Things change. We’ve all become painfully aware of that in recent times, and Thought Leaders are a band thoroughly borne of change.
The Bay Area-based modern, aggressive post-punk quartet dishes out addictive, saturated songs in the vein of Killing Joke, Bauhaus and Gang of Four. The band’s newest LP, In Wastelands, is out July 9 through King Of Sticks.
New Noise are proud to premiere “Jane Doe’s Estate” below:
The band’s sound is an interesting pivot for its members—coming from backgrounds in heavy prog acts The Mass (Crucial Blast Records) and Totimoshi, psychedelic Brit-pop Dora Flood and wiry post-rockers Lower Forty-Eight—some of whom have also switched instruments in this new configuration.
The band had just formed in early 2019, issuing its debut 4-song EP, Wires Crossed, in April that year and begun work on a full-length album In Wastelands in early 2020 when the world suddenly ground to a halt.
In Wastelands wasn’t supposed to be made this way. Pre-COVID, the plan was to record the album with Andrew Oswald (of Marbled Eye) at Santo Studio in West Oakland in June 2020. They had five songs done and four more in demo form when everything shut down. So, the band mobilized. They all went mobile and committed to a fully remote recording process. In May, Kirk recorded drums for the five completed songs. Ville, Tyler, and Andrew each recorded their parts in their home studios while still negotiating and refining the remaining songs to record. It was a gamble, but they wanted to do something.
With five songs completed, the band finished writing the remaining four and everyone once again recorded their parts separately at their homes. Files were sent to Tyler to mix. The process revealed that the band were onto something. Songs they had never played together began to take on a life of their own. And just as suddenly, they realized they had a powerful LP. Mixes were finished in January 2021 and sent to Justin Weis at Trakworx for mastering.
The outcome is an incredibly satisfying album that incorporates elements of post-punk, metal, and goth without drifting into cliches of any of these styles.
Preorder In Wastelands here.