Ed Schrader's Music Beat Riddles
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• Publicity by Motormouth Media
• College/Non-Commercial radio by Terrorbird
• Limited red and gold starburst vinyl
• Produced by Dan Deacon
• Mastered by Heba Kadry (Beach House, Neon Indian, Lightning Bolt, Future Islands, Liturgy, Palm)
• One of the original members of Baltimore’s Wham City
• “Dunce” music video in the works
• Upcoming North American tour
• Vinyl includes free digital download
4. Dizzy Devil
5. Wave To The Water
7. Kid Radium
8. Humbucker Blues
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat needed to make this record. 19 tours in the U.S. since the Baltimore-based duo’s formation in 2010, from headlining underground spaces to opening massive venues for Future Islands, had left vocalist Ed and bassist Devlin Rice exhausted—and hungry to take their music to the next level. Ed and Devlin dreamed of a fuller sound—layered, breathing arrangements their early rapid-fire compositions always seemed to imply, without yet having the tools to realize.
On Riddles, their first release for Carpark, the Music Beat begins their new life. In search of a fresh direction, Ed and Devlin invited their close friend, electronic-pop maestro Dan Deacon, to expand their sound and experiment with them as the album’s producer, arranger, and co-writer. Working steadily in Dan’s studio for two years in total collaboration, three evolving musicians pushed through an intense period of personal tumult and found purpose in the sounds they were committing to record. The result: a polished and passionate masterpiece of nuanced alt-rock. From driving opening track “Dunce” and the soaring single “Riddles” to the disarmingly gorgeous closer “Culebra,” Ed and Devlin unapologetically channel a personal pantheon of pop and rock gods while growing into the band—and people—they’d previously kept caged inside.
Dan, Ed, and Devlin all poured emotions produced by major life changes into these sessions. While in Puerto Rico on a rare vacation, Ed learned of the death of his stepfather, a charismatic but abusive figure who’d cast a dominant shadow on his formative years (feelings explored on the elegant “Tom,” and crucial to the flow of the album). Devlin sat at the bedside of his brother, who’d long lived with a terminal illness, as he saw through his choice to die with dignity. And Dan’s longest relationship, which had stretched across his entire career as a musician thus far, came to an end. “I looked forward to these sessions when everything else in life was a shit-show,” recalls Devlin, who began the record commuting from Providence to Baltimore, but moved into Dan’s studio as it neared completion.
“For me, the album parallels feelings of confronting the past, resolving it, facing the music, and blasting out of it,” says Ed. “It’s the album our hearts wanted us to make.” Riddles is a full-length collaboration between Ed Schrader’s Music Beat and Dan Deacon. All three people invested their souls into this record for two full years, and it shows.
With a single EP as an a cappella screamer-crooner to his name, Ed Schrader brought on bassist Devlin Rice to form the two-piece Ed Schrader’s Music Beat after the two met on the legendary 2008 Baltimore Round Robin tour. Rice’s presence instantly brought aesthetic focus to Schrader’s disparate musical tendencies. The primal screams were made driving and heavy and the visionary chants became post-new wave mood pieces. The evolution is unmissable on their first two records as a duo, Jazz Mind (2012) and Party Jail (2014).
On the Dan Deacon-produced Riddles (2018), the band exploded their sonic palette with the addition of synthesizers, player piano and a dedicated percussionist bringing to life a tracklist produced and co-written by Dan Deacon. Upon its release, the record garnered widespread acclaim. NPR called it an “odd and captivating piece of work.” Pitchfork called it “a defining point in their career.” Rolling Stone praised it as “a noise-punk album that bursts with psychedelic twists.” SPIN called it “a memorable and eclectic record … one that can bleed and weep and still make you want to get up and scream.
Since 2010, the duo has mounted several tours across the U.S. and Europe both as a headliner and in support of major acts Beach House, Future Islands and Dan Deacon. They’ve shared bills with No Age, Lightning Bolt, Matmos and Ceremony.
Their new record — the eerie, introspective Nightclub Daydreaming — is due out March 25 from Carpark Records.