Ratboys – “Black Earth, WI”
We’ve heard a lot from Ratboys since 2020’s sick Printer’s Devil, including features, covers, one-offs, re-recordings, and Paul McCartney takes. Now it seems like the twangy Chicago indie rockers might be ready to roll out a new album.
At least “Black Earth, WI,” the fantastic new Ratboys song out today, has big “teaser single before the album announce” energy. Like Wednesday’s “Bull Believer,” it’s an eight-minute epic that starts out good and ends up great. This one’s a casually rambling roots-rocker that ends up exploding into heavily orchestrated pop-rock, like Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels” going full “Hey Jude” and then floating back to the black earth. “Oh, I was hypnotized,” Julia Steiner sings early on. “Caught up in the Northern Lights/ Driving around in circles.”
A note from Steiner:
We recorded “Black Earth, WI” live off the floor in Seattle last year at the amazing Hall of Justice and it was our first time recording straight to tape. We had to be conscious of how many takes we could fit onto a reel, but lucky for us, take two was the one.
Ratboys made a video for “Black Earth, WI” out of found storm chaser footage on VHS tapes. Watch below.
03/12 – St. Louis, MO @ Central Stage
03/14 – Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie’s Indoors (High Road Touring Showcase)
03/15 – Austin, TX @ Hotel San Jose (South by San Jose)
03/16 – Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie’s Outdoors (Topshelf Records Showcase)
03/17 – Austin, TX @ Pearl St Co-Op (Friend Oasis)
03/17 – Austin, TX @ The Ballroom (SmartPunk Showcase)
03/30 – Notre Dame, IN @ University of Notre Dame – Stepan Center
04/22 – Iowa City, IA @ Strauss Hall at Hancher