On May 17, Animal, Surrender! will release their self-titled album on Ernest Jenning Record Co. Pre-orders for the album are available now. Animal, Surrender! is Peter Kerlin (Sunwatchers and Chris Forsyth & Solar Motel Band) and drummer Rob Smith (Grey/Smith, Rhyton, Pigeons, D. Charles Spear). Today the band is excited to share their latest pre-release track “After,” a reworked version of Mike Wexler’s single. The song is available now on all digital platforms.

Inspired by the profound lyricism and emotive guitar melodies of Wexler’s original composition, Peter Kerlin was driven to reimagine the song, infusing it with his unique creative vision. Reflecting on the track, Kerlin shares, “The lyrics are remarkable, the way they lead you through a train of thought with such powerful intention and simplicity. With everything we face losing through disaster whether personal, political, or environmental, the song offers a comfort in the vastness. It’s a good thing that all we need is love because that’s all we have after.”

Kerlin delves deeper into the creative process and says, “I was fascinated with Mike’s guitar line and started messing around with it on the bass. The original tune has a lot of forward motion and I had initially intended to keep that, but as a bass-driven piece it felt too heavy-handed, so instead of pushing it into this very earthbound groove, I went the opposite direction to conjure a sense of stillness. The whole thing seemed to open up then and suddenly my voice could sit as one of the foundational elements. I love the way the bridge is like a scene change mid-song, creating this sense of passing through some portal. Rob does a wonderful job interpreting that with his mallet work which is so spatial yet never precious. It’s a sonic journey that invites listeners to immerse themselves in its rich textures and emotive storytelling.”

“After” follows the album’s first single, “Led By The Bit,” which is was released earlier this month. “Led By The Bit” embodies Animal, Surrender!’s signature blend of experimental soundscapes and intricate rhythms. Peter Kerlin, bassist for Animal, Surrender!, elaborates on the creative process behind the song. “The bassline in this song serves as a call-and-response between different instruments, creating a dynamic push-and-pull effect. We also incorporated the unique qualities of the Octave bass, with its wide frequency range, to enhance the sonic exploration.”

Kerlin adds, “At its core, the song is a rhythmic exploration, featuring a spiraling movement that draws listeners in. It’s an intricate composition, incorporating elements of poetry and structured around a family of 13/8 figures that evolve through various phases and configurations. Rob Smith’s earthy feel on drums adds a poetic layer to the repetition, creating a sense of pleasure within the underlying unease.”

“Led By The Bit,” encapsulates the theme of navigating the inertia of a failing system while feeling powerless to break free. Kerlin says, “It’s an expression of the frustration and contained rage that many of us experience when confronted with the limitations of the status quo.”

Peter Kerlin leads the duo through a set of bass-driven compositions and interpretations, incorporating spare electronics through a post-rock/weird-folk trance with intricate and sometimes blasted interplay between the rhythm section. The project’s title refers to the ambiguous creatureliness of the human animal: How in trying to kill the animal within we eradicated all wildness on the planet; How in our never-ending evasion of any discomfort we guaranteed the destruction of all that sustains us. It’s about other things too, like falling out among friends and how even if it’s the end it’s not the end.

Animal, Surrender! has also announced east coast tour dates including shows in Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, and more. Upcoming shows are listed below.

Animal, Surrender! Tour Dates

  • 05.02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Jerry’s w/ Cartoon
  • 05.03 – Baltimore, MD @ Current Space w/ Albert And Christian, Amanda Schmidt
  • 05.04 – New York, NY @ Berlin w/ Writing Squares, Waste Man, Discreet Charms
  • 05.15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool w/ Columbia Ice Field
  • 08.11 – Williamstown, MA @ Clark Art Institute via Belltower Records w/ Family Underground