X Ambassadors, formed by brothers Sam Nelson Harris and Casey Harris, have returned with the release of their anticipated new album, Townie, which drops on 5th April via Virgin Music Group. They have also confirmed a UK tour in March, kicking off on 3rd in Birmingham and stopping off at London’s Electric Ballroom on the 7th.
X Ambassadors (Tyler Jay Hanson)
The new music follows a move from their Ithaca, New York origins to Brooklyn, an explosive debut album, extensive global touring, huge hits Unsteady and Renegades, as well as recent work with massive artists such as Lizzo, Rihanna, The Weeknd and SZA, and multiple songs penned for major motion pictures.
Self-produced by the band (Sam Nelson Harris, Casey Harris and Adam Levin), Townie marks a compelling new chapter for X Ambassadors as they return to their upstate New York roots. Across these 12 deeply personal tracks, the group crafts an intricate portrait of their hometown’s most mundane aspects and the community that shaped them.
They have also unveiled the album’s first single, No Strings, alongside an official music video. Filmed in Ithaca, NY, the video was made by their childhood friend Danny Pfeffer with the help of his students at Cornell University. Watch it below:
Of the track, lead vocalist Sam Nelson Harris shares, “Ithaca is so isolated, and growing up there like Casey and I did we did whatever we could to give ourselves little ways to escape: riding around town aimlessly on our bikes, on city busses, or in our parents cars; getting lost in the woods, getting into whatever trouble we could find, dangling our feet off the edges of waterfalls with our friends, making out with high school crushes on the cold winter night, snot dribbling into each other’s mouths… ways that make you feel like the world is bigger, and like there’s nothing holding you back from getting out there.”
He continues, “As a grown man, I’ve fallen back in love with upstate NY, and I oddly feel blessed to have had something to rally so hard against/fight to escape from as a kid. You can’t hide who you are, and who you are is where you’re from. ‘No Strings’ is an anthem for the lost and hungry – in forgotten cities and towns and townships all over the world – whose restlessness will always burn, and keep the fire in their bellies fed.”
Reflecting on the project as a whole, Sam shares, “A gas station glows in the night, two miles from the Tompkins County line. It cuts through the bleak, winter night like a grotesque, twenty-first century lighthouse. To the east – the college town of Ithaca, NY. To the west, everything else. The air is cold and unforgiving. The landscape every shade of grey and brown on the colour-wheel. A couple of teenagers loiter in the parking lot, plotting their escape. Most of them know they won’t ever leave this town, so tonight their escape is a temporary one. Rollies and half-drank litres of Mountain Dew. Grapefruit blunts and chapped lips. Their baggy clothes full of restlessness and longing. This is Townie.”
The new record adds to a renowned career for X Ambassadors, who exploded onto the scene in 2015 with the success of their Platinum-certified debut album, VHS. The record featured singles Unsteady and Renegades, which have since garnered more than 1.3 billion streams on Spotify and led the band to a three-year long world tour. VHS was followed by 2019’s ORION, the Belong EP the following year, The Beautiful Liar in 2021 and 2023’s (Eg), a series of collaborative singles featuring artists such as Breland, Teddy Swims & Jac Ross, Medium Build and PAMÉ.
Most recently, the band released Deep End, which was written for and featured in the new movie, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom. The track is just the latest contribution the band has made to major films, with other works including Torches (Transformers), Great Unknown (The Call of the Wild) and Sucker for Pain (Suicide Squad) among others.
UK Tour Dates:
3rd – XOYO, Birmingham
5th – Saint Luke’s, Glasgow
6th – SWX, Bristol
7th – Electric Ballroom, London
8th – Hangar 34, Liverpool