Thursday, March 31, 2011

Title Tracks Premiere Music off Upcoming New Album, "In Blank," Out April 19th on Ernest Jenning

"Davis' music is awash in bouncy hooks and sing-along refrains, but a close listen to his lyrics reveals sharp pain and an obsession with conflicted relationships." - NPR

Title Tracks is a band from Washington, D.C. that began in 2008, as John Davis decided to start a solo project after several years playing in the bands Q And Not U and Georgie James (not to mention side gigs as a fanzine publisher, DJ, record label head and more). As Georgie James was breaking up in the spring of 2008, John went into his practice space and put together an album's worth of new songs. In the summer of 2008, Title Tracks began to play shows with a lineup of John on guitar and vocals, Michael Cotterman on bass, Meredith Munoz on guitar/keyboards/backing vocals and Andrew Black on drums. Later that fall, that lineup recorded the debut Title Tracks 7", "Every Little Bit Hurts"/"Found Out," which was released by Dischord in April 2009.

A few months before the Dischord release, John went back into the practice space and, along with producer/engineer Nick Anderson, recorded the first Title Tracks album, "It Was Easy." Having written all of the parts to all of the songs, John wanted to see what it would be like to play and sing everything on an album. He nearly succeeded, though Kriston Capps played saxophone on "No, Girl" and Tracyanne Campbell (from Camera Obscura) sang on "No, Girl" and "Tougher Than The Rest." As enjoyable as it was for him to play everything, he also
realized he missed having a band on the record and would come back to that concept for his next recording.

Following the release of the Dischord single in April 2009, Meredith moved away from D.C. and was replaced in the live band by Nick. In February 2010, "It Was Easy" was released by Ernest Jenning Record Co. (with the vinyl being a co-release with Safety Meeting Records). This lineup of the band (John, Nick, Michael, Andrew) toured around the U.S. throughout 2010 with the likes of Pretty & Nice and Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, as well as one-offs with kindred spirits like Tommy Keene, The Points, The Paul Collins Beat and plenty more. In late
Summer of 2010, Nick left the band and John, Michael and Andrew settled into the current trio format of the live band.

Throughout 2010, John set about writing another record, this time exploring more of his passion for the biting, taut power pop of some of his favorite bands like The Mice, The Vertebrats and The Nerves, as well as Stiff-era Any Trouble and Nick Lowe. These songs were recorded in November 2010 by Nick Anderson at The Bastille (in Arlington, VA.) and will be released as the album, "In Blank," in April 2011 by The Ernest Jenning Record Co. (the vinyl is a co-release with Windian Records). As with the first record, John wrote all of the songs and parts on “In Blank,” but this time Michael
and Andrew joined him for the recording.

Following the recording of "In Blank," Andrew moved from D.C. and was
replaced in the live band by Mike Sneeringer and Elmer Sharp
(depending on the show). The new live lineup will tour the U.S. and Europe in 2011. Both “It Was Easy” and “In Blank” have been licensed in Europe to a German label, Gunner Records, who will be issuing them in the Spring of 2011.

“In Blank” contains 10 original songs from John, as well as a cover of
the Flamin’ Groovies song, “I Can’t Hide.” The mood on the new record is 32 minutes of nearly unflagging kinetic push from start to finish and is mixed in glorious mono. Starting with “Shaking Hands” (“a tongue-in-cheek glorification of a solipsistic apocalypse,” John says) and ending with “Winners Cry” (about “tattered friendships and the pursuit of oblivion”), the record only slows down very slightly at the halfway mark for “Forget The Ghost,” a spectral song cloaked in a wash of Doric organ, an insistent tandem of acoustic guitar and kick drum and a bass line that walks the song like the titular phantoms. “It’s about feeling like you’ve maybe exorcised the worst parts of yourself,” John explains, “as told through a few ghost stories I’ve been a part of and/or heard at points in my life.”

Elsewhere on “In Blank,” you’ll hear:

“All Tricks”: “a diss track,” John reports. “Just making fun of a lot of what I come across in the music world.”

“Cain And The Twigs”: “After wandering the Earth for ages, Cain was supposedly ultimately banished to the Moon with nothing to his name but a bundle of twigs. This reminded me of someone I knew who had left town fairly ignominiously, so the song kind of pokes fun at that person.”

“Turn Your Face”: “Probably my favorite of the bunch. I would never want to go back to being who I was in the past but that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes yearn for some perceived simplicity that I think I used to possess, I guess. This whole record is pretty much about change, whether you want things to change or not, and this song is where I feel I address that best.”

“No Air”: “About artists whose real skill, fleeting or not, is that they don’t have anything to say but still seem to interest people by the tropes they use when they say it.”

“Clench Your Fist (A Little Closer To Me)”: “That one is about forgiveness and about realizing that I can often do wrong, even when I’m right.”

“Light Sleepers”: “Saying good luck to those who leave you”

“It’s Wrong”: “Robert Goddard said something like ‘God pity a one-dream man’ and that’s sort of what this is about.”


"Every Little Bit Hurts"/"Found Out" 7" - Dischord - April 2009
"It Was Easy" CD/LP - The Ernest Jenning Record Co./Safety Meeting - February 2010
"In Blank" CD/LP - The Ernest Jenning Record Co./Windian Records - April 2011

"In Blank" Track List
1. Shaking Hands
2. Turn Your Face * stream
3. Clench Your Fist (A Little Closer To Me)
4. Light Sleepers
5. I Can't Hide
6. Forget The Ghost

7. All Tricks * download
8. Cain And The Twigs
9. No Air
10. It's Wrong
11. Winners Cry

Title Tracks Live

European Tour Dates
24.03. DE, Dresden - Beatpol +AN PIERLE & WHITE VELVET
26.03. IT, Verona - Interzona
27.03. IT, Pescara - Mono Spazio Bari
28.03. IT, Bari - Taverna Vecchia del Maltese
30.03. IT, Villadossola (Vb) - Titty Twister
31.03. DE, Gießen - AK44 +CAVES
01.04. DE, Bremen - Friesenstrasse +LES ASPIRATEURS
02.04. DE, Braunschweig - Nexus +LES ASPIRATEURS +KÄFER K
03.04. DE, Berlin - Privatclub +LES ASPIRATEURS
04.04. DE, Hamburg - Gruener Jaeger +GNILL
05.04. DK, Aalborg - 1000fryd
07.04. DE, Munster - Gleiss 22 +TRIP FOUNTAIN
08.04. CH, Luzern - Treibhaus
09.04. CH, Winterthur - Kraftfeld +HADDOCKS
10.04. DE, Munich - Orangehouse/Feierwerk +AN HORSE +PERISCOPE
11.04. CZ, Prague - 007
12.04. DE, Nurnberg - K4 +TRIP FONTAIN +SEX JAMS
13.04. DE, Würzburg - TBA

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