here.
The 13-track effort, the band's seventh full-length, is described as an "album within an album"; Oceania is part of the band's larger 44-song cycle Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, which has been released piecemeal online since 2009.
"I was dead set on making an album where every song was just as valuable as any other, ignoring the typical claptrap you hear about needing a single," Corgan told NME. "The only way to make the case that every song on Oceania is worth hearing is to put your heart into the sequence as a cohesive whole. Once we felt we'd achieved that balance, only then did we let anyone outside our world hear the record we'd made."
The album is the band's first with the new lineup (Corgan is the only remaining original member). Mike Byrne is on drums, Nicole Fiorentino on bass and Jeff Schroeder on guitar, and Corgan adds that Oceania is a band effort, not a solo album.
"I've been adamant in stressing that, as a group, first and foremost, we are here to make new music together. Jeff, Mike, and Nicole have all made significant contributions to the tone and texture of Oceania, which is an album that is unlike any I've ever made. Yet at the same time I believe it upholds the same musical values I've always pushed for with the Pumpkins, be they progressive, emotional, epic, or restless."
Listen to Oceania, then let me know what you think in the comments. I'm listening for the first time, too, so I'll be back with my first impressions as well.