January 20th, 2019 – Singapore – …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead has released their first new album in six years, with the launch of ‘X: The Godless Void and Other Stories’. To celebrate, they have launched a video for the third track taken from the album, “Something Like This”, and you can watch that now here.
As they enter their 25th year together, Trail of Dead is back to their core with Keely and Reece at the helm and basing themselves in Austin where Reece has been holding it down since the band’s early days. Keely returned in 2018 after a five-year stint in Cambodia and in 2019, they took the band on the road for a 20th anniversary tour of 1999’s ‘Madonna’.
‘X: The Godless Void and Other Stories’ was produced by the band’s own Conrad Keely alongside engineer Charles Godfrey (Sinkane, of Montreal, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Work on the new album began in earnest in 2018 after Keely returned home to Austin following five years in Cambodia, rejoining fellow founding member Jason Reece. As a result, the album sees Keely detailing “the sadness of moving away from a place that I loved,” while also taking inspiration from Steven Pressfield’s book The War Of Art to face his own demons regarding the creative process. “I feel like I’m writing pop music,” he says, “it’s just not Top 20 pop. It’s the pop music I wish was on the radio, the pop music I would’ve grown up with.”
Reece agrees, citing Talk Talk, Killing Joke and Laurie Anderson as inspirations. “There’s definitely the idea of loss, leaving someone or something important in your life, but it’s more abstract,” he explains, adding that the track “Into The Godless Void” in particular deals with “this existential woe that all humans tend to go through – feeling that weight that plagues the mind.”
‘X: The Godless Void and Other Stories’ comes as the duo enters their 25th year together as a band. After playing their first show together in 1995, they quickly became known for their powerful and cathartic live performances that often ended with them destroying their instruments on stage. They released their self-titled debut album in 1997 on King Coffey’s Trance Syndicate label and in 1999, sophomore LP ‘Madonna’ followed on Merge Records. Three years later, seminal LP ‘Source Tags & Codes’ would cement the band’s status in rock lore after it earned them a rare Pitchfork 10. The band subsequently released ‘Worlds Apart’ (2005), ‘So Divided’ (2006), ‘The Century of Self’ (2009) and the triumphant ‘Tao of the Dead’ (2011) which led to a live performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon that had Questlove tweeting, “damn!!! @realtrailofdead came and kicked ass in 2 mins!!!”
Critical acclaim continued with ‘Lost Songs’ in 2012 which Rolling Stone wrote, “…explosive indie-prog is defined by the push and pull of Conrad Keely’s epic mysticism and Jason Reece’s primal punk surge.” 2014’s IX had NME calling it, “…their most focused and thrilling…,” Uncut added that the LP did a “…a good job of tethering grand ambition to signature intensity” and Billboard said the album recalled, “the ponderous grandeur of 2002’s seminal Source Tags & Codes.”
After a steady flow of albums and touring, the six years between ‘IX’ and ‘X: The Godless Void and Other Stories’ made up their longest break and found both Reece and Keely working on other projects. “When Conrad moved to Cambodia, we both had time to live our lives and do different things,” Reece explains. “Coming back to the band, there was a new vigor to it. It all feels exciting still.” They’ve also reverted to the live format of their early years with Reece and Keely alternating between drums and frontman duties – a musical partnership that dates back to high school and feels fresh and familiar all at the same time.
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories’ is available as a Limited CD Digipak, 180g vinyl + album on CD and as digital album, all featuring the iconic artwork of Conrad Keely. Fans may purchase or stream the album here.
Watch the videos for the album’s first two singles, “Don’t Look Down” , “Into The Godless Void” as well as the latest video “Something Like This” now.
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories’ Track Listing
1. The Opening Crescendo
2. All Who Wander
3. Something like This
4. Into the Godless Void
5. Don’t look down
7. Children of the Sky
8. Who Haunts the Haunter
9. Eyes of the Overworld
11. Blade of Wind
12. Through the Sunlit Door