We’re getting one from the vaults with MERGE Records’ reissue of REIGNING SOUND’s Abdication…For Your Love, out now!

Originally available solely as a promotional giveaway, REIGNING SOUND’s Abdication… For Your Love​ will see wide release for the first time ever on April 26 via Merge Records​. This is a weird, wonderful album with an equally weird history.

When he was approached by the Scion car company in 2011 to make an album for the music promotion arm of the car company, Reigning Sound frontman Greg Cartwright found himself unable to refuse—despite his band’s tenuous existence at the time. “Several line-up changes had ensued after the original Memphis quartet disbanded, and I found myself considering the possibility of shedding the Reigning Sound moniker,” muses Cartwright. “I had decided to take a break to work on production for other people and write songs for The Parting Gifts, my upcoming collaboration with Coco Hames.”

Around the same time, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who provided guitar for the Parting Gifts record, had just moved to Nashville and was busy putting the final touches on a private studio. “Dan was eager to do some work in the new studio in preparation for an upcoming session with Dr. John, and he offered us some studio time as well as his production assistance. Unbelievable. Luck was assembling a favorable vista!” writes Cartwright. A budget, a great studio, a talented producer. Now he just needed a band.

Tentative arrangements with Nashville players evaporated one after another due to prior engagements or last-minute snafus. “There I was, twiddling my thumbs in a Nashville studio, the clock ticking, with no band. On a long shot, I phoned Brooklyn and made a Hail Mary pass to The Jay Vons—and they said yes. I called Scion and asked for three plane tickets and hotel rooms, and in a matter of hours, the band were on their way to Nashville. In two days, we cut five songs. I paired these five with three outtakes from the previous Reigning Sound LP ​Love and Curses​ which featured Lance Wille on drums and Dave Gay on bass,” recounts Cartwright, adding, “The Greg + Jay Vons line-up of Reigning Sound continues to this day.”

On Abdication, Cartwright gently exhales stone-cold stunners imbued with the sounds of classic Stax, moody ’60s AM pop, and rough-hewn folk-rock. Reigning Sound’s allegiance is to producing great songs that move feet and rip out hearts, not to any particular scene or fashionable pose. This has cost Reigning Sound the big audience that its excellent catalog—highlighted by gems like 2002’s Time Bomb High School, 2004’s Too Much Guitar, and 2009’s Love And Curses—deserves. But more importantly, it’s enabled Cartwright to maintain an impressively high level of quality across the band’s releases, which extends even to a seemingly minor release like the Abdication EP.

The album found Reigning Sound picking up where the gorgeous, organ-heavy Love And Curses left off; Cartwright can still turn out rockers with the best of them, charging through the Springsteen-esque “Watching My Baby” like the best bar band in town on Saturday night. But with ballads like the heart-tugging “Not Far Away,” and the sullen strut of “Everything I Do Is Wrong,” Reigning Sound’s attention to craft and brilliantly lean ensemble playing pays the richest dividends. This music forgoes categorical slots and heads straight for the heart.

Abdication will be in-stock at Horizon on April 26th on CD and vinyl LP, along with these other sweet Reigning Sound titles!
  

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