Chris Staples – “Cheap Shades” (Stereogum Premiere)

In a past life, Chris Staples was the vocalist of Florida indie rock band Twothirtyeight and a member of the backing bands for both J. Tillman (now Father John Misty) and Seattle indie rockers Telekinesis. Staples is a Florida native who recently decamped to Washington state. He’s also a seasoned carpenter, and did some woodwork for Josh Rosenfeld, the co-founder of Barsuk Records. Eventually, music came up, and Barsuk ended up putting out Staples’ full-length American Soft last summer. Now, he’s following that up with an EP that features a two live versions of previously released songs, one Built To Spill cover, and two new tracks. Today we’re premiering “Cheap Shades,” which is one of the new ones, an acoustic stream-of-consciousness vignette about being born. It neatly tells the narrator’s life story in quiet, lulling tones from birth to existential crisis. His voice has the same kind of pleasing hushed-whisper sound that helped William Fiztsimmons become so popular, and the way he keeps rhythm on his instrument as he plays is the mark of a seasoned guitarist. Listen below.

Here’s the full Cheap Shades EP tracklist:
01 “Cheap Shades”
02 “Domino Effect” (live)
03 “Center Of The Universe” (Built To Spill Cover)
04 “Cindy, Diana, Janet and Wanda”
05 “Early Bird Tavern” (live)

And his summer tour dates:
07/25 Bend, OR @ Astro Lounge
07/27 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
07/28 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
07/29 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
07/30 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
07/31 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
08/01 San Antonio, TX @ Limelight
08/02 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Jr.
08/04 Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
08/05 Gainesville, FL @ The Atlantic
08/06 Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
08/07 Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
08/08 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
08/09 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
08/10 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
08/11 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
08/12 New Haven, CT @ BAR
08/13 Philadelphia, PA @ Ortlieb’s
08/15 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
08/16 Columbus, OH @ Rumba
08/17 Chicago, IL @ Schubas
08/18 Minneapolis, MN @ Nether Bar
08/19 Omaha, NE @ Reverb
08/21 Billings, MT @ Pub Station

Cheap Shades is out 7/24 via Barsuk Records. Pre-order it here.