Sam Roberts Band is thrilled to announce the release of their new album, Collider. Set for a May 10th release on Zoë/Rounder Records, Collider reinforces the spirit of the band's classic pop song craft and infectious melodies that countless critics fell in love with. Joined by Califone percussionist Ben Massarella and Antibalas woodwind wizard Stuart Bogie, the band explores a world of rhythms, sounds and ideas that challenged their understanding of themselves and the music that they were making. Produced by Chicago-based producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse / Iron and Wine,) Collider is the follow up to Roberts' critically acclaimed album Love At The End Of The World.
The new energy is immediately apparent on the album's opening track "The Last Crusade," which begins as a simmering soul shuffle before gradually intensifying into a brass-blasted Afro-funk blowout. Bogie and Massarella's role on this album amounts to more than just firing up the band's funkiness on tracks like "Let It In" and adding a Sticky Fingers swing to "Sang Froid." The process of opening up the songs to accommodate their guest contributions forced the band to refine and refocus their own playing.
Collider is noticeably bereft of the scorching guitar solos that define the band's powerhouse live performances. Here the guitars are a textural tool to emphasize the rhythm - a tactic that ultimately shines a greater light on Roberts' instantly familiar melodies and lyrical wisdom, yielding some of his most affecting performances to date - especially on the sad-eyed track "Twist the Knife" and the end-of-relationship requiem "Longitude," a dreamy duet with Land of Talk's Elizabeth Powell.
"There's got to be some desperation to your writing," Roberts says. "You've got to maintain that feeling of survival - that you can lose your grip at any time. That's where songs like these come from - from the realization that you can never figure it out completely, that your grip can never hold on forever. It's always there; every time I sit down to write. That's why the record is called what it is: ideas collide, especially when you're making music. When you take things that are seemingly different, you can smash them together and create something new."
And that's ultimately what Collider is about for Sam Roberts - musical exploration as a vehicle for emotional introspection. Despite what the album's opening track might tell you, this is not the last crusade he's on ... but the point is that it should feel like it is.