News Flash: Morphine Experiment With Style On New LP

Postponing a brief tour of the States in favor

of songwriting, Morphine have begun laying down tracks for a follow-up to their

DreamWorks debut Like Swimming.

The band recently postponed the mini-tour of favorite U.S. haunts to capture

ideas, some never before used by the bass-drum-sax band, for the new album

on tape at the Boston home studio of bassist and singer Mark Sandman.

Fans of the band can expect Morphine to augment their sparse arrangement

with additional horns, female vocalists and strings, according to Sandman.

"We're opening up the possibilities and the definitions, so we'll see what

happens," said the bassist, speaking over the phone in his deep, lethargic

voice. "We're seeing what the songs sound like on tape, seeing if they're worth

pursuing. We've got some good basics, and now we're just anxious to start the

process."

Among the tunes slated for inclusion on the as-yet-untitled album is an

extended version of the song "Lilah," the cut that opened Like

Swimming. "We have the expanded, epic version of that that we're

working on," Sandman said. "Epic for us -- that's five minutes. We're

gonna have a lot of strings, and I think we're gonna do that the way Prince [now

as the Artist] works: just go in and work on one song from start to finish. We've

got a couple of other extravaganzas like that that we're gonna do when we get

over to Ft. Apache Studios."

The band is also working on a number called "Down the Street," which began

as two separate songs until the bassist had a revelation that their melodies fit

perfectly on top of one another, Sandman added. "It was a big discovery that

day," he said slowly, as if reliving the moment. "It was a great day." -- Chris

Nelson [Sat., Nov. 1, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]