IMPORTANT NOTE: The CD release of SIDE THREE contains two bonus tracks not available with the Download version!
THE ARMOIRES are back with their first new release in three years.
The Side Three EP isn't the new album – that's coming in August in the form of the Zibaldone LP. This record is exactly what it says it is: the third side, a completely unique set of tunes to introduce The Armoires as they are in 2019, produced (like the album) by Steven Wilson of PLASTICSOUL (with one track helmed by Peter Watts of SPYGENIUS) and bristling with the energy of a group that's spent three years on the road making friends, finding out who they are as a band, and liking it.
It's short, sharp, punchy and poppy, with the tandem harmonies of Christina Bulbenko and Rex Broome front and center and the familiar 12-string, viola and keyboard swirl weaving around them while the rhythm section hits like it's one of the over 100 live gigs the band has played since their debut record. There's the wry Crazy Horse-like prayer of “Some Kinda Handbook”, the gleeful ocean-going jangle of “Anemone!”, and the bristling New Pornographers cover “The Laws Have Changed” (a loving nod to one of The Armoires' key inspirations). “The Twelve-Inch” marries a Smiths-like college rock thrum to pedal steel and strings, and a sparklingly raucous complete makeover of the debut album's “Responsible” – which sounds like what might have happened if the The Plimsouls and The Bangles had been the same band – brings things to a breathless finish, unless you have the CD version, which contains two exclusive hidden tracks unavailable with the download version.
The long-standing live lineup of The Armoires – Rex (vocals and guitar), Christina (vocals and keys), her daughter Larysa Bulbenko (viola), drummer Derek Hanna and bassist-vocalist Clifford Ulrich – are augmented here by LA legends Robbie Rist and Patrick “Pooch” Dipuccio, Jeff Charreaux of The Walker Brigade, pedal steel wizard Jared Jenkins, multi-instrumentalist and band mentor Nathaniel Myer, producer Steven Wilson, and Rex's daughter Miranda Broome debuting as a guest bassist. The distinctive artwork comes courtesy of Big Stir Magazine mastermind Champniss of London.
Side Three will be released Friday, May 17 on CD and digital download on Big Stir Records and is available for pre-order now. Zibaldone will follow on LP and CD on August 2 as The Armoires embark on a busy touring schedule in support of both releases.