Rubblebucket Share “What Life Is” Video; New Album ‘Sun Machine’ Out August 24

Today, NYC’s Rubblebucket have shared a video for “What Life Is,” the third single from their forthcoming album, Sun Machine, being released by Grand Jury Music on August 24. Watch here. The gorgeous clip, directed by Charles Billot, premiered via Blackbook.

Speaking on the origins of the track, the band’s Alex Toth states: “‘What Life Is’ is a stream of consciousness inspired by living in New York City. Being in close quarters with so many humans bumping into one another, feverishly striving and surviving can be as inspiring as it is suffocating. I’m sometimes struck with an image of me and my 8 million neighbors from afar, as tiny beings filtering in and out of tiny boxes within bigger concrete structures, onto trains and gridded streets. And somehow persevering and trying to be human and happy. It’s a wild and beautiful endeavor and takes a fair amount of grit.

Find “What Life Is” here:

Rubblebucket will be touring North American in support of Sun Machine. Live, the band’s Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth are joined on stage by five additional musicians and their shows fall under the “do not miss” category – Rolling Stone has called Rubblebucket “the indie rock Miami Sound Machine” and Paste say they are “catchy enough to ass-kick Katy Perry off the pop charts (in a just world).” The tour kicks off August 1 in Troy, NY and takes them across the country and back concluding in Chicago, IL on November 17. The band play Los Angeles on November 6. Further, Rubblebucket will be playing a slot at their very own Dream Picnic Festival in Holyoke, MA on September 8 at Gateway City Arts. Also on the bill are Diet Cig, Caroline Rose, Brothers Griin, After Party, and Mal Devia. Tickets for Dream Picnic are available here and all Rubblebucket dates are below.

In summer 2015, after finishing a year of intense touring, Rubblebucket began the process of bringing their next record to life. As an experiment, Kalmia asked Alex (her longtime romantic partner) to move out while they worked on the album, then accepted the marriage proposal he made during a recording session just a month later. Although Alex soon moved back in, their 11-year relationship ended when the two chose to ‘consciously uncouple’ the following spring.  But despite all the sadness brought on by their breakup, Kalmia and Alex kept on writing and recording together, ultimately creating Rubblebucket’s most transcendent album to date.

Co-produced by Kalmia and Alex, Sun Machine documents the pain of ending their romantic relationship, yet emerges as an unbridled and often-euphoric celebration of their lasting connection. While the breakup inspired much of the album, Sun Machine is deeply informed by several other life-changing occurrences in recent years: Kalmia’s diagnosis with ovarian cancer in 2013 (followed by a round of surgeries and chemo treatments), Alex’s decision to get sober after a long struggle with alcoholism, and the couple’s three-year-long attempt at maintaining an open relationship. The result is a strange and beautiful paradox: a party album rooted in radical mindfulness, a breakup record imbued with each partner’s palpable love for the other.

With its airy melodies and lavish textures, dream-logic sensibilities and dancey rhythms,Sun Machine radiates the bright and joyful energy encapsulated in its title. “It’s a reference to the sun as this abundant natural resource we all have available to us-but it’s also about the inner sun, the magma in our hearts,” says Kalmia. “When you can access that, you’re able to get through really hard moments, and evolve and develop creatively. I think that’s the best way to explain how I was able to work through the process of the two of us transforming our relationship in a positive way.” 

Sun Machine Track listing: 

1.) What Life Is

2.) Donna

3.) Lemonade

4.) Party Like Your Heart Hurts

5.) Fruity

6.) Formless and New


8.) Annihilation Song


10.) Inner Cry

11.) Sunlit Sparks (I Won’t Break You)


13.) Habit Creature

Rubblebucket on tour

8/1: Troy, NY @ WEQX Riverfront Event+

8/2: Dennis, MA @ Cape Cinema+

8/3: Westerly, RI @ Paddy’s Beach Club

8/4: Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes+

9/8: Holyoke, MA @ Gateway City Arts (Rubblebucket’s Dream Picnic) #

10/6: Arrington, VA @ The Festy

10/25: Fairfield, CT @ Warehouse

10/26: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

10/27: Washington, DC @ Black Cat

10/29: Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle

10/30: Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge

10/31: Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West

11/2: Burnett, TX @ Utopia Fest

11/4: Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom

11/6: Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom

11/7: San Francisco, CA @ August Hall

11/9: Seattle, WA @ Neumos

11/10: Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom

11/12: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory

11/13: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

11/14: Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre

11/17: Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge

tickets are available for a shows here

^ w/ Lake Street Dive

# featuring Diet Cig,Caroline Rose and more

+ And the Kids supports

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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