Detroit's Two Cheers have shared their new single “No Good at Talking,” the first track released from their forthcoming LP Rollick, due out on July 14th. Listen to the song now below!
“Compared to our last record, Splendor, there was more experimentation on this new one,” Bryan Akcasu explains. “I wanted to make this record a kind of variety show, and test out a bunch of different styles, textures, and rhythms. A lot of the songs still started with jams, but there were five of us this time, so that added a new dimension to the songwriting process and helped introduce some new angles to our sound. That definitely resulted in more left-field musical ideas taking hold."
Two Cheers is an unusual band in almost every way, and it’s like they go out of their way to do it all wrong: On the eve of the release of Splendor, the band’s triumphant 2015 album, singer and songwriter Bryan Akcasu decided to skip touring and spend the summer relocating from Los Angeles to a Detroit-suburb to form a new iteration of the band. The band’s music is unusually polished considering Bryan records and mixes exclusively in basements and closets instead of studios, and Rollick, Two Cheers’ latest effort, is their most sonically lush yet. The sparkly, beat-laden early 90s-esque indie pop that calls to mind Real Estate, The Cure, and Young The Giant is also out-of-place in Detroit, where most bands are sticking to the city’s signature raw, overdriven garage rock. Bryan’s lyrics are chaotic, poetic, often tragic stream-of-consciousness vignettes, also a far cry from the usual fare.
The current line-up began testing out material for Rollick in late 2016, with Bryan building up songs from the band’s anything-goes jam sessions. The concept for the album was to be an ode to Bryan’s wife and muse Laura. Then tragedy struck: Bryan’s mother, who had been battling a rare, untreatable cancer, took a turn for the worse. The band’s show schedule as well as work on the album ground to a halt while Bryan took time to help his father care for her and spend time by her side during her last days.
The new record captures the gravity of these life events in subtle, cerebral ways: Owen Bickford’s lush, aching synths surround Carlton White’s melodic, strangely-ordered grooves and Austin Lutzke’s thick, weighty bass-playing. In contrast to the guitars on Splendor, Bryan’s and rhythm player Megan Marcoux’s guitars are clean, delicate, and simple, meandering around Bryan’s distinctive, impassioned vocals, often playing a textural role rather than stealing the show.