“a wonderful and under-praised oddball” – NPR “ALL SONGS CONSIDERED”
The Heligoats have announced a new album Back To The Ache for a March 19th release date. To be released on CD and digital via Greyday Records with vinyl release following on May 21st, Back To The Ache follows 2010’s acclaimed debut, Goodness Gracious. That release had two singles profiled by NPR, a Daytrotter Session and spent seven weeks on CMJ’s top 200.
At its heart, The Heligoats is Chris Otepka (vocals/guitar) and home to his wonderfully weird and diverse compositions. His distinct vocal style has been compared by SPIN Magazine as sounding “somewhat like Built To Spill's Doug Martsch, but also like the Mountain Goat John Darnielle with his sincere and nasal voice.” His lyrical narratives have meanwhile been praised by NPR as “wise, wry observations on human emotions, science and the way things work. His songs are, more than anything else, the byproduct of an endlessly curious mind.”
It’s that restless and overactive spirit that has driven Otepka to establish The Heligoats as his own musical life journal (while of recent years also serving as a touring member of Clem Snide). Since 1998 it has been primarily a solo project with Otepka doing the majority of work and guests filling roles. However on Back To The Ache, The Heligoats has become an ensemble piece with a set quartet adding and trans-mutating Otepka’s compositions. The result is as times rustic alt-folk tunes that expand into loose and layered indie-rock orchestra epics as well as a psychedelic and spacey sheens on intimate singer/songwriter material.
Otepka attributes a good deal of this shift to his re-connecting with drummer Nate Lanthrum, who plays on the entire album. The duo previously played together in Troubled Hubble, which dissolved in 2005. Otepka says “when we got together for the first time in over seven years, we picked up right where we left off.” Also on board was Steve Mitchell (guitars/keys), Dave James (bass), Nick Lombardo (keys) and even some added percussion from Erik Rassmussen (who recorded and mixed part of the album).
The Heligoats will be touring in support of the album and confirmed dates thus far as below. For the most updated list, keep checking theheligoats.com/shows
released March 19, 2013
Recorded & Mixed by Eric Rasmussen at the Observatory Studios, Chicago, IL
Additional tracking and mixing by Larry Crane at Jackpot! Studios, Portland, OR
Mastered by Andy Chavez, Phoenix, AZ
All songs C & P YSHIGGH 2013 except * C & P HungryMountainMusic
Cover Photo credit: Ben Chandler, Chicago, IL
Design / Layout help: Kyle Romberg @ End Communications
HEART ACHES AND THANKS TO:
Todd Berry, Rich Salamander, Erik Rasmussen, Rich Washon, Ben Chandler, Kyle Romberg, Carly James, Jess Price, Larry Crane, Moo Haygood, Mike Mergenthaler, The Swedish Taco, RendezVu, Hungry Mountain.