US rock band American Football is excited to share the new single Uncomfortably Numb (feat. Hayley Williams), from the forthcoming full-length album, American Football (LP3), out March 22nd on Polyvinyl Record Co. The song is available to stream everywhere now, and available to hear and watch via the Atiba Jefferson directed music video. The latest single from the group's third full-length album, 'Uncomfortably Numb (feat. Hayley Williams)' follows the previously released Silhouettes, which The New York Times called "arrestingly beautiful", and NPR Music declared “a vivid shift in songwriting for the band.” While the album as a whole has landed on the most anticipated releases of 2019 lists for Pitchfork, AV Club, and Stereogum among others.
American Football, whose songwriting has been so influential to a generation of musicians, raised the stakes on the writing and recording of their third effort under the American Football moniker, and it shows. The band break new ground sonically, and explore new voices too, with guest vocals from Hayley Williams of Paramore, Land of Talk’s Elizabeth Powell, and Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell. “Familiar without submitting to nostalgia,” writes The FADER of the lead single, “it’s a fresh faced and dew-dropped introduction into a new chapter of American Football.”
An immediate contrast between LP3 and its two predecessors is its cover. The two previous albums featured the exterior and interior of a residence in the band’s original hometown of Urbana, Illinois (now attracting fans for pilgrimages and photo opportunities), by the photographer Chris Strong. But American Football knew that LP3 was an outside record. Instead of the familiar house, this time the cover photo (again by Strong) features open, rolling fields on Urbana’s borders. It is a sign of the album’s magnitude in sound, and of the band’s boldness in breaking away from home comforts. American Football also joked that LP3’s genre was ‘post-house,’ because of this very conscious visual break.
LP3 is contemplative, rich, expressive, yet with a queasy undercurrent. It is heavy with expectancy, revealing its ideas slowly, eliciting the hidden stories people carry around with them.
“I feel like my lyric writing has changed a lot over the years,” says Mike. “The goal is to be conversational, maybe to state something giant and heavy, but in a very plain way. But, definitely in this record, I keep things a little more vague.” As on the first album, the lyrics on LP3 may seem confessional and concentrated, but the more you scrutinize them, the further their meaning slinks away. Or, as Mike tellingly sings on I Can’t Feel You: I’m fluent in subtlety.
“Somewhere along the way we moved from being a reunion band to just being a band,” says Steve Holmes. American Football is now a bona fide ongoing focus, and they are making some of the best music of their lives. American Football (LP3) stands with two other rare reunion successes – Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine’s mbv – as a fine example of how a band refinding one another can augment, rather than taint, their legacy.
American Football is Steve Holmes (guitar), Mike Kinsella (vocals, guitar), Nate Kinsella (bass), and Steve Lamos (drums, trumpet).
American Football (LP3) Track Listing:
- Every Wave To Ever Rise (ft. Elizabeth Powell)
- Uncomfortably Numb (ft. Hayley Williams)
- Heir Apparent
- Doom In Full Bloom
- I Can’t Feel You (ft. Rachel Goswell)
- Mine To Miss
- Life Support
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Released: 22 Mar 2019