Spun Out, the new Chicago-based band led by Mikey Wells, James Weir, and Alex Otake, announce their debut album, Touch The Sound, out August 21st via Shuga Records and the band’s Spun Out Productions label. Today, they also present their lead single/video, “Another House.” Spun Out is built from the embers of NE-HI, whose influential half-decade run ended in 2019 as one of Chicago’s foremost indie rock acts. Touch The Sound is an expansive and exciting first offering. Full of mesmerizing grooves, melancholic pop bliss, and thrilling studio experiments, Touch The Sound is a document of a band truly pushing themselves. With songs simultaneously perfect for a packed rock club or a sweaty dance floor, this is an album that instantly grabs you and takes hold with each successive listen.
While NE-HI had spent years making four-piece indie rock, their new material reflects their evolving tastes with more danceable, spacey, and heady textures. Spun Out’’s first few writing sessions were a whirlwind of creativity and soul-searching. They enlisted Josh Wells (Destroyer) as producer and his approach to generating new sounds fit seamlessly with the band’s newfound ethos; to collaborate openly, emotionally and artistically. “Instead of recording everything live and just trying to capture the energy, we were more intentional: tracking as many layers as we wanted to and then peeling it back. There were no limitations in the studio and were able to shape these songs more,” says Otake. That’s not to say their studio experimentation results in a lack of energy. These songs burst with life and color.
Spun Out is an open door for collaborators and over the course of making Touch The Sound, they enlisted a diverse cast of musicians to flesh out these songs including Destroyer’s JP Carter, Caroline Campbell, saxophonist Kevin Jacobi, Patrick Donohoe, now full-time members keyboardist Sean Page and guitarist Jake Gold, Deeper’s Shiraz Bhatti and Nic Gohl and others. “This isn’t just a three person band. We want to keep it a revolving door for our friends to come in and work with us,” says Weir.
Opener “Another House” captures the band’s spark and their daring songwriting. The track builds slowly but surely to a hair-raising peak complete with pulsing synths and a cacophony of drums and guitars. The accompanying video, directed by the bus-dwelling creative duo Noble Savage (Austin LeMoine and Troy Chebuhar), is representative of Spun Out’s vivid and rich sound. It features the band, washed in a hazy, psychedelic filter. Weir elaborates: “‘Another House’ is a musical boiling pot of a band break up, a search for a new artistic voice, mixed with imaginative studio exploration. We all know there are much bigger and more important things to discuss right now, but if this video and this song can transport you into a positive headspace, then the music has achieved its goal.”
While this album investigates the confusing emotional territory of feeling disillusioned and growing up, Spun Out are certain in one thing: each other. Says Weir, “We’ve only gotten closer as friends and bandmates. We’re basically brothers.” It’s not just a love letter to their expanding adventurousness as artists but also to Chicago’s vibrant music community and their evolving bond. Like its title suggests, Touch The Sound is an invitation to do just that.
TOUCH THE SOUND TRACKLIST
1. Another House
2. Such Are The Lonely
3. Dark Room
4. Running It Backwards
5. Antioch – Easy Detroit
6. Off The Vine
7. Don’t Act Down
9. Cruel And Unusual
10. Plastic Comet