Stream Pedro The Lion’s New Surprise Album Havasu

Stream Pedro The Lion’s New Surprise Album Havasu

When Pedro The Lion released their reunion album Phoenix in 2019, the idea was that they’d continue to put out a new LP each year for five years straight, each one named for a different city where David Bazan spent part of his childhood, interrogating those childhood memories from a vantage point decades removed. As he explained to me in 2019:

What I was dealing with was enormous debt to myself in terms of unprocessed feelings and just feelings and needs and responses that I just wasn’t hearing or taking seriously. Then the Phoenix record was like the first balloon payment on that debt, and it began a process of debt freedom that I haven’t — I’m not in the black yet, to continue with the metaphor, but it’s like I’m taking that extra shift, and I have the time and the head space to do it, and I’m able to pay it down at a pace that feels meaningful.

The annual release schedule did not prove conducive to this process. Instead, Bazan visited Lake Havasu, Arizona, where he lived as a seventh-grader, four times over the course of several years. He did away with deadlines, dismissing them as an outgrowth of the old bad habits he was trying to exorcise. And then, once he’d dredged up enough memories for a new batch of adventurous, heartrending material, he got back together with Phoenix producer Andy D. Park to make the next album. Today, with only a few hours’ notice, Havasu is out in full.

As advertised, the album is deeply autobiographical, characterized by spiritual and cultural interrogation but also by narratives like “First Drum Set,” which looks back on Bazan’s transformative switch from clarinet to drums. Speaking of which, he played almost everything himself — including scratch drum parts he decided to keep rather than replace them with drum machines as intended — but there are a few key contributors including live Pedro drummer Sean T. Lane on a noise-making instrument called “the bike.” There’s some direct connective tissue with Phoenix here, but really anybody who has ever loved hearing Bazan’s deep, aching vocals will probably resonate with the album on some level, especially those who’ve followed a similar trajectory away from right-wing Christianity. Dig into Havasu below.

04/12 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar #
04/13 – Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard #
04/14 – Dallas TX @ Granada Theater #
04/15 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk #
04/16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall #
04/18 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn #
04/19 – Nashville, TN @ Basement East #
04/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West #
04/21 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle #
04/23 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat #
04/24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer #
04/25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg #
04/26 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall #
04/28 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre #
04/29 – Columbus, OH @ Skullys #
04/30 – Indianapolis, IN @ The HI-FI #
05/01 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall #
05/03 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line #
05/22 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux &
05/23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge &
05/25 – Denver, CO @ The Gothic &
05/27 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom &
05/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room &
05/29 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory &
05/31 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent &
06/02 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall &
06/03 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox &
# w/ Oceanator
& w/ Charlotte Cornfield

Havasu is out now on Polyvinyl.

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