I'm pretty confident this is news, maybe even big news, but it feels a little weird publishing it here.
American Football -- the 90's emo band currently at rest between a handful of domestic reunion dates and touring to Europe, Asia and Australia -- is working on some new music.
Their four night run spanning New Year's Eve in Chicago, featured the debut of two new songs. Given that their 2014-15 reunion shows typically ran through every song they've recorded (which all happened well over a decade ago), this is kind of a big deal for the fans who have succumbed to all-out mania in response to their 2014 reissue and limited touring schedule.
I'd like to report that American Football had been "reclusive" or "holding out" for the last fifteen years. But they've actually been the beneficiaries of a fairly unique, very gradual slide towards cult status -- a narrative which happens incredibly infrequently in the music industry.
And I've had a front row seat to it all, given that I've known guitarist Steve Holmes since he's been in high school -- he's actually married to my younger sister.
While the band seemed like an interesting sidetrack at the time... over the years, he and I have shared a few laughs over the band's enduring popularity. Those chuckles turned to downright astonishment in the last 12 months, as the band reformed to sold out gigs and international attention.
And now here's the first signs that the roller coaster may not be over.
Here's a song, referred to as "New Song #2" as performed at Lincoln Hall on January 2nd.
Might the ride continue? While Holmes, and bandmate Steve Lamos, have pretty much gone back to "9 to 5" in this hiatus between short runs of shows (Mike Kinsella is a career musician), perhaps with enough new material, a follow-up might be in the cards.
This one, Holmes describes as "sorta half done", but does hearken back to some of the shifting mathrock rhythms and odd keys that made their 90's work a touchstone. The re-invigorated "The 7's" (salvaged from a boom box demo made in the band's salad days) has found new life in the live setting -- the Lincoln Hall version even stirred a little something in this dyed-in-the-wool jam-head.
Upcoming Tour Dates
4/25 Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre
5/8 Atlanta, GA - Shaky Knees Festival
5/13 London, UK - Electric Ballroom
5/14 London, UK - Electric Ballroom
5/15 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
5/16 Manchester, UK
5/17 Glasgow, UK - Studio Warehouse
5/30 Barcelona, ESP - Primavera Sound Festvial
6/29 Tokyo, JP - Shibuya
6/30 Tokyo, JP - Shibuya
7/3 Fortitude Valley, QLD - The Brightside Kitchen
7/4 Melbourne, VIC - The Hi-Fi
7/5 Darlinghurst NSW - Oxford Art Factory