Indie-rock pioneers Sebadoh return with their first new studio album in more than six years, Act Surprised, due out May 24, 2019 via Dangerbird Records.
“The first line of this song: ‘I get the feeling you don’t feel me’ is pretty good. It could be a line in an Ariana Grande song, I like it,” said Lou Barlow. “I followed it from there through some general complaints about a composite character in my life, someone I could never crack. Sometimes the walls are too high. If you think about it, the resistance was always there, even in the very beginning. What to do? Pick endlessly at the seams? Replay moments in my head looking for a way to explain it all? No, stop, there is no one answer and that’s OK…Celebrate the void.”
Act Surprised continues the soulful collaboration that’s defined the band since 1991’s Sebadoh III and 1994’s Bakesale. The new batch of songs reaffirms how vital the creative partnership is between members Barlow, Jason Loewenstein, and Bob D’Amico.
When Barlow recently moved back to his home state of Massachusetts following a series of personal changes, he pressed the restart button and, in time, felt the incentive to reach out to Jason and Bob again to reunite and start work on a new album. The trio convened and began recording in their original stomping grounds in Northampton, MA where they first formed back in 1988.
Along with producer/sound engineer Justin Pizzoferatto, Sebadoh have delivered one of the best records of their career. Act Surprised is a 15-song collection that’s as dynamic and visceral as anything the band has ever committed to tape. Lowenstein stated, “Of all the records we have made in our long career, this is definitely the most recent.”
In 1986, Lou Barlow split off from Dinosaur Jr. & eventually teamed-up with Jason Loewenstein to pursue a strain of musical ideas & aspirations that didn’t fit in with Dino’s sound. The project he started working on came to be known as Sebadoh, named after a string of nonsense lyrical filler syllables Barlow would frequently murmur into the microphone. Along with Pavement and Guided By Voices, Sebadoh is credited as the deathless ‘primal father’ of the lo-fi aesthetic.
First there was Flower. A post-punk noise/pop band from NYC formed in 1986, Flower was a staple of the NYC underground scene carved out by Sonic Youth, Live Skull, and Swans, utilizing the noise element of the aforementioned artists to deepen the textures of more classically oriented pop/rock songs.
They disbanded in 1990, leaving one EP and two albums to be remembered by. Members Richard (Guitar, Vocals) and Ed Baluyut (guitar) soon formed indie legends Versus, while Ian James (Bass, Vocals) joined Geffen flame-out Cell, and Andrew Bordwin (Drums) helped found Ruby Falls. Ian and Andrew would later team up to form the pop/punk band French.
Having not written together for three decades and having played less than a handful of reunion shows, Flower recently reunited, locked themselves in a room, and did not emerge until more than an album’s worth of new material had been written.
Waveless is a three-piece from Minneapolis, MN, playing layered, reverberating music. Its members formed the group after the demise of their short-lived noisy punk band Total Trash. Finding inspiration in the likes of Slowdive, Neil Young and Sonic Youth, Spirit Island is moody without being saccharine, sincere without being self-indulgent.