Tower Defense, 2023

“Sea Ranch” / “Running Out”

I can’t speak to exactly what happened but after Tower Defense released In The City, something changed with the band. They wanted to break out of the cycle of writing a batch of songs, recording them in a studio, having them mixed / mastered / produced and putting them out into the world with large gaps of time between new music. Heading into 2023, they shared a game plan with me that would see them releasing more new music, more often. Happy to see it actually worked!

In March, we released a single for “Sea Ranch” coupled with a cover of The Cure’s “A Forest.” Both were recorded in the band’s home studio and mixed by drummer Jereme Frey. We were lucky enough to snag Patrick Damphier to master the tracks and local designer Benjamin Rumble came on to provide the artwork. The band even worked up videos for both tracks.

In June, they repeated the process with a new single for “Running Out” backed with a cover of The B-52’s “Give Me Back My Man.” Again, Patrick Damphier lent a hand for mastering and we were fortunate enough to get Jill Townsend from Fetching Pails to work up the artwork. The similar-yet-different art style is a very conscious choice to showcase some of the visual artists we love and to make it clear these songs are part of a specific era of the band.

A video for the title track was shot over the summer and released later in the year. The track is a rare occasion when Jereme sings lead, so they really pulled out all the stops. It’s a great video on its own and also yielded one of my favorite GIFs of all time.

The band plans to continue this trend in 2024 and I’m excited to share the results with everyone. Every recording from their “Tanglewood Compound” has improved by leaps and bounds, and they were good from the start!

Never Mind the Menagerie

Along with the two singles (and three videos) that the band unleashed on the world, they also wanted to celebrate a decade passing since their first release, Mind the Menagerie. While not a YK Records release, it is an album that I have spent a significant amount of time with and grabs me every time.

Back in 2013 when the album was first written and recorded, Currey May was not yet a member of the band. So, to celebrate the occasion the band decided to re-record three of the songs from the original release. This gave them an opportunity to change how the songs sound sonically and allowed them to capture the new guitar parts / vocal harmonies that Currey now provides. For more details on this process, I interviewed the band to get answers to all my hard hitting questions.

If it isn’t clear from watching that anniversary video, the band are very good friends. Sure, most bands are friends with one another but Tower Defense seem to ooze that friendship and it’s a true delight to work with them.

Looking forward to 2024 and releasing plenty of new music from them. In the meantime, go pickup this astonishingly good shirt to support them.


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