Michelles have today released their new video for the track titled ‘Not Gonna Get It’, from their upcoming album ‘The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll’, dropping March 8th. That perfect gateway drug for what is to come, ‘Not Gonna Get It’ is something that some people may not, but those in the know will, and they can beat the shit out of the ones that don’t, because we’re cool and they’re not. All kidding aside, this is a giant hook set to a visually gritty yet stunning introverted diary.
‘Not Gonna Get It’ is one of those songs that, if you listen closely, can hear how good they would sound in other genres, or done differently. This would be a brilliant acoustic song, for example. Great songs have that unspoken quality. Tracks by The Beatles, Queen, and so on. Get the hint?
‘The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll’ releases on March 8th (pre-order HERE).
“The title, The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll, was lifted from a lyric from the previous record [Dark as a Daisy]. At the time I was thinking about the sort of melancholic feeling you can have after playing a show, whether it was good or bad, “empty head, empty pockets, empty soul, the empty promises of rock and roll.” But in this context, it hints at the contradictions that are inherent in creating music, how one has to hold the diametrically opposed feelings of extreme and sometimes unwarranted self-confidence and crippling doubt simultaneously, and hope that some sort of balance is achieved that allows you to write a few verses and a catchy chorus with a nice middle eight thrown in for good measure.”Michael Daly
“The title, The Empty Promises of Rock and Roll, was lifted from a lyric from the previous record [Dark as a Daisy]. At the time I was thinking about the sort of melancholic feeling you can have after playing a show, whether it was good or bad, “empty head, empty pockets, empty soul, the empty promises of rock and roll.” But in this context, it hints at the contradictions that are inherent in creating music, how one has to hold the diametrically opposed feelings of extreme and sometimes unwarranted self-confidence and crippling doubt simultaneously, and hope that some sort of balance is achieved that allows you to write a few verses and a catchy chorus with a nice middle eight thrown in for good measure.”
Michelles is a band from Chicago, but doesn’t really sound like a band from Chicago, though in many ways there really isn’t a Chicago sound, at least not now, if there ever was. It’s also a bit of a stretch to call Michelles a band, as it is the singular vision of Michael Daly, who writes and plays nearly every sound heard on every recording. The sole exception is the drums, which are handled by Ryan Farnham, who has stuck around to provide percussive and moral support through the so-called band’s existence.
Daly and Farnham first started collaborating in 2013 after listening to a version of what would become the eponymous first record, with both agreeing that a qualified drummer would help things immensely. Working back to front and from around the bend, in what would become a consistently inefficient workflow, new drums were layered onto existing tracks, and stretched, twisted, and edited into an entirely new recording. The rest of a band was recruited, and the quartet spent the next two years playing in all of the usual Chicago haunts. For reasons that are still unclear, half of the band decided to stop returning phone calls, and Daly went back to the studio to begin putting together another record.
2017 saw the release of Dark as a Daisy, a stylistic jump featuring more expansive song structures and instrumentation, and a fresh batch of players was found to fill out the group. Following a handful of live outings, this new lineup soon dissolved as well, but in a much more copy-worthy fashion than the first, with one member moving to Ghana to join the peace corps, and the rest heading to Massachusetts to start a farming co-op selling honey and micro-greens. Back to where it all started yet again, Daly continued writing and recording.
Arriving five years after the previous release, the new record, titled The ‘Empty Promises of Rock and Roll’, took its time finding the light, due to circumstances both personal and global, with entire versions of the album being discarded and redone, and lyrics and arrangements constantly shifting and evolving to reflect whatever state of mind or the world one currently finds oneself in, until you finally say ENOUGH. In a cultural landscape that values an unceasing torrent of content above all else, nurturing scarcity and practicing patience become revolutionary acts.
So here it is, nine songs about all of the usual things; love and loss and change and regret, moving away, staying put, book reviews and half remembered New Yorker articles.
Featured image by Chuck Przbyl.
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