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Stern releasing ‘Missive: Sister Ships,’ playing shows (stream a track)

photo by Sophie Leetmaa

NYC’s Stern — the band led by Chuck Stern, which also features Kayo Dot leader Toby Driver and Kayo Dot members Keith Abrams and Tim Byrnes — are following 2015’s Bone Turqoise with a new album, Missive: Sister Ships, on August 24 via Sleeping Giant Glossolalia (pre-order). Lyrically, Stern says the album is about “exile and abandonment… It is a story about certain people in my life moving on without me: the death of my father, a terrible breakup with a girlfriend, Obama’s departure.” Musically, it is impossible to pin down, as is usually the case with Stern. We’re premiering the new song “Dunce,” which doesn’t fit neatly into any genre. It’s somewhere under the rock umbrella, with a hypnotic backbone, freeform fuzz guitar that sounds like if Blue Cheer ever tried to channel Ornette Coleman, and a woozy vocal performance that’s very psychedelic but far from what you normally think of as “psychedelic rock.” It’s weird, out-there shit, but it’s actually kind of approachable. Approach for yourself, below.

Stern have two hometown shows coming up: the EP release party for Opening Bell (the band of Sleeping Giant Glossolalia label boss Michael Reisinger) on Sunday (8/5) at The Glove with Nastie Band and Vat of Acid; and September 5 at Saint Vitus with Ava Mendoza‘s band Unnatural Ways, Liturgy’s Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, and Chain Gang Grave.

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