Last Gang Records is excited to announce the March 13th release of Thirteen, the debut album from Louis Prince, the creative project of musician Jake McMullen. Thirteen draws equal inspiration from the lush, ornate world of jazz while recalling the intricate work of Like minded auteurs like Sandro Perri, Nicholas Krgovich, and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar. The album weaves self explorative soul searching into its gorgeous sonic template, with Paste Magazine describing a blend between “the post-internet sensibilities of Bon Iver’s recent work” and “an understated jazz” framework.
Today Louis Prince is excited to share the new single “The Number Thirteen” along with the pre-order for the forthcoming album. This spring Louis Prince will play select dates including shows at SXSW 2020. Upcoming tour dates below.
Pre-Order Thirteen out March 13th on Last Gang Records
Watch the music videos for “Ode” and “Lounging”
An Orange County native at birth raised on a diet of Frank Sinatra, Tom Waits, the Beach Boys, and the Christian music that came with a religious upbringing, McMullen was inspired to pursue music after seeing someone play guitar in a shopping mall: “I was like, ‘Wow, this is the coolest fucking thing in the world,'” he remembers.
For Thirteen, McMullen teamed up with close friend and musician/producer Micah Tawlks to chart a sonic path influenced by his interests, ranging from Ethopian jazz, to the works of jazz masters like Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. “It’s a lot of music without words,” he explains regarding the sounds that inspire him. “Lyrics don’t get to me as much as playing the piano does.”
Besides embodying a nod to the Ethiopian tourist economy slogan “13 months of sunshine,” the title of Thirteen draws from both superstition and tradition: “It feels unlucky, and I like that,” he explains. “I like going against this strange thing that humans treat as voodoo—I want to embrace it.” McMullen explains that the album as a whole represents an attempt to “turn the mirror and examine myself,” and there are evocations of personal pain tucked away into the fluttering woodwinds of opening track “Ten Sprites,” which addresses McMullen’s parents’ divorce and the conflicting feelings about the nature of family that emerged as a result.
“Families are such a weird thing,” he opines. “We’re born into it and responsible for each other. I have a strange issue with commitment, in which I can’t let anybody into my world because it will fuck with making music. If someone else comes in and I wind up falling in love, my music will suffer. I know it’s an irrational fear, but I can’t write it off.” Questions surrounding his own religious upbringing abound, while first single “Half Acres” returns to themes of commitment and validation over sparse synths and twinkling ambience. “The question in the chorus is two-fold,” McMullen explains regarding the song’s central query (“Is it gonna happen for you?”). “Am I ever going to get over this lack of commitment, and does love mean anything to me? Am I willing to try to find it?”
“I want people to care about what I do,” McMullen continues while discussing the essence of creation and what it means to him—and he quickly doubles down on the inquisitiveness that makes Thirteen such a striking listen: “Is it wrong to want that? What is success, and does it mean anything to me?” Although he might have to answer that last one for himself, Thirteen is inarguably the work of a personal triumph—an exciting new voice in indie, colliding fascinating stylistic tics with a yearning to belong in this world that listeners will doubtlessly find relatable.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
16-22 – Austin, TX – SXSW Shows TBA
25-29 – Boise, ID – Treefort Festival
02 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
23 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo