There seems to be no stopping the Mighty Swine; having released the Stripped & Whipped remix companion to 2018’s Risen on March 22, Armalyte Industries has announced the release of a new full-length album from <PIG>, titled Candy. Due for release on June 21, Candy marks a unique entry in the <PIG> discography as Raymond Watts and company tackle 14 cover songs; referring to the title as “like a lure or precursor to something dark and dreadful,” Watts explains the choice of the album title, “because the songs may seem sweet, inviting, and harmless at first glance, but ‘candy’ suggests there’s something sinister beneath.” This echoes the artist’s sentiments when he released his rendition of KC & The Sunshine Band’s “That’s the Way (I Like It)” as a single in August 2018, featuring a guest performance from fellow disciple of debauchery Sasha Grey, which is now featured on Candy.
Other tracks on the album include covers of “Kiss” by Prince, “The Power of Love” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’,” The Spice Girls’ “Two Become One,” “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue, and “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS. Also included is <PIG>’s interpretation of “If He Swings By the String,” written by Julian More and John Addison and made famous by actress/singer Marlene Dietrich in 1957; <PIG>’s version was originally featured on the Second Coming EP sold exclusively during his Hell to Pay in the U.S.A. tour in late 2018.
Watts goes on to say the album was a “natural progression” from the “That’s the Way (I Like It)” single and the Black Mass charity Christmas EP, further stating that his versions “are like a new takedown of the old order. I wanted to pull the originals apart to find a different foundation of exactly what lies beneath. The fact that these songs not only survive but thrive with this rebirth, reconstruction and reinterpretation shows their inherent greatness.” Working with longtime cohort producer/arranger Eden Martin, Watts eschewed the “cliched ‘American songbook’ route” in favor of the songs he loves and considers overlooked; “there is another layer and language in those songs the reveal the nature of obsession and longing that hasn’t really been explored.” He concludes that creating Candy has “been a labor of love,” rather than one of Hercules, despite the exhausting and expansive process behind its construction.
Candy is now available for pre-order via the Armalyte Industries website and Bandcamp; the record will be available in digital and standard CD editions, along with two deluxe CD editions – one featuring a die-cut cover, and the other autographed by the patron saint of pain himself, Raymond Watts. As well, four collectible vinyl editions will be issued, available only through the Armalyte website, with the standard deluxe edition limited to 170 and appearing in a gatefold vinyl with die-cut sleeve on double heavyweight vinyl with insert; the other editions – the “Fur Edition” limited to 30, “Sand Paper Edition” limited to 40, and “Candy Stripe Edition” limited to 60 – are all signed by Watts, with Eden Martin also signing the “Fur Edition.”