Since debuting in 2008, Titus Andronicus, also know henceforth as +@, has been conditioning faithful listeners to always expect only the unexpected, consistently zigging where others would zag and maintaining a steadfast dedication to fearless ambition.
With the March 2nd release of the new studio album A Productive Cough on Merge Records, +@ has executed the most shocking departure yet but only if, as ever-mercurial singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles told us, “you haven’t been paying attention.”
A Productive Cough finds +@ setting aside the leadfooted punk anthems of yesteryear in favour of a subtler, more spacious approach that pushes Stickles’ soul-baring songwriting to the fore, creating a conversational intimacy between artist and audience with which previous efforts had only flirted. “+@ records have always had their fair share of ballads,” Stickles explains, “but they were always buried. Now, they are the cornerstones.”
The mission of A Productive Cough is made apparent from the first bars of opening track Number One (In New York), debuting today along with a blockbuster music video directed by Ray Concepcion.
As a twinkling tableau of piano and dulcet horns unfolds, Stickles unleashes a merciless, unceasing 64-bar verse with subject matter as sprawling as the track’s kitchen-sink arrangement, which grows to include sparkling guitars, twinkling bells, and uplifting choral vocals as Stickles searches desperately for the strength to carry on through an increasingly violent and frightening world.
The music video serves as a trailer of sorts for the forthcoming 60-minute “making of the album” documentary film, also directed by Ray Concepcion, to be released February 26th. Viewers will be granted unprecedented access to New Paltz, NY’s Marcata Recording, where A Productive Cough was recorded under the guidance of longtime +@ producer Kevin S. McMahon.
Clips from the film will be periodically unveiled over the coming weeks at a-productive-cough.com, the newly launched site which will function as a one-stop shop for curious fans to follow the developing story of +@’s bold new era.
Also premiering today at a-productive-cough.com is a thorough and wide-ranging interview with Patrick Stickles conducted by author/musician Ryan Walsh, offering further insight into the motivations and aspirations behind the new album and its place along the winding and circuitous path of +@’s career.
Titus Andronicus – A Productive Cough on Merge Records out on 2nd March 2018. All dates at the moment are Stateside. The info below may help you buy something.
A Productive Cough is available for pre-order on blue-grey Peak Vinyl which includes a jukebox-inspired 7-inch of ‘(I’m) Like a Rolling Stone’, a track that does not appear on the physical LP except as part of the download, its nearly 9-minute length split across both sides of the single. Explore all pre-order options including an exclusive $10 t-shirt add-on in the Merge store (where all purchases come with a free temporary ‘Crass[-inspired] Tattoo’ while supplies last), at your favourite participating independent record store, or via these digital music providers. In addition, all +@ back catalogue titles in the Merge store are 25% off through January 11th.