If you've read a major music magazine in the last few years, chances are you've seen Ryan Russell's photography. His work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Spin, The New York Times and everything in between. Plus, he's well-known for his work with bands like Paramore, Green Day, Death Cab for Cutie and many more.
Recently, Russell took some time off from shooting bands to move from his native city of Birmingham, AL to Bellingham, WA. His 8-day trip through forests, mountains, deserts and salt flats is beautifully captured in the form of his first photo book, Continental Obscura: From Birmingham To Bellingham, which comes out on April 8 via No Sleep Records.
To accompany the book, Russell asked a couple of friends–namely Manchester Orchestra and Minus The Bear–for some help. "When creating the book, I wanted to involve music somehow and thought it would be good to have a 7" included," Russell said.
"Having one band from the South where I was leaving [Manchester Orchestra] and one from the Pacific Northwest where I was heading [Minus The Bear] seemed like the best way to tie it all together with the book's content." Both groups contributed a rare song from their back catalog for a 7" that can be purchased with the book here.
Manchester Orchestra's offering is an unreleased track called "Sure Shot" from 2009, which you can stream above. This song comes from recording sessions of Mean Everything To Nothing, which the raw, grungy guitar work gives away immediately. Frontman Andy Hull doesn't disappoint with his repeated delivery of "I am a sure shot" over chaotic musicianship.
Meanwhile, Minus The Bear's contribution, "Surf-n-Turf," is a B-side from the band's most recent LP, 2012's Infinity Overhead. Check it out below. The band's signature electronic-tinged indie sound is prominent, along with the sophisticated songcraft that fans have grown fond of over the years. The song was originally released on a very limited 7" in the United Kingdom only.