08.11.2015 — “Joan of Arc” by Thrushes


If you only listen to one song today, make it “Joan of Arc” by Thrushes (2015, from the forthcoming album Exposing Seas).

Thrushes is a noise pop/shoegaze quartet from Baltimore. They put out two gloriously noisy records –2006’s Come Undone, and 2010’s Night falls— before taking a long hiatus. During the hiatus, the members of the band did things like get married, have kids, focus on day jobs, etc.

I really loved both of their albums, and I underrated Night Falls at nine one my number “non-Canadian albums of 2010” list. I didn’t slot it any higher because of some sound quality issues with a digital copy that I purchased. When the band read my post about their song “Tattoo”, they very kindly mailed me a physical copy of the album, which proved to me that the sound issues were indeed because of corrupted files. With that issue sorted, I would have put Night Falls closer to number 5 on the “non-Canadian” side of things.

At some point in 2011, the band’s website and the site for their microlabel both went dark. Aside from the occasional mention of some shows they played in the Baltimore area, their social media sites were pretty quiet. I kind of assumed that they had called it quits. About a year ago, they started to whisper about a new album, and the details have very slowly started to emerge. In May, we learned that the band had signed to the Tampa-based label New Granada Records. In the last few weeks, the band offered a couple of song teasers via their facebook page, and they offered the name of the new album, but I didn’t know the release date until today.

This morning, we got full details, and more importantly, we got the first single from the new album, via an article on CMJ.

This is that song.

“Joan of Arc” by Thrushes

Thrushes have been known for turning their amps to elevens, but there’s more to them and more to this song than that. You might be fooled into thinking that this is a “quiet” song, but it really isn’t. There’s a long, slow burn, and by the end of the song, there’s quite an enormous buzz. Not in sheer volume, or in feedback, but in well crafted layers.

As usual, Anna Conners’ vocals, sharp and sweet, are one of the biggest highlights of the show. As I said, another thing that stands out after hearing just one song from the new album is the song design and production value. Speaking of which, it’s probably worth mentioning that former Jawbox frontman J. Robbins recorded and produced the album.

The album finally comes out on September 18. You can pre-order it on pink vinyl from New Granada here. If you prefer compact discs, you can pre-order one of those via New Granada here.

I was really hoping that Thrushes would be on the Hopscotch lineup. Although their fellow Charm City noisemakers Wildhoney and Jenn Wasner’s Flock of Dimes will be down here, Thrushes will not. There are always some last minute substitutions as bands have to drop out, so there’s still some hope.

As of right now, they don’t have any tour dates scheduled, so I’m hoping that they make it down here sometime in the winter.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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