American Football announce new album. Here's why you should be excited

As the Illinois emo quartet gear up for a third outing, here's a ready reckoner of everything we know so far and what to expect on the new record.

American Football announce new album. Here's why you should be excited

Following a long-awaited reunion, American Football gave us their first album in nearly two decades, 2016’s 'American Football II'. The Illinois based emo icons disbanded after releasing their genre-defining self-titled debut album in 1999, only to reunite in 2014, much to the delight of fans.

Now, after a few teasers on social media, American Football have officially announced a third album to kick off the new year.

The new album sees the band employ a markedly new approach, incorporating new, previously unexplored sounds, as evident in the newly released lead single. As we eagerly await the new album, here's a quick rundown of everything we know so far and what to expect from the emo legends' third outing.

What is it called?

After posting a mysterious photo titled “III”, the band revealed that the new album will simply be titled 'American Football (LP3)'. Call it unimaginative or simplistic (this is American Football's third self-titled album), but this is definitely one album that you don't want to judge by the title because what's inside it is definitely more imaginative than the bland title.



 

When is it out?

'American Football (LP3)' is due out on March 22, 2019 via Polyvinyl. Pre-orders are ongoing.

What will it sound like?

While the eight-track effort features production from past collaborator Jason Cupp, and was recorded in the same spot as its predecessor, Omaha’s Arc Studios, it sees the band taking a markedly different approach than previous releases.

The new approach is showcased on the lead single of the album, 'Silhouettes', a 7-plus minute epic deep dive that shows American Football at its most mature. Check out the single below:

If the single is anything to go by, the new album is going to feature elaborately constructed melodies that take full advantage of the production value, courtesy of Cupp. It's a fresh sound compared to their previous material but doesn't stray too far away from their emo roots, featuring stereo tinkling synths, elaborate guitar melodies and a probing rhythm section.

“We put a lot of time and a lot of energy into it,” Kinsella added, talking about the markedly different approach on the third LP. “We were all thoughtful about what we wanted to put out there. Last time, it was figuring out how to use all of our different arms. This time, we were like – 'Ok we have these arms, let’s use them'”.

All of "these arms" are neatly tied together by Mike Kinsella's dreamy vocals. Although he sticks to his usual conversational tone of delivery, the lyrical themes are self admittedly more evolved this time. 

“The goal is to be conversational, maybe to state something giant and heavy, but in a very plain way,” the frontman explains. “But, definitely in this record, I keep things a little more vague.”



 

A noticeable novelty on the new record (and also the pre-released single) is the incorporation of shoegaze elements into the tracks. The album also features a host of guest spots including shoegaze icon Rachel Goswell of Slowdive, who appears on a song titled 'I Can’t Feel You'. Other collaborators include Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams, who features on the Pink Floyd homage 'Uncomfortably Numb', and Elizabeth Powell of Land of Talk on the track 'Every Wave to Ever Rise'.

Spanning eight tracks, the album's total length is 47 minutes, with a couple of expansive cuts that stretch beyond the 7-minute mark, which could be because of the detailed shoegaze soundscapes that American Football have chosen to tinker with. To provide some context, their 2016 comeback LP had 9 tracks that wrapped up within 37 minutes. 

Tracklist and album art

For the first time, the album art does not have a picture of the "American Football house". Featuring on the covers of both the previous releases, the house became a landmark for emo music fans around the world, who often traveled to Urbana, Illinois to take photos outside of the home. Perhaps the new album cover is a sign of change and new things to come, or maybe the band simply got tired of the same old gimmick -- the new album art simply shows a gradient of hues of what appears to be a bleak sunset over a foggy lake. 

The album art for 'American Football (LP3' is the first album from the emo rockers that doesn't feature the famed "American Football house".
The album art for 'American Football (LP3' is the first album from the emo rockers that doesn't feature the famed "American Football house".

Check out the complete tracklist below:

01. Silhouettes
02. Every Wave To Ever Rise (feat. Elizabeth Powell)
03. Uncomfortably Numb (feat. Hayley Williams)
04. Heir Apparent
05. Doom In Full Bloom
06. I Can’t Feel You (feat. Rachel Goswell)
07. Mine To Miss
08. Life Support.