On Feb. 24, Ewert and the Two Dragons will release its new album, "Circles," through Sire/Warner Music. Following 2009's "The Hills Behind the Hills" and 2011's "Good Man Down," it is the Estonian rock band's third full-length album. The day "Circles" drops, Ewert and the Two Dragons will begin a North American tour, running from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.
Today, we are excited to premiere Ewert and the Two Dragons' "Circles" album a week in advance of its official release date. Listen below, then pre-order "Circles" on iTunes.
Unlike the band's previous two albums, which were recorded in Estonia without a strict timeframe, "Circles" was made in Seattle, at Bear Creek Studio, in a few fast weeks. The deadline didn't intimidate them much, says band member Erki Pärnoja, because the band was ready to rip in the studio after being on the road almost nonstop for the previous two years, where they'd evolved into a tighter, stronger and braver unit.
"Circles" is an album about going through changes. "I really felt I had been walking in a circle for years and years," says Pärnoja about the idea behind the title-track and the album. "So I just had to say it out loud, and saying it out loud liberated me from that circle. I'm leading a totally different life now."
Listen to "Circles," read our full inteview with Pärnoja and check out Ewert and the Two Dragons' tour dates below.
How do you compare this album to the first two?
I think this album is, in a way, very similar and yet also a bit different compared to the previous two. The songs are still about personal experiences, or some sort of lessons and revelations in life. The difference is that it might give a darker impression on the first listen. I really hope, though, that our listeners can hear a positive ring to some of these dark sounding pieces of music. Because it is definately meant to be there — we put it there.
Our sound as a band has changed year after year, and the main factor to all this is us playing live, touring together and growing more and more together as people and as a band. Recording the album is one thing — it's a specific process which we enjoy really much — but you can never predict if something you do in the studio is going to work as well in front of an audience on the stage. So playing live has made some corrections or it has just made the necessary changes for us. And also trying to get better and better every time makes some audible changes in all of us personally and as a band too.
What was the biggest challenge the band faced while making this album, and how did you overcome it?
I guess the biggest challenge for us was the time factor. We had a whole month on us to record, maybe even write something new. That's not too little time. It is just something we weren’t used to until that moment. Our first album turned out to be the first album of an actual band, not only a nice relaxed recording session and well spent time between great friends. Writing and recording our second album had a really nice takeoff, but there was a moment where we felt stuck, and it felt like the whole thing isn’t really going anywhere at this point, so we decided to take a break to write and think for a month. We continued some time later and it turned out to be great record for us and for our listeners too.
With "Circles" there was no such time for just writing or relaxing somewhere and taking your time to think about it all. We had been on tour constantly for more than two years by that time, and after a short rest, we flew off to Seattle to record. And there we had the time limit. A whole month, but still a deadline for the first time in our lives. We overcame it and we are satisfied with the record, but it was a new experience for us.
What's your favorite song on the album?
My favorite track is "Circles." It reminds me of the time I wrote it and of all the reasons that made me write it. The lyrics reveal the situation I was in. I just needed a big change in my life. I wasn't satisfied with how some things had turned out and I saw myself from a distance, saw all sorts of behavior patterns and constantly repeating situations I found myself in. I really felt I had been walking in a circle for years and years. So I just had to say it out loud, and saying it out loud liberated me from that circle. I'm leading a totally different life now.
You're preparing to tour the U.S. What's your favorite city to play and why? What's the best thing about touring the U.S.?
I like so many places we’ve been to in the U.S. We have been treated very kindly in a lot of cities. I don't want to do any injustice to some places by naming just one. But I grew up watching western movies and all of us listened to American bands or watched American films and TV shows. Just seeing the country, the nature, the great cities and small towns, experiencing the size of the country and meeting people after the shows and talking to them is really inspiring for me.
Ewert and the Two Dragons Tour Dates
Feb 24 - Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy
Feb 25 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
Feb 27 - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA @ The Drake Hotel
Mar 01 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas
Mar 02 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
Mar 03 - Washington, DC @ DC9
Mar 04 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Mar 06 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
Mar 09 - Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Mar 10 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Mar 12 - San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Mar 13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe