It’s a damn good time to be a “weird kid.” People are still flocking to movie theatres to see superhero movies, Star Wars is as culturally omnipresent as it was in its heyday, and the rise of Netflix original series Stranger Things saw the world fall in love with a band of adolescent outcasts with a penchant for Dungeons & Dragons and their middle school AV Club. Pop culture has gone full weirdo in every aspect with the exception of music, and with the upcoming release of their sophomore album, New Pocket, it’s impossible to think of a band more suited for the job of easing the masses into it than Runaway Brother.
The band released their Tiny Engines debut –an operatic and maniacal album titled Mother— in March of 2015 and began to amass quite the cult following. One listen could find you lost in the depths of lyrical intricacies that made their way into the record and the next could leave you riding the highest of highs that came with each and every hook. New Pocket, which is set for a February 16 release, lacks the mania of its predecessor without losing any of the character.
The songwriting playfully dances around concepts that feel all too common– leaving colloquialism in the rearview in favor of delicately constructed metaphor and wordy extrapolation. The chaotic energy that was the backbone of Mother has also been traded in. as this incarnation of Runaway Brother thrives in a whirring and jangly environment that I’ve half-jokingly dubbed “the vibe.” The album’s lead single “Paws” does a phenomenal job of showing the vein that New Pocket lives in. The song never leaves mid-tempo, instead opting to guide us by hand into the depths of what you can do without everything constantly going at a hundred miles an hour. There’s a groove so guttural and funky that you can’t help but to bob your head and intrinsically and laughingly shout along when Jacob breaks and effervescently exclaims “Yeah! Rip it, Chuck!” halfway through the track.
The record is full of similar moments that are bound to make listeners fall in love with this band–whether it be for the first time or all over again. Runaway Brother made the difficult decision to take a break from the mania and madness that we’ve come to expect from them, and it’s safe to say that we’re bound to see it pay off in spades as we continue to venture with them into their New Pocket.
“Bully” is another prime example of the vibe that radiates off of New Pocket. The track settles into a nice groove that carries you through it’s two and a half minute run-time like the most gentle of currents. It never manages to lose the charming sense of neuroticism or anxious tendencies that make Runaway Brother feel so emotionally tangible while they dance around elaborate metaphor and hyper-personal experiences. I couldn’t be more excited to share this song with y’all today!
When asked about the track, vocalist Jacob Lee said: “One of the last songs written for New Pocket. I feel the lyrical content of this song is self-explanatory, but in context to the record I want the listener to be inspired by it. In reference to our last record, I think it was more about the inspiration I pulled from others and my contemporaries while this record pulls inspiration from within and those that chose to be a part of the project.”
You can stream “Bully” below.
New Pocket is out Feb 16 on Tiny Engines. Snag your copy here. You can catch Runaway Brother on tour starting this Friday. Dates can be found below.
New Pocket tour dates
FEB 09 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s
FEB 11 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto
FEB 16 – Rochester, NY @ Vineyard Comm. Space
FEB 17 – Toronto, ON @ D-Beatstro
FEB 18 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo
FEB 19 – Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
FEB 20 – Albany, NY @ House Show
FEB 21 – Manchester, NH @ Bungalow
FEB 22 – Attleboro, MA @ Patterson Creations
FEB 23 – West Haven, CT @ The Cave
FEB 24 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Park Brewery
FEB 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits
FEB 26 – Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar
FEB 27 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
FEB 28 – Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone
MAR 01 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
MAR 03 – Atlanta, GA @ Purgatory at The Masquerade
MAR 05 – Chattanooga, TN @ The Daily Ration
MAR 06 – Nashville, TN @ Two Boots
MAR 09 – Oklahoma City @ House Show
MAR 10 – Albuquerque, NM @ Gold House
MAR 11 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Trunk Space
MAR 12 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
MAR 13 – Anaheim, CA @ House Show
MAR 14 – Oakland, CA @ Storyville
MAR 16 – Portland, OR @ TBA
MAR 17 – Seattle, WA @ The Wormhole
MAR 18 – Boise, ID @ TBA
MAR 19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Underground
MAR 20 – Denver, CO @ 7th Circle
MAR 21 – Kansas City @ TBA
MAR 22 – Springfield, IL @ Black Sheep
MAR 23 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
MAR 24 – Fort Wayne, IN @The Brass Rail
MAR 25 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig