Halloween, Alaska has announced the release of their long-anticipated new album, LE CENTRE, that arrives everywhere this Friday, December 14.
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Halloween, Alaska’s fifth studio album and first full-length collection of original music in more than seven years, LE CENTRE was heralded by the recently released single, “Ginger,” streaming now HERE. The track is joined by a new video simulation, created by Dominic Howes and Joel Weber of the Emmy Award-winning Rikshaw Films and streaming now at Halloween, Alaska’s official YouTube channel HERE.
Comprised of founding members James Diers (voice/guitar/keys) and David King (drums/keys), guitarist Jacob Hanson and bassist William Shaw, Halloween, Alaska will celebrate LE CENTRE with a special hometown album release show, set for release day, this Friday, December 14 at St. Paul, MN’s Turf Club and featuring an exclusive solo support set from Alan Sparhawk of Low. Tickets are on sale now HERE. Additional live dates will be announced soon – for updates and more, please visitwww.halloweenalaska.com/#shows-section.
Recorded and mixed in Minneapolis by Brett Bullion (Now Now, Bad Bad Hats, Dem Yuut), LE CENTREreveals Halloween, Alaska as a warmly human outfit through lyrics and themes that neither strives for earnestness nor dismisses it. The album’s 10 songs exude a range of commanding moods and textures, from the frenetic indie-prog palette of “Ginger” and “Defender” to unlikely pinches of R&B or blue-eyed soul, as on “Long Views” with its Prince-inflected guitar solo, or on “Passport Pages,” which comes off like some modernist mash-up of Spoon and a Steely Dan B-side. “Cosmetics” posits post-D’Angelo funk through the lens of hazy ’90s slow-core, while the slow-burning dance floor balladry of “Don’t Need Shade” harkens to Halloween, Alaska’s ambient ’00s origins. As a whole, it’s familiar but challenging, restless but inviting – the work of a truly collaborative outfit confident enough to color outside the lines without betraying the ultimate beauty of the bigger picture.
Halloween, Alaska came together in 2002, encompassing members of such Minnesota stalwarts as The Bad Plus, Love-cars, 12RODS, and Happy Apple. The band immediately earned widespread acclaim for its complex and thoughtful brand of atmospheric synth-driven indie, rich with simmering textures, learned lyricism, and an expansive range of inventive sounds. “You won’t find Halloween, Alaska, anywhere on a map,” wrote SPIN. “Instead, this Minnesota band inhabits a sensual, weightless world of sweetly brooding electronic pop … with drummer David King (also of the Bad Plus) adding tastefully muted beats while James Diers’ abstract lyricism wraps you in a sleepy caress.” “Halloween, Alaska’s emotive verve and electro-organic poise is so accomplished, you’d think you’d got your hands on The Blue Nile’s mislaid comeback album,” declared MOJO in a four-starred rave. “Melancholy stains every measured note, but HA reside slap-bang in the heart of America’s Midwest, and the atmosphere of low, distant horizons and isolation is palpable.” “Mesmerizing stuff,” hailed the Sunday Times, while the Twin Cities’ own City Pages noted that “Diers’s candid lyrics about living-room clutter make everyday things just as song-worthy as these strange soundscapes…King combines his traditional drum kit with electronic pads that sound just as they should – beautifully artificial.”