These United States surrender themselves to unbridled rock and roll exuberance: ringing guitars, thundering drums, desperate yearning bordering on hope. By turns larger-than-life and disarmingly intimate, this is folk in the truest sense – a record of the moment, of the cultural and emotional forces that animate everyday existence somewhere down below the headlines. (But never apart from them.) And These United States play it the way folk was meant to be played: hard, fast, big, slow, long, loud, loose, at last unburdened. They play like they mean it. Like there’s never been a better time to be alive.
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Over the last several years These United States has played 600 shows, released four albums and gained the support of NPR’s All Things Considered, World Cafe, and Mountain Stage, Spin, Paste, Filter, NY Times, Village Voice, Brooklyn Vegan, JamBase, The Onion, Daytrotter, My Old Kentucky Blog, KEXP, KCRW, WXPN, and WFUV. Festival highlights include: Lollapalooza, High Sierra, Pickathon, Glastonbury, Mt. Jam, XPoNential, Joshua Tree, Celebrate Brooklyn, and Forecastle.
These United States released its self-titled album on June 12, 2012 with United Interests. Written and recorded throughout 2011 with 20 outside musical collaborators from coast to coast, the s/t release is aptly named serving as a culmination of bandleader Jesse Elliott‘s geographical aspirations. These United States is the quartet’s 5th studio album to date and features collaborations with John McCauley of Deer Tick, Michael Nau of Cotton Jones, Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent, Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds, Ben Sollee, David Moore of Langhorne Slim, Josh Read of Revival, and all of Frontier Ruckus.
Recorded with Duane Lundy (Jim James, Ben Sollee, Adam Arcuragi), the LP is a rambunctious melting pot of rock-and-roll, psych pop, folk balladry, and outlaw country. It’s a concept album that acts as a panoramic snapshot of numerous American musical styles over the past century, but still looks forward to the weird new world at the completion of the Mayan calendar. Inspired by the incredible mix of stories and people across these places, along with the breathtaking landscapes of the nation, Elliott returned to Kentucky and New York over several sessions to longtime band partners J. Tom Hnatow, Justin Craig, and Robby Cosenza, to make sense — and sound — of it all.