After the breakup of his previous band Working For A Nuclear Free City, UK native Gary McClure fell in love, moved to America, and started throwing anonymous music up on Bandcamp under the name American Wrestlers. Eventually, this led to one of 2015’s brightest hidden treasures, his self-titled debut album, a collection of lo-fi songs recorded at home on a Tascam 8-track that managed to sound like lost radio classics warped ever-so-slightly by the filmy haze of memory.
The LP was strong enough for us to name American Wrestlers a Band To Watch and one of the Best New Bands Of 2015, and a year later, McClure followed it up with Goodbye Terrible Youth. On that album, he upped the fidelity and the size of the band itself, which grew from a solo project to an actual four-piece, expanding on the homespun warmth of his debut without losing what made it so special in the first place.
Now McClure is back again, with another new album coming later this year. And if first single “Ignoramus” is any indication, it’ll be a good one. The song merges the scope and impact of Goodbye Terrible Youth with the dreamy, homespun intimacy of his debut, and the sheer melodic wistfulness almost masks the real bite in his lyrics. As McClure explains:
I worry sometimes that when I write songs that are sung from a different character’s viewpoint, that people will think that I’m a bigger arsehole than I actually am. They’ll take this whining idiocy at face value. Well, I don’t mean any of this. I mean the opposite of this, kinda.
It was going to be called “The Lonesome Death Of The Alt-Right.” It was going to be called that and be a weird little country song with hokey lofi strings that bent into black memories. Then I felt a bit childish about it and second guessed it all and just decided to call it “Ignoramus” instead. Same thing. Same difference. Maybe I should have kept the title. I’m still unsure.
The words are from the perspective of someone who has everything and makes out like they have nothing. The seagulls were surprisingly intuitive. Just after I recorded the guitars for the drop at the end I immediately thought of the sound of birds and the open air. I don’t know why. I still have no idea what the hell I’m doing.
These are easily my best batch of songs. I wrote and recorded the death out of them in St. Louis and sent them over to my friend Philip Kay for further production and instrumentation. Everything he touches turns to pure gold. They could be an album or they could be a bunch of singles. Whatever the kids want.
Stay tuned for details on that new album.