Last month, Titus Andronicus [hereafter +@] shocked the world with the revelatory “Number One (In New York),” the opening track from the forthcoming album A Productive Cough (available March 2nd from Merge Records), as the door was kicked open to an intriguing new era for one of the most consistently unpredictable and rewarding acts in contemporary rock music. Today, that door flings wider yet, as +@ and Merge Records proudly present the new single, “Above The Bodega (Local Business).”
This surefire hit should serve to shatter whatever lingering preconceptions remain regarding the musical mission of +@, as Patrick Stickles and company boldly sashay into previously uncharted territories, digging deeper and grooving harder than ever before. Driven by a propulsive engine of shakers and congas, zesty horns and funky clavinet lift “Above The Bodega (Local Business)” into a soulful sphere worthy of the Stones in Memphis, further illuminating the sprawling aesthetic universe of A Productive Cough.
“All the songs on [A Productive Cough] deal with the realities of life, as I understand them, in my adopted hometown of New York City,” explains Stickles, “and one quality that does much to define New York City life is the access to twenty-four-hour consumption. The first floor of the apartment building in which I live is occupied by a deli-grocery, to which I give my patronage several times a day – as a result, I have developed a particular understanding with the staff there which I have not so far heard articulated in song. Thusly, I took it upon myself to write the ‘ultimate’ song explicating the bodega clerk / patron relationship.”
Pressed to elaborate further, Stickles darts his eyes left to right and back again, then down to the floor, exhaling, and expands, “More and more, we are defined by the things which we consume, and those who facilitate that consumption may glimpse a more truthful view of ourselves than the carefully curated image we share with our loved ones. No one knows the depths of my vice better than they who oversee the transactions which make it possible – in this way, the deli clerk knows me better than my own mother.”
Much like “Number One (In New York),” the release of “Above The Bodega (Local Business)” is accompanied by a stunning and lively video from director Ray Concepcion, who shadowed +@ through the process of recording A Productive Cough at Marcata Recording in New Paltz, NY. Those who enjoy this intimate look behind the scenes will be further delighted by the release of a full-length “making-of-the-album” documentary which will see release on February 26th. Interested parties are encouraged to keep a close eye on A-PRODUCTIVE-COUGH.com in the coming week for further updates and insights.
When visiting A-PRODUCTIVE-COUGH.com, don’t forget to investigate the dates for +@’s first ever “acoustic” tour, in which Patrick Stickles will perform in a duo configuration with pianist Alexi Molini, commencing March 7th in Kingston, NY, with direct support on all dates by Rick Maguire from Pile.
A Productive Cough is available for pre-order on blue-gray Peak Vinyl which includes a jukebox-
inspired 7-inch of “(I’m) Like a Rolling Stone,” a track that does not appear on the physical LP except as part of the download, its nearly 9-minute length split across both sides of the single. Explore all pre-order options including an exclusive $10 t-shirt add-on in the Merge store (where all purchases come with a free temporary “Crass[-inspired] Tattoo” while supplies last), at your
favorite participating independent record store, or via these digital music providers.