When O'Brother emerged out of Atlanta in the mid-2000s, they were talented instrumentalists and precocious writers of lushly arranged rock songs that were imaginitive and dynamic, but also sometimes subdued. And while the group's aspirations clearly aimed skyward, the songs from their early EPs were still tethered to this world.
Something happened between then and now, starting with their ambitious debut album in 2011, "Garden Window." O'Brother tightened their sound, added layers, and expanded their songwriting, making full use of Tanner Merritt's vocal range to shape a landscape of narratives. The group really broke through in 2013 with their sweeping full-length album, "Disillusion."
Next week, O'Brother will release their follow-up, "Endless Light," via Triple Crown Records/Favorite Gentlemen. It could be their most haunting yet, from the build up of opening track "Slow Sin" to the quiet interlude (relatively speaking) of "Burn," through the choral pastures of the title track to the final fade of "Realm of the Physical."
“When we went into talks about writing this record, we were all obsessed with the utilization of empty space as an instrument, utilizing the space between everything to also create an artistic statement,” Merritt says in a statement. “In the past, our three guitar players would try to stack parts on top of each other, but here we’ve just lopped some stuff off and people aren’t always playing. We thought: Is this part absolutely necessary, or can we drop it and get the same thought across? Let’s give every part the space to breathe within the song.”
Ahead of the March 25 release, we're excited to premiere "Endless Light" in full below. You may want to turn off the lights and imagine the universe thundering and swirling above you and all around. You might also want to close your eyes.
O'Brother Tour Dates
March 18 - Work | Release in Norfolk, VA
March 19 - Local 506 in Carrboro, NC
March 21 - The Social in Orlando, FL
March 22 - Crowbar in Tampa, FL
March 24 - Walter’s in Houston
March 25 - Sidewinder in Austin, TX
March 26 - Gas Monkey in Dallas
March 28 - Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, AZ
March 29 - The Irenic in San Diego
March 30 - The Roxy in Los Angeles
March 31 - Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco
April 2 - The Hawthorne in Portland, OR
April 3 - Chop Suey in Seattle
April 6 - Larimer Lounge in Denver
April 8 - The Luminary in St. Louis
April 9 - Beat Kitchen in Chicago
April 10 - Mac’s Bar in Lansing, MI
April 12 - Mahall’s in Cleveland
April 13 - Club Café in Pittsburgh
April 14 - Milkboy in Philadelphia
April 15 - Rough Trade in Brooklyn, NY
April 16 - Waiting Room in Buffalo, NY
April 17 - Great Scott in Boston