Derek Sanders, the long-adored vocalist of Tallahassee emo/alternative band, Mayday Parade, has released “But Lauren,” the second single from his debut solo EP, My Rock and Roll Heart, out this Friday, February 14 via Rise Records. Listen to the track HERE, and watch the accompanying music video HERE. Sanders’ heartfelt cover of the song anchors the EP and has a special meaning to him. He recorded his version of the track as a Valentine’s Day present to his wife in 2017, which he thought would make for an excellent gift considering the two had been listening to the song since high school, as well as the fact that his wife shares its namesake. “I really only intended for her to hear it,” remembers Sanders, “but it snowballed from there.”

“But Lauren” also carries special hometown significance. The track was originally recorded by Sanders’ favorite local band, Goodbye Love. The group was the brainchild of Mike Hanson, who had been in several Tallahassee bands throughout the years, including a hardcore act that captured Sanders’ attention as a pre-teen. As Mayday Parade grew out of Tallahassee, Sanders spoke to Hanson a few times, sharing that his songs were always a major source of inspiration to him. Once he recorded his own “But Lauren” cover, it only made sense for him to get Hanson’s opinion. “He was actually the one to say, ‘This is great, you should put this out somehow.’ That was when I started thinking about what other songs would be fun to cover [for the EP],” he says. My Rock and Roll Heart is not only a chance for Sanders to cover a song by one of his heroes, but also a way to expose people to “But Lauren” for the first time. “This was before the internet, and Mike never really broke out of Tallahassee. It’s such a shame his music never had a chance to do more than it did, and it’s cool that people will be able to hear it through me,” he adds.

The track listing of My Rock and Roll Heart is all music that Sanders loved as a teenager, and is comprised of five acoustic covers of tracks by Jimmy Eat World, Something Corporate, Saves The Day, The Juliana Theory, and Goodbye Love. “All of the songs on the EP are ones I was listening to at 15 or 16 years old. I’ve been in so many bands since then, and it’s cool to go back to playing acoustic and singing the way it all started,” he adds.

In celebration of the new EP, Sanders will play a limited headline run of shows in the U.S. The trek kicks off this Saturday, February 15 at Will’s Pub in Orlando, followed by two additional dates in Atlanta and Nashville. A full itinerary is included below, and tickets are on sale now HERE. Fans can also get an advance preview of what to expect at these shows – check out Sanders’ live performance of “Punk Rock Princess” at Emo Night Brooklyn HERE.

My Rock and Roll Heart Track Listing:

1. But Lauren

2. Rocks Tonic Juice Magic

3. A Praise Chorus

4. Punk Rock Princess

5. August In Bethany

U.S. Headline Tour Dates:

February 15 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub

February 16 – Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl

February 17 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt

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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