Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about the acclaimed indie band Imperial Teen. Now, as you may recall, the act which is comprised of Roddy Bottum (guitar, vocals), a former member of Faith No More; Will Schwartz (guitar, vocals), who splits his time with hey willpower; Lynn Perko Truell, (drums, backing vocals), a former member of Sister Double Happiness, The Dicks and The Wrecks; and Jone Stebbins, a former member of The Wrecks originally formed in San Francisco in the mid 90s.
Their Steve McDonald-produced debut effort, 1996’s Seasick was released to praise from Spin Magazine, who went on to list it as their fourth best album of that year and from the New York Times. Building upon a growing profile, the band’s sophomore album, 1998’s What Is Not to Love found the band ambitiously expanding upon their sound and approach with the album’s material routinely clocking over six minutes — and album single “Yoo Hoo” appeared on the Jawbreaker soundtrack. The accompanying video featured the movie’s star Rose McGowan appearing alongside the band, and it was included as as special feature on the DVD. Additionally, the song was heard in the beginning of episodes of episodes of Numb3rs and Daria.
Imperial Teen eventually left Universal Records and signed with Merge Records, who released their third album, 2002’s Steve McDonald and Anna Waronker co-produced effort, On. The album’s lead single “Ivanka” received airplay — and they spent a portion of the year touring with The Breeders. Interestingly, that tour include a stop at famed Hoboken club Maxwell’s, which was recorded and released a few months later as Live at Maxwell’s. Shortly after, the band’s Will Schwartz teamed up with Tomo Yasuda for Schwartz’s dance music side project hey willpower, which released their self-titled debut EP in 2005. And by 2007, the members of Imperial Teen returned with two shows at that year’s SXSW and their fourth album, The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band, which landed at #38 on Rolling Stone‘s Best Albums list that year.
Since the release of the band’s fifth album, 2012’s Feel the Sound, the members of the band have relocated to different parts of the country, with members in New York, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Understandably, the geographical locations and distances can make it extremely difficult to write and record music on a regular basis — but the members of the acclaimed indie rock act reconvened to write and record their forthcoming, sixth album Now We Are Timeless.
Slated for a July 12, 2019 release through their longtime label home, Merge Records, the band’s sixth album will further cement their long-held reputation for crafting deeply personal material that offered a view into the bandmember’s individual lives, complete with victories, losses, aspirations, where they were emotionally and personally — while thematically, the material touches upon time, movement, averting and succumbing to crisis, dealing with and accepting loss and pain.
The album’s first single “We Do What We Do Best” was a swaggering, arena rock friendly track centered around an enormous hook and equally enormous power chords, buzzing synths, a propulsive rhythm section, a lysergic guitar solo paired with stream-of-consciousness lyrics delivered with a mischievous and ironic aplomb. The album’s second single “Walkaway” was more like 120 Minutes alt rock-inspired dream pop, centered around a soaring hook and plaintive vocals and personal, lived-in experience — the sensation of feeling simultaneously connected and disconnected from those you love. Interestingly, “Don’t Want to Let You Go” is a murky yet anthemic pop song featuring propulsive drum programming, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, explosive bursts of fuzzy power chords and an enormous, shout-along worthy hook– and while bearing a resemblance to early Garbage, the track is imbued with a sense of inconsolable loss — and its initial denial, then begrudging acceptance.