Baltimore-based post-punk duo Ed Schrader’s Music Beat — Devlin Rice and Ed Schrader — will be releasing their fourth album, Nightclub Daydreaming is slated for a March 25, 2022 release through Carpark Records.
The album and its material can be traced back to 2019 when Schrader and Rice began initially writing song with the idea of making a fun, danceable album. Along with touring drummer Kevin O’Meara, the members of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat road-tested the material while on tour with Dan Deacon in February 2020.
As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic brought most aspects of our lives to a screeching halt. But as it turns out, sadly, that Dan Deacon tour was one of the last experiences that Schrader and Rice had with O’Mera, who died in October 2020. O’Meara’s death weighed heavily on their minds as they finished working on the album. Understandably, it was an unshakeable moodiness and heartache. As Schrader puts it, “The cave followed us into the discotheque.”
They then went to record and mix Nightclub Daydreaming over a breakneck two-week period with Craig Bowen at Baltimore’s Tempo House. The end result wasn’t the album of “sunny disco bangers” that Rice says the band originally set out for, but something that turned out far deeper and darker. Their long-held reputation for whiplash-inducing stylistic shifts between aggressive and noisy rock and operatic, gloom pop have given way to a single aesthetic that seamlessly fuses those different impulses within propulsive, stark arrangements.
“The fun thing about this record is that it’s all at once informed by our more recent lush productions with Dan Deacon, yet spartan and boiled-down, exuding a coldness wrapped in ecstasy, following our time honored trend of never giving people what they expect, but hopefully what they want,” says Schrader.
The Charm City-based duo started off this year on an explosive and attention-grabbing note: Back in January, they released two singles off the album and announced the dates for an extensive Spring 2022 tour that includes an April 23, 2022 stop at Union Pool.
Last month the pair released Nightclub Daydreaming‘s third single.
As for the singles:
- “This Thirst” is a sleek post-punk ripper centered around angular guitar attack, a forceful motorik groove, a rousingly anthemic synth-led chorus and Schrader’s cool yet urgent delivery. The song’s narrator finds his irresistible urges leading him through a surrealistic, chemical-fueled fever dream of desperate back-alley bartering and scheming, uncertainty and existential threats.
- “Berliner,” is a dark and brooding bit of post-punk centered around rumbling and distorted bass, scorching angular attack and unrelenting four-on-the-floor paired with Schrader’s coolly delivered baritone. Much like its immediate predecessor, “Berliner” evokes flop sweat and bleary-eyed late nights fueled by booze and drugs, lingering ghosts, and fever dreams.
- “Echo Base,” a song that’s one part lingering ghosts, self-flagellation, bitter regret and simmering frustration centered around an icy facade.
Nightclub Daydreaming‘s fourth and latest single “European Moons” is a slow-burning, brooding meditation centered around Schrader’s achingly plaintive and exhausted baritone, shimmering guitars, and dramatic drum rolls. Much like its immediate predecessor, there’s regret and simmering frustration — but it hides a sense of repression and uncertainty.
Directed by Jay Buim, the accompanying visual for “European Moons” features a stylish title card by Susan Juvet and follows a blonde bobbed haired woman entirely clad in black, also played by Juvet, who walks through an abandoned underground bunker facility with abandoned 60s and 70s office equipment. Superficially, she seems bored and disinterested but throughout the video her behavior seems unnatural and forced, as though she’s attempting to repress and then bury something deep within herself.
Right before the members of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat are about to embark on their tour to support the album, Schrader issued a personal statement about their gender identity, which I’ve included in full, below:
“In the past few weeks, I’ve made a big decision. I’ve decided to give you the full me. I’ve decided to speak openly about something that I had never spoken to anyone about. The me that I’ve been repressing in hopes of not making other people feel uncomfortable. But that’s not a life—that’s an inhumane purgatory that I am done subjecting myself to.
That said, I have always felt like a woman and my pronouns are they/them.
“The stage and the studio have always been a safe space for me, where I can share my deepest struggles, joys and laughs. In your art, you can’t lie. That’s why I have always chosen riddles and cryptic lyrics in my art. I could never lie, but I could disguise the truth.
With Nightclub Daydreaming I continued this precedent, essentially telling my autobiography through fictional characters and surreal landscapes. But these are the stories of my fear, my neuroses, my ecstasy and my journey.
The first single off of the record, ‘This Thirst,’ is about the thirst for my true self, and features the first time I ever referred to myself as a woman: “Who will rock you to the fire / Who’s the priestess to ordain?”
On ‘Black Pearl,’ I sing of two lovers disconnected by an ocean, representing the personal dichotamy [sic] between my true self and who I was presenting to the world. In retrospect, you can hear the yearning as I sing “I want to see you really…a foreigner, even home now / I shut in vaults to heal you.” I was the foreigner whom no one had ever met, besides my bathroom mirror. When home alone, I would wear women’s clothing, put on makeup, blast M.I.A. and Yelle, and somehow this felt like a crime that no one would ever accept.
You can hear both my euphoria and trepidation on songs like ‘Berliner.’ Deep down, I was beginning to feel my real self emerging in an undeniable way, and I was horrified by it. It felt as if others held the key to my own self worth through their acceptance, or lack thereof.
On ‘European Moons,’ which we release today, I depict myself as a marionette, at the whims of a puppet master forcing me to present a distorted and untrue version of myself. “My posture’s at your strings / too much of coded sighs / I’d like to see you in the night.” It was my true self that I could only see at night.
I have always felt like a woman and, moving forward, I will begin following that path one day at a time. Only the future knows where exactly that path will lead me, but I’m doing it my way. I will no longer only see my true self at night.
3/9/22 – Richmond, VA @ The Camel
3/10/22 – Raleigh, NC @ Ruby’s
3/11/22 Atlanta, GA @ Earl’s
3/12/22 Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
3/14/22 – Dallas, TX @ Deep Ellum
3/15/22 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/16/22 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/17/22 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/18/22 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/19/22 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/22/22 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
3/23/22 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
3/25/22 – Boise ID @ Treefort Fest
3/29/22 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
4/1/22 – Seattle, WA @ Freakout Fest The Crocodile
4/3/22 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
4/4/22 – Sacramento, CA @ Starlet Room
4/6/22 – Costa Mesa, CA @ The Wayfarer supporting Sean Nicholas Savage
4/7/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
4/8 – San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop’s Bar
4/9/22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
4/10/22 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
4/13/22 – OKC @ Opolis
4/14/22 – St. Louis @ The Sinkhole
4/15 – Madison, WI @ Der Rathskeller (University of Wisconsin)
4/16/22 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
4/18/22 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
4/20/22 – Columbus, OH @ Spacebar
4/21/22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
4/22/22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Dave Kiss Presents / Kung Fu Necktie
4/23/22 – Brooklyn, NY @ AdHoc / Union Pool
4/30/22 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar (RECORD RELEASE PARTY)
Tickets and more information is available here: https://www.edschradersmusicbeat.com/tour