There's something really amazing about hearing music from a band you've never heard of for the first time and having it instantly resonate — so much so that you need to hear more of it. It's the kind of feeling that keeps me excited every day about music and why we will always love our "jobs" here at ~Topshelf Records, Inc.~. Without a doubt, my favorite thing about running a record label is taking that excitement and occasionally getting to share it with all of you. Today we're doing that in the form of Chicago's Ratboys.
Upon first hearing their "Space Blows" and "Have a Heart" singles on bandcamp (which are both available for free download, btw), I was instantly floored by their seemingly effortless knack for integrating wonderful melodies with thoughtful song structure. If you need a reference point here, think classics like Mirah, Okkervil River, Rilo Kiley or Wye Oak meeting somewhere with more contemporary acts like Waxahatchee or even Hop Along at their quieter moments. Which is to say, this is a band we are very, very excited about!
The band have a new full length album recorded — their first. It's titled AOID and we will be releasing it on cassette and digitally on June 9, 2015 with the band releasing it next week on CD (catch them at one of their upcoming shows to get a copy!). A vinyl release is in the works for the fall. To give you a taste in the meantime though, we've got the second track on the album called "Tixis" premiering over on BrooklynVegan right now — have a listen! Cover art, track list and pre-order notification sign-ups for the album are also all now up.
Lastly, if you live on the east coast, be sure to catch the band on their upcoming tour! Dates and info are below:
- 5/18 - Chicago, IL @ Gypsy House
- 5/19 - Kalamazoo, MI @ Shakespeare's
- 5/20 - Akron, OH @ It's A Kling Thing!
- 5/21 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Pallas Theatre
- 5/22 - Rochester, NY @ Vineyard Community Space
- 5/23 - Cohoes, NY @ Icehouse
- 5/24 - Boston, MA @ TBA
- 5/25 - Danbury, CT @ The Heirloom Arts Theater
- 5/26 - New York City @ Bushwick Public House
- 5/27 - Philadelphia, PA @ Everbody Hits
- 5/28 - Baltimore, MD @ TBA
- 5/29 - Blacksburg, VA @ Robin Williams Center for the Arts
- 5/30 - Greensboro, NC @ Anderson's House
- 5/31 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
- 6/01 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
- 6/02 - Cleveland, MS @ Hey Joe
- 6/03 - Memphis, TN @ House show
- 6/04 - Nashville, TN @ Exponent Manor
- 6/05 - Lexington, KY - Best Friend Bar
- 6/06 - Indianapolis, IN @ Grammaw's House
- 6/07 - Champaign, IL @ Death Tower
- 6/08 - Rock Island, IL @ Theo's Java Club
(if you can help with any of the TBAs, please reach out to talktoratboys [at]gmail [dot] com — thanks!!)
View Ratboys merch»
Listen to Ratboys»
View Ratboys tour dates»