D.C. pop-rockers Broke Royals have dropped their newest single, the Bartees Strange-produced “Postcard.” The track features a more autobiographical approach to songwriting than Broke Royals have seen before and acts as a teaser for the band’s forthcoming third album scheduled for release in 2022.
Listen to “Postcard” below:
The new single came to life when vocalist Phillip Basnight found a postcard from an old relationship while cleaning out his room last year. For a moment of peace in a season of pain. “I carried that lyric around for years before I found the right story,” says Basnight. “[Finding the postcard] took me back to that exact headspace: the last great moment we shared before the relationship ended. It fit the lyric I had exactly and, all of the sudden, the whole song came to life.”
By the start of 2020, Broke Royals had a comfortable process. Basnight, Colin Cross (drums), Taimir Gore (bass), and Ben Wilson (guitar) had released two full-length albums and knew how to construct a typical “Broke Royals” song. Things were going well, and they were sharing stages with their musical heroes.
As a live band, however, their songs sounded grittier and less pristine. The band wanted to capture this energy and, even more, avoid slipping into autopilot. As they began work on their third album, they knew they had to discard the old process and step out of their comfort zone. The group needed to throw a wrench in the gears to create something new and exciting. Enter Bartees Strange, their guide into the genre-bending unknown.
Together, Broke Royals and Bartees Strange began building up and breaking down ideas. Nothing was sacred and the safe choices were often the first ones to get cut. In this style, the group wrote and rewrote slowly throughout the pandemic, sometimes altogether and sometimes individually. The result is Broke Royals’ most exciting collection of songs to date.
Bartees Strange joined the process for production, encouraging the band to add in synthesizers and a horn section on “Postcard,” helping the band to push their creative boundaries. What followed is a punchy high-energy track that builds to an infectious chorus relishing in an optimistic note written on a postcard long ago: “I wish you were here/ And you will be next time.”
At the heart of the new record is a rock & roll band grooving in lockstep, melding the sounds of today with those of their heroes. The influences of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty shine through with particular clarity when the band trades pristine pop for the raw energy of a live band that has put in its 10,000 hours. In keeping with their previous records, the music still explores the heavy themes of love, heartbreak, religion, and anxiety in the modern world.
Stream “Postcard” here.