“The twisted, quirky folk that’s both innocent and defiant remains distinctive, as does singer Gordon Gano’s perpetually strained, some might say fidgety, vocals…Strange, inexplicable and uncomfortable are descriptions the Femmes are likely proud of.”- American Songwriter
Violent Femmes have announced today’s release of their much-anticipated new album. HOTEL LAST RESORT is available now via [PIAS] at all music retailers and streaming services. Today’s release is marked by the premiere of a playful but potent companion video accompanying the album’s rambunctious new rendition of “I’m Nothing,” streaming now following its exclusive premiere via Psychology Today.
Originally recorded for 1994’s NEW TIMES, this latest version of “I’m Nothing” sees a featured appearance from pro skateboarder Stefan Janoski. A lifelong Femmes fan, Janoski has also teamed with the band to create the Nike SB Zoom Janoski “Violent Femmes”– a one-of-a-kind exclusive shoe inspired by “I’m Nothing.” Designed by Janoski, the Nike SB Zoom Janoski “Violent Femmes” will see the words “I’M NOTHING” screen-printed in the skateboarder’s handwriting on the tongue of the shoe, while his exclusive artwork will be included on the custom sock liner. Chain stitched on the left shoe will be the word “VIOLENT” and on the right shoe, the word “FEMMES,” with a vulc tape mirror appliqué in Tour Yellow. The Nike SB Zoom Janoski “Violent Femmes” releases in fall 2019 – complete details and exclusive images can be found HERE.
The band’s 10th studio album, HOTEL LAST RESORT was first heralded earlier this spring with the release of the LP’s plaintive title track, featuring the iconic guitar sound of Television co-founder Tom Verlaine. Rolling Stone hailed “Hotel Last Resort” as a “surreal new song” in its exclusive premiere, writing, “”Throughout the winding cut, Gano unfurls a series of intriguing lyrical vignettes (I don’t change the chords anymore/The chords change themselves; I’ve become invisible because one is not divisible) over droning acoustic strums and Verlaine’s textural lead lines.” Recorded at Denver, CO’s Mighty Fine Productions with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Ted Hutt (The Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show) and GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Ryan Mall, HOTEL LAST RESORT resides among Violent Femmes’ finest hours, simultaneously refining and redefining their one-of-a-kind take on American music, mingling front porch folk, post punk, spiritual jazz, country blues, avant garde improvisation, and golden age rock ‘n’ roll.
Founded and fronted of course by singer/guitarist Gordon Gano and acoustic bass guitarist Brian Ritchie, the Milwaukee-based combo remain as warm, wise, and weird as ever before, with such new favorites as “Another Chorus” and “Everlasting You” continuing to mine the vast range of ideas, melodic complexity, and organic sonic craftsmanship that has characterized the band’s body of work since their landmark 1983 debut. Always eager to push their music forward, Violent Femmes have spent the past three years joined by percussionist John Sparrow and multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza, both longtime members of The Horns of Dilemma, the band’s ever-evolving cabal of multi-instrumentalist backing musicians. Sparrow’s novel use of a Weber Grill as a rhythm instrument along with the extreme tones of Garza’s central instrument, the massive contrabass saxophone, bring a stunning depth to the Femmes’ famous sound, imbuing songs like “Paris To Sleep” and “Adam Was A Man” with a striking richness and imaginative edge.
Indeed, HOTEL LAST RESORT has already begun accruing critical acclaim, with Louder Than War hailing it as “Violent Femmes’ finest work since 1984’s HALLOWED GROUND. It has the tropes of a classic Femmes’ albums; the Americana of post punk, folk, blues, jazz, spiritual, gospel, classic rock ‘n’ roll with left field lyrics and avant-garde structures that never detract from a bloody good tune… Gordon Gano remains as literate and quirky as ever and Brian Ritchie still has his classic bass sound, that’s like metal producing a raw beauty that twangs and grinds as though every note is wrought with heart and power (he’s one of the greatest bass players ever in my book).” Soundblab agreed, declaring the LP to be “one of the most rewarding Femmes albums in years. Speaking of years, it’s been nearly 40 since their folk punk debut but with HOTEL LAST RESORT, they’ve never sounded more vital. Viva la Violent Femmes.”
Violent Femmes will celebrate HOTEL LAST RESORT with a typically wide-ranging live schedule that includes headline dates, festival sets (including Port Townsend, WA’s THING on August 25 and Chicago, IL’s Riot Fest on September 13-15), and a co-headline tour with Ben Folds set to get underway this Sunday, July 28, at Uncasville, CT’s Mohegan Sun Arena. Special VIP tickets are also available for the latter tour, including Reserve Seating, early venue access, a signed tour poster, tote bag, and more. Additional dates – including a North American headline tour – will be announced soon. For complete details and ticket availability, please see www.vfemmes.com/tour.
Violent Femmes are: Gordon Gano: lead vocal, guitar * Brian Ritchie: acoustic bass guitar, baritone guitar, vocal, percussion * John Sparrow: BBQ, snare, tom, percussion, vocal * Blaise Garza: baritone, contrabass and sopranino saxophones, vocal, piano, harmonium, theremin, percussion.
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