Big Sir-- the longtime collaboration between singer/composer Lisa Papineau and bassist/composer Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta) -- announce Spring 2012 EU and UK headlining tour dates in support of their forthcoming new album, Before Gardens After Gardens. Please see current dates below. In anticipation of this new release, Prefix Mag today premieres a new track called "The Kindest Hour" available to download/stream HERE. .

RCRD LBL recently posted the song "Our Pleasant Home" (featuring special guest Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta on drums) which is available to. Back in December, Big Sir premiered the shimmering pop song, "Ready On the Line".

At times danceable, others darkly haunting, the album is as visually evocative and it is musically compelling. "Something that Juan and I have shared since our last album is that we've found out that we have chronic life-threatening illnesses," Papineau explains. "Illnesses that make us face that our bodies are not permanent. More and more I started thinking, or really, was needing to think about how you don't fold up in terror having that constantly in the foreground." The fear and uncertainty that we all face in contemplation of death, and the varying ways we all make peace with it is the basis of the album's overall concept. "The hymn 'Amazing Grace' speaks to the death of pride," Papineau says, "the death of believing yourself to be omnipotent, and how joyful and sweet this humble giving-in can be. So, on our album, Death is a ship, and her name is The Calico." It's an album of dance and celebration in death's insistent embrace.


Though created mostly in a back and forth between each other's laptops, Before Gardens After Gardens features special guest appearances by The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala on drums, Broken Bells' bassist Jonathan Hischke, multi-instrumentalist Matthieu Lesenechal, violist Heather Lockie (Mike Watt, Listing Ship), Matthew Embree (who also collaborates with Papineau in the duo ME & LP), Mars Volta drummer Deantoni Parks and a host of others on backing vocals. Bonus tracks also include performances by Money Mark Ramos-Nishita and David Sims of Jesus Lizard.


Big Sir began with a self-titled debut album and a remix disc in 2000 and 2001 respectively. The next Big Sir album Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer was released in 2006. Alderete and Papineau first met in the band Pet. Throughout their relationship the two musicians have also continued their collaborations with other artists. Papineau has lent her vocals to a spectrum of projects such as the last two Air albums (10,000 Khertz, Talkie Walkie), M83's Before the Dawn Heals Us, and soundtracks for the films Watchmen and Super. She has released two solo albums, Night Moves and Red Trees, and recently co-wrote (with Jun Miyake) and sang on a song for Wim Wenders' Academy Award short-listed film Pina. Alderete has played in the Grammy award winning The Mars Volta since 2003 as well as playing bass with rap legend Kool Keith's Dr. Octagon and the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group. In 1999, he formed the project Vato Negro and released the album Bumpers on drum& bass label N2O. Alderete has also recently embarked on a subscription based website to help illustrate his approach to sound design with stomp boxes and various effects.


Before Gardens After Gardens will be available everywhere on CD/Download on February 7th, 2012 via Rodriguez Lopez Productions/Sargent House.


02/19 Hollywood, CA @ Hemingway's *
02/20 Long Beach, CA @ Harvelle's *
04/09 Hamburg, GER @ Hafenklang
04/11 Leipzig, GER @ Ilses Erika
04/13 Innsbruck, AUS @ Los Gurkos
04/14 Bolzano, IT @ TBA
04/17 Rome, IT @ Ausgang / Locanda Atlantide
04/19 Trieste, IT @ Etnoblog
04/20 Rimini, IT @ Velvet
04/21 Livorno, IT @ Cage
04/22 Genova, IT @ La Claque
04/24 Birmingham, UK @ The Ballroom/The End
04/25 Manchester, UK @ Sound Control
04/26 Swansea, UK @ 22 Project Promotion/The Garage
04/27 Bristol, UK @ The Croft
04/28 London, UK @ The Old Blue Last (Binnacle Festival)

* w/ Eureka The Butcher+Sadah Luna (Marcel Rodriguez Lopez from Zechs Marquise)