Curling has announced their brand new studio album No Guitar due out on August 11. The band’s cross-continental founders Bernie Gelman (Bay Area) and Jojo Brandel (Japan) are thrilled to unveil their high octane lead single “Hi-Elixir” alongside an official video created by Cyote and Jeff Liu. A shot of pure cerebral pop adrenaline, the song surges forth with massive shoegaze textures in its opening seconds channeling Mineral and American Football. It was written in Gelman’s childhood home after the passing of his father and just as the pandemic hit. The melody and chords came swiftly, but he struggled with lyrics until he looked over and saw his dog, Lily, peacefully napping. The song is a reassuring lullaby to his canine companion and a reflection on not dwelling in misery.
Sporting a fresh spontaneity to their collaborative process, No Guitar is the latest evolution for Curling. “We’ve found a middle ground in our tastes,” Gelman explains. “I’m very much a perfectionist, so when I come to our meetings, I’m planning things out in advance, whereas Jojo is a lot more freeform. There were plenty of moments throughout this record where we put aside ego simply to serve the song.” “We’ve actually gotten better at idea-sharing than we were before,” Brandel adds with a laugh. “As we’ve gotten older, we’ve become more comfortable with working with each others’ songs.” The album’s tangle of electronics, gestures towards the future’s perpetual uncertainties while also pointing towards an exciting new future.
No Guitar is a record of musical complications that sound effortless, cloaking the heavy thematic undertones such as isolation, romantic heartbreak and the loss of a loved one. The lush and intricate songs cover a myriad of stylistic ground, from power-pop’s punchy bittersweetness and rustling indie-folk to the openhearted intricacy of Midwestern emo. Gelman and Brandel are joined for the first time by drummer Kynwyn Sterling, whose percussive prowess strengthens the band’s sound more than ever before. Fans can experience their captivating live performance on tour this fall supporting Nation Of Language in Portland and Vancouver.