Nearly two decades into his career, former Saturday Looks Good To Me leader Fred Thomas has had quite a run in recent years. His last release, 2017’s Changer, had a deadpan stream-of-consciousness that still managed to capture the fury and passion of growing into adulthood. Its track “Voiceover” snuck on to our 80 Favorite Songs Of 2017 list. The album before that, All Are Saved, which marked the beginning of this mid-career renaissance, landed on our Best Albums Of 2015 list.
Now Thomas is preparing to release a new LP called Aftering. Modeled loosely after Neil Young’s On The Beach, it’s billed as the conclusion to the unofficial trilogy that began with All Are Saved and Changer. It features guest appearances from Common Holly, Anna Burch, Wild Belle’s Elliot Bergman, Dominic Coppola, and Ashley Hennen.
Lead single “Good Times Are Gone Again” is one big crash. It constantly builds, which makes it feel mighty despite the lyrics’ largely pessimistic outlook. The line “Sharp days are wrapping around us” constricts your throat. Even in depicting a crushing doom, Thomas has a voice that I want to trust. He’ll hold my hand until the good times come back again. However, in the Jeffrey Freer-directed music video, Thomas himself seems to have the effect of a dark cloud, causing people he encounters to become depressed to the point of collapse.
Watch below via The Fader and check out the Aftering tracklist while you’re at it.
01 “Ridiculous Landscapes” (Feat. Common Holly & Dominic Coppola)
02 “Alcohol Poisoning”
03 “Hopeless Ocean Drinker”
04 “Good Times Are Gone Again”
05 “Altar” (Feat. Anna Burch)
06 “House Show Late December”
07 “Mother Daughter Pharmaprix”
08 “Slow Waves” (Feat. Ashley Hennen)
09 “What The Sermon Said” (Feat. Elliot Bergman)
Aftering is out 9/14 on Polyvinyl. Pre-order it here. This is the album art: