THE WHISTLES & THE BELLS TO RELEASE MODERN PLAGUES
APRIL 28, 2017 VIA NEW WEST RECORDS
ALLMUSIC PREMIERES FULL ALBUM STREAM TODAY
EAST COAST TOUR TO KICK-OFF IN NASHVILLE ON APRIL 30
The Whistles & the Bells, alt-rock moniker of acclaimed singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Bryan Simpson, will release his sophomore LP Modern Plagues via New West Records next Friday, April 28. Ahead of the release, AllMusic is premiering a stream of the album in its entirety today. They praise the record as “a collection of songs that bring together singer-songwriter earnestness with touches of the bluegrass that defined [Simpson’s] previous band, Cadillac Sky, and even a few electronic elements for good measure.” Listen HERE. Modern Plagues can be pre-ordered now exclusively at Pledge Music, and the new tracks can be heard live on The Whistles & the Bells’ upcoming East Coast tour which begins April 30 in Nashville, TN.
The Huffington Post recently revealed the “inventive” music video for album track “Good Drugs” stating, “[Simpson’s] original off-the-wall undertakings are reminiscent of the whimsical and whip-smart work by David Byrne, Jim James and the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy,” and adding, “The lyrics will make you think until your head explodes…Enjoy the video but consider this a fair warning: You might get hooked.” View/share the Neighborhoods Apart-produced video HERE.
Collaborations on Modern Plagues include co-writes with The Raconteurs’ Brendan Benson that resulted in such out-of-the-box tunes as lead single “Harry Potter,” which recently premiered at American Songwriter. Of the song, American Songwriter comments, “A retro pop tune with strong ’80s influences, the video for this track feels like something you would see a teenage Molly Ringwald starring in. Sung from the perspective of a teenage girl, ‘Harry Potter’ highlights what many young adults long for but unfortunately cannot find as they grow older: childhood innocence and simplicity.” View/share the Joshua Shoemaker-produced video HERE.
Co-produced by Simpson and engineer Eddie Spear (Judah & the Lion, Lake Street Dive, Rival Sons), Modern Plagues’ 11 expansive tracks find Simpson delivering eye-opening lyrical insights and audacious verbal imagery, while displaying a freewheeling sonic sensibility that draws inspiration from a bottomless well of genres and textures. The album follows The Whistles & the Bells’ 2014 self-titled debut, which gained an impressive amount of acclaim as an indie release and led to a larger re-release and record deal with New West Records. Prior to launching The Whistles & the Bells, Simpson had already won substantial success as a bluegrass mandolinist, serving a seven-year, three-album stint with the acclaimed progressive-bluegrass quartet Cadillac Sky. The band’s broad-minded collaborations with both bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach eventually led to an in-demand spot on Mumford and Sons’ 2010 North American Tour. Meanwhile, Simpson also carved out a lucrative sideline as a mainstream country songwriter, composing hit tracks for icons such as Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and George Strait.
Modern Plagues Track Listing:
1. Harry Potter
2. Small Time Criminals
3. Playing God
4. Zombie Heartz
5. Highlight Reel
6. Spiral Staircase
7. Year of the Freak Out
8. Good Drugs
9. Head in the Sand
11. 40 Years
The Whistles & the Bells On Tour:
April 22 – Nashville, TN @ The Groove (Record Store Day)
April 30 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
May 2 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
May 3 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
May 4 – Buffalo, NY @ 189 Public House
May 5 – Rochester, NY @ Abilene
May 6 – Syracuse, NY @ Funk n’ Waffles
May 7 – Asbury, NJ @ The Saint
May 9 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
May 10 – Cambridge, MA @ Atwood’s Tavern
May 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Upstairs
May 12 – Washington, DC @ Hill Country Live