Deer Tick | New single out now | New album ‘Emotional Contracts’ out 16 June

Photo Credit: CJ Harvey
Deer Tick today shared their new single/lyric video ‘Once In A Lifetime‘, the second from their Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoon, Sleater-Kinney)-produced new album, ‘Emotional Contracts’, out 16th June via ATO Records. Led by the inimitable voice of singer/guitarist John McCauley and a rambling bass line by Christopher Ryan, the gorgeously sprawling and soul-soothing song begs repeat listens–and features backing vocals by Courtney Marie Andrews, Vanessa Carlton, Angela Miller (Black Pumas), Sheree Smith, and Kam Franklin. McCauley explains “’Once In A Lifetime’ is about seizing the moment. You are going to die. Time is running out. Do something!” Read more about the making of the song here. ‘Once In A Lifetime’ follows lead single ‘Forgiving Ties‘ (featuring guitarist Ian O’Neil on lead vocals), which caught the attention of Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Consequence, Relix, and more. ‘Emotional Contracts’, which also sees additional guest musicians like Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, is Deer Tick’s first new work since 2017 and now available for pre-order.
‘Emotional Contracts’ catalogues all the existential casualties that accompany the passing of time, instilling each song with the irresistibly reckless spirit that’s defined Deer Tick for nearly two decades. Before heading into the studio with Fridmann, the four-piece spent months working on demos in a perpetually flooded warehouse space in their hometown, enduring the busted heating system and massive holes in the roof as they carved out the album’s 10 raggedly eloquent tracks. ‘Emotional Contracts’ fully echoes the unruly energy of its creation, ultimately making for a heavy-hearted yet wildly life-affirming portrait of growing older without losing heart.
Beginning on the 5th June, the Providence, RI-based band–McCauley, O’Neil, Dennis Ryan (drums), and Christopher Ryan–will embark on a six-week summer U.S. tour that includes a west coast run supporting Jason Isbell. A full itinerary is listed below and tickets are on sale now.
Mostly recorded live–and honed down from nearly 20 songs to a concise, thoughtfully curated ten–the album is their most collaborative to date, and it sees all four members operating at their peak songcraft powers. ‘Emotional Contracts’ came to life over an unusually lengthy period of time for the band, with each track based on playing around together and connected in the almost telepathic way that’s only possible after nearly 20 years. Well-rehearsed and overly prepared, Deer Tick embraced a decidedly more free-and-easy approach to the recording process at Fridmann’s Tarbox Road Studios in Western New York. “We’ve had a habit of trying to maintain a strict control over everything in the studio, but this time we wanted to see what it would feel like to let go a bit,” says McCauley. “We figured that the songs were strong enough to stand on their own two feet, so whatever we put them through would just make them stronger and take us in some new directions.” Dennis adds, “The fact that we’d spent so much time with these songs allowed us to be really free once we got into the studio. No one was overthinking anything, and because of that the album sounds like us in a way that we’d never captured to this extent before.” Featuring guest musicians like Steve Berlin of Los Lobos–and background vocals from singer/songwriters like Courtney Marie Andrews, Vanessa Carlton (who is also McCauley’s wife), Kam Franklin, Angela Miller, and Sheree Smith–the album adds an even greater vitality to their feverish collection of timeless rock-and-roll.
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