The Felice Brothers just released “Special Announcement” from the forthcoming album Undress, out May 3 via Yep Roc Records. Paste said, “The song, which directly and cleverly targets financial corruption, is quick to acknowledge the absurdity of our modern politics and the role money plays in them with the lyric “I’m saving up my money to be president.” Songwriter Ian Felice imagines a world without financial interests, without the “Stock Exchange” and the ‘Federal Reserve.'”
While Undress contains many of the musical hallmarks The Felice Brothers have come to be known for since first emerging from New York’s Hudson Valley more than a decade ago (ragged guitars, weighty lyrics, a Replacements-esque sense that the wheels might come off at any moment), the record marks something of a new chapter for the group after undergoing major personal and professional changes. During the break between albums, Ian Felice (who shares songwriting and vocal duties in the band with his brother James) became a father and released both his first solo record and his first book of poetry, while new bassist Jesske Hume (Conor Oberst, Jade Bird) joined drummer Will Lawrence in rounding out the rhythm section following the departure of two longtime members.
The Felice Brothers’ long strange journey stretches back to the sidewalks and subway platforms of New York City, where they first began performing in 2006. Within just a few years, the band was playing Radio City Music Hall with Bright Eyes and appearing everywhere from the Newport Folk Festival to Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble. They’d go on to release a series of critically acclaimed albums that pushed the boundaries of modern folk, with The New York Times likening their music to “the rootsy mysticism of the Band” and The Guardian hailing their songs as “impeccably crafted, with literary-minded lyrics that are both playful and profound.” The band shared bills with Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons among others, took their blistering live show to Coachella, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and countless other festivals across the US and Europe, and backed up Conor Oberst extensively in the studio and on the road. The band kicks off a US tour starting on April 27 in Albany.