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Austin’s White Denim have confirmed their new album ‘Stiff,’ out March 25th, 2016 via Downtown Records. ‘Stiff’ comes three years after their critical and commercial breakout ‘Corsicana Lemonade’ which landed the band bookings with Kimmel (from SXSW), Austin City Limits, Letterman, Conan, and Jools Holland, raves from Rolling Stone, SPIN, WSJ, Gorilla vs. Bear + more, and headlining slots at their biggest venues to date by far. Turns out they were just getting warmed up.
For ‘Stiff,’ White Denim enlisted producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Laura Marling), the first time the band has worked with an outside producer for an entire album. The album was recorded completely live to 16-track tape with few overdubs, and the resulting 9 adrenaline-fueled tracks signal a return to White Denim’s frenetic rock band roots.
Lead cut “Holda You (I’m Psycho)” premiered this morning via NPR Music. The song sounds like a band re-energized and revitalized, resulting in what vocalist/guitarist James Petralli calls a “high heat, high energy, good times record.”
While ‘Stiff’ remains distinctively White Denim, there’s a reinvigoration permeating through the album via new guitarist Jonathan Horne and a beefed-up rhythm section thanks to the work of new drummer Jeffrey Olson. Petralli explains: “We learned a lot making ‘D’ and ‘Corsicana Lemonade.’ We wanted to take some of those lessons and apply them back to our original mission statement and get back to some of the things that made us excited about the band in the first place.”
The Red Krayola-sampling opener “Had 2 Know (Personal)” is the embodiment of that mission statement. Petralli describes it as “a reassertion of our initial intent to make songs that satisfy our urge to play fast.” Meanwhile, the tremendously fun “Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)” leans more towards old-school, 70’s-style groove with an anthemic chorus. “Thank You,” co-written with Cass McCombs showcases the band’s soulful grit.