"I'm pretty sure (indie retailers) sold a lot more of my records to fans than Borders or WalMart or Satan..." - Eric Bachmann
Crooked Fingers will release their fifth LP, titled Forfeit / Fortune October 7th, 2008 on Red Pig / Constant Artists, Inc.. Produced by Mark Nevers (Andrew Bird, Lambchop, Silver Jews), Alex McManus (The Bruces, Bright Eyes) and Eric Bachmann in Nashville, Denver, and Tucson this past spring, Forfeit / Fortune will be their first release since 2005's Dignity and Shame (Merge).
Forfeit / Fortune features the fullest and most eclectic orchestration on a Crooked Fingers release to date, kicking off with the hornheavy "What Never Comes", and the drum machine-based "Luisa's Bones". Whereas Dignity & Shame was recorded entirely live, Forfeit / Fortune was a more piecemeal affair, with CF enlisting an all-star cast of players to perform on the record, with the cast depending on the city they were in. Brian Kotzur (Silver Jews) lent his to the project in Nashville, while Tom Hagerman (Devotchka) laid down string parts in Denver. Frequent Crooked Fingers touring mate Neko Case sang the brilliant album-closing duet "Your Control" with Bachmann at the Upstairs Studio / Wavelab Studios in Tucson. Bachmann, a noted composer in his own right, wrote and arranged the string and horn parts on the record, in addition to functioning as the album's "creative director" of sorts.
After releasing albums on indie powerhouses Merge (2003's Red Devil Dawn and 2005's Dignity and Shame) and Saddle Creek (Bachmann's 2006 solo debut To the Races), Forfeit / Fortune will be the debut release on Red Pig / Constant Artists, Inc. (more info below on both imprints), and will be distributed exclusively to 20 key independent retailers in the United States. These hand picked retailers have been some of the most supportive fans of Crooked Fingers to date, and this explicitly not-big-box-accessible album is a nod to those retailers who have shown support for the band over the past eight years of releases. The album will be available digitally via CrookedFingers.com and iTunes.
Asked why the label change at this point in his career, Bachmann said: "It's certainly not because those labels aren't a good place to put out your records. Mostly it's because there are so many avenues online to do it without a label... Also, in terms of the independent record stores we're working with, there's a history. At most of these stores, I've done in-store performances over the years or know the owner or an employee pretty well... And I'm pretty sure those guys sold a lot more of my records to fans than Tower or Borders or Barnes and Nobles or WalMart or Satan. I'm thankful to them and would rather just do business with them, really. It's not like 17 years in these big retailers are going to start giving a shit about Crooked Fingers..."
Forfeit / Fortune will be available in both a standard jewelcase edition and a deluxe digipak edition, which includes extended artwork and a DVD found only in the Deluxe Edition. The DVD is slated to contain exclusive new performance footage, the first music video from Forfeit / Fortune, and an interview with chief singer & songwriter Eric Bachmann.
Fans that pre-order the album through the CrookedFingers.com website will also have the opportunity to purchase a Premium Collection of F / F, which in addition to the Deluxe Edition of the album, also includes a silk screened print of the incredible F / F cover art, and an exclusive Crooked Fingers t-shirt only available as part of the Premium Collection.