In the past, Subtle have been anything but their namesake, galloping across hip-hop, pop, soul, and post-indie whatever, mashing up a colorful agglomeration in their blender. The Bay Area sextet’s forthcoming third full-length ExitingARM, though, showcases a more nuanced approach to the genre hopping, without losing any of the density. To get a sense of the eclectic aesthetic, frontman/co-founder doseone founded anticon with Yoni of Why?, and the band’s collaborated with Beck, Tunde from TV On The Radio, Soft Pink Truth (Drew Daniel of Matmos), Ms. John Soda, Hood, the Notwist, etc. Speaking of the Notwist, ExitingArm is wrapped in a dusky Kraut-esque gauziness. No idea what we’re talking about? Take a listen to “The Crow,” a chirpy bit of rap-injected dream pop and the upbeat “Unlikely Rock Shock.” The latter has a Gnarls thing in its swivel.

“Unlikely Rock Shock” follows the “Crow” on the album, so listen in order and get a sense of at least one transition. Also, we’re told there’s a 20,000-word comic book that doseone illustrated/wrote that follows the album’s narrative. Keep watch at the band’s site.

ExitingARM is out 5/13 on Lex. Working well with their genre-blending tendencies, Subtle heads out on tour this May, playings shows with Black Moth Super Rainbow, Efterklang, Pit Er Pat, Dosh, Slaraffenland, etc.

05-07 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall *
05-09 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir ^!
05-10 – Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge ^!
05-12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
05-13 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
05-15 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry $
05-16 – Madison, WI @ Annex $
05-17 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle &
05-19 – Toronto, Ontario @ TBA
05-20 – Montreal, Quebec @ La Sala Rossa
05-21 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs %
05-22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s %
05-23 – New York, NY @ Knitting Factory %
05-24 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel %^
05-26 – Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
05-27 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
05-28 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
05-30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Knitting Factory *
* with Clue to Kalo, Facing New York
^ with Efterklang
! with Slaraffenland
$ with Fog
& with Pit Er Pat
% with Black Moth Super Rainbow

Comments (9)
  1. boone  |   Posted on Mar 26th, 2008 0

    Yes Yes Yes! Subtle you rule! I can’t wait!

  2. It sounds like the Crow’s mp3 is shorter than really is?

  3. Darth James  |   Posted on Mar 26th, 2008 0

    These both sound really great! Excitied for the show with Efterklang. Wow, that’s a killer double bill!

  4. Chadams  |   Posted on Mar 26th, 2008 0

    I’ve never been as scared shitless as I was seeing Subtle open for TVOTR last march. Not saying I hated them., cuz I didn’t – they’re just…Subtle.

  5. brody  |   Posted on Mar 27th, 2008 0

    unlikely rock shock
    sounds like afrika bambaataa

    the crow
    sounds kinda like uhh blue october…

    i’m scared

  6. I am so pumped for this album! For Hero: For Fool was easily my top album of ’06.

  7. BRO  |   Posted on Mar 27th, 2008 0

    re: the crow – so not blue october…more notwist-ish.

    I agree with afrika though – that i totally hear!

  8. jOHNNY  |   Posted on Apr 4th, 2008 0

    dig unlikely rock shock
    …as for the crow…i’ll just have to wait and see if it grows on me…i dunno.
    It will probably be awesome live though

    i’ve seen em’ live twice, and both times were incredible!
    Too bad i’ll be on a boat somewhere between Spain and N. Africa when they hit descend upon DC in may…I was really looking forward to adding to my growing fork collection

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