ambitious...some of the best songs that Devine and Hull have ever written, together or apart.” – The FADER

Toronto, ON – June 7, 2019 –  Bad Books today released the music video for UFO, the latest single from their forthcoming new album, III, set for digital release next Friday, June 14th (out physically June 21st), via Loma Vista Recordings. Directed by Jeremy Hartman and Andi Lipo (whose recent credits include Rhye’s Please), the video was filmed at the volcanic Pisgah Crater in the Mojave Desert and premiered via a feature at The FADER, where Bad Books’ Andy Hull, Kevin Devine, and Robert McDowell discuss the creative process of making their anticipated first new album in seven years. Watch the UFO video here. The song, written by Andy Hull, is also available on DSPs now ahead of the album’s release; listen here. III is available for pre-order here.

Hartman explains, “We wanted to find a location that emotionally connected with the lyrics ‘what an empty gorgeous place.’ We found Pisgah Crater with some Google satellite help. And despite an active rattlesnake population, we found it to be breathtaking — an almost Martian landscape that felt isolated from the world. We were concerned that such a perfect spot would be too good to be true, but the scouting gods were nice to us in that the crater is owned by a guy who likes films and Bad Books.”

Bad Books will head out on their first U.S. tour in six years later this month and the dates will take the three-piece throughout the east coast in June before heading westward in August. A current itinerary is below, and includes a Brooklyn show on June 27th and two Los Angeles shows on August 17th and 18th. Tickets are on sale now here.

UFO follows the album’s first two singles — Andy Hull’s Lake House and Kevin Devine’s I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Help Me, Thank You —  which each illustrate the strength of Bad Books’ two songwriting halves. Paste recently included III in its Anticipated June Releases list, and the pre-release tracks have earned additional support and praise from Brooklyn Vegan, Alternative Press, and more.

When Bad Books made a surprise appearance at this year’s SXSW armed with an entire album’s worth of new songs, the music world took notice. Those who were there bore witness to what Hull calls their new “Simon & Garfunkel in space” style — sparse structures, simple harmonies, and gorgeous sonic embellishments. But considering both their inter-personal dynamics and joyful congregation, perhaps it would be more accurate to refer to the 2019 version of Bad Books as “Simon & Garfunkel as true friends.” III doesn’t exactly pick up where their previous work left off, but rather takes a new approach to redefine Bad Books and to re-tally the sum of their parts.

Having made two catchy, upbeat Bad Books records, the trio felt the urge to try a new approach. The original plan for the trip was for each singer to write one song, but once they were both in the same room Hull raised the stakes, challenging Devine to trade songs one-for-one with him to create a 10-song, Basement Tapes style record. Embracing the freedom of the process in every capacity — from lyrics to attitude and scope — the band felt inspired and recognized that the only way to maintain that sensibility all the way through would be to simply take their time.

They gathered again in February of 2018 to open the sonic time capsule and reexamine their work. McDowell led the charge of injecting the songs with texture and atmosphere. The decision to throw out a traditional rhythm section in favor of an organ and foot pedals as the low-end presented a new set of challenges, but McDowell saw it as an opportunity rather than a restriction. The stripped-back nature of the work also provided an opportunity to build subtle production onto the songs’ foundations; adding piano, string arrangements, and even fuzzed-out electric guitar, the trio filled the spaces without overpowering any of the songwriting. Upon the album’s near-completion, they handed the reins to producer Ethan Gruska (Phoebe Bridgers) and mixer Catherine Marks (PJ Harvey, The Killers) for final “magic sprinkling.” The result is a complete cinematic landscape on par with the peaks of Manchester Orchestra’s past work, but with the sly subtlety of Devine’s output — This is ground control to Majors Paul and Art.

6/19 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
6/20 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew's Hall
6/21 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
6/22 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
6/23 - College Park, MD @ Milkboy
6/25 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
6/26 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
6/27 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
6/28 - Jersey City, NJ @ White Eagle Hall
8/13 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
8/14 - Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
8/16 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
8/17 & 18 - Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
8/19 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
8/20 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
8/22 - Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
8/23 - Austin, TX @ Scoot Inn

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