Fred Thomas – “Bad Blood” (Stereogum Premiere)

Even while serving as the ringleader for Michigan indie-pop mainstay Saturday Looks Good To Me, Fred Thomas has always had a ton of projects going on the side. His upcoming new solo album All Are Saved — technically his eighth solo record, but the first that’s getting a major release — plays like a seasoned veteran with the sheen of a debut album. “Bad Blood” is the masterful lead single, a caustic and emotionally raw stream-of-consciousness word vomit held up by a tattered beat that feels like it may collapse into itself. Thomas’ blunt-force lyricism is on full display: “Bad blood saturating the sheets and the blankets,” he begins. “Good god, there are ghosts floating up from the pavement, they flip over the houses, blood runs out from the basements in its’ unholy flow.” The emotional high water mark comes from this anecdote in the middle of the track, a perfect culmination of a regretful relationship that teems with self-loathing: “We pass on the street, and say ‘hi’ ‘cus we have to/ When both of us are really just like, ‘I fucking hate you’/ So stilted and silent, and not awkward just angry/ But hey I gotta go, but I’ll see you at the show/ It’s that song that everybody loves, but the lyrics are garbage/ And it stresses me out how often you’re mentioned…” It continues on like that, the lyrical equivalent of a kick to the gut. Thomas’ voice sounds both disparaging and remorseful, reflecting on whether everything that went wrong was predestined or if it was something that he did or if it wasn’t his fault at all. “I know, I know, I know it’s disgusting how much I think about myself in relation to nothing, things that aren’t going to stay, just aren’t going to stay…” Listen below.

01 “Every Song Sung To A Dog”
02 “When They Built The Schools”
03 “July”
04 “Cops Don’t Care Pt. II”
05 “Monster Movie”
06 “Bad Blood”
07 “Unfading Flower”
08 “Bed Bugs”
09 “Expo ’87”
10 “Thesis (Lear)”
11 “Doggie”

Tour Dates:
03/11 Chicago, IL @ The Owl
03/13 Nashville, TN @ TBA
03/14 New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar
03/15 Denton, TX @ 35 Denton Festival
03/16 Houston, TX @ Walter’s Downtown
03/17 Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/18 Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/19 Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/20 Hot Springs, AR @ Valley of the Vapors Fest
03/21 Hattiesburg, MS @ Thirsty Hippo
03/23 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
03/24 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
03/25 Lexington, KY @ Green Lantern

All Are Saved is out 4/7 via Polyvinyl Records.