Heartbreak, shame, sorrow and guilt. In the case of Archie Powell, his new collection of songs prove that for him, no good crush gets requited. He and the Exports present Back in Black, an explosive set that marries the melodic, hooky addiction of their previous albums with a new heavier, noisy backing. They arrive back in Chicago after touring in the midwest on the way to SXSW, where they played a sold out official showcase and a slew of explosive shows. Jon Pareles name-checked the Exports in his coverage of SXSW for the New York Times, you can read it here, and the band did a week of wrap-ups for Chicago's Gapers Block blog and garnered praise from others.
Back in Black is out April 28th, to celebrate all this excitement, they leaked three songs from the album, The High Road", “Everythings F**ked” and “Scary Dream” – listen here - on loud volume if possible.
The record release party is at Subterranean on Friday, May 2nd, the Exports are joined by Soft Speaker, Pet Lions and Hot Broadcast.
Powell notes that the political songs on their critically acclaimed “Great Ideas in Action” got a lot of attention, but he felt that the more inwardly centered songs held up just as well. “I felt that the real strength of our body of work was with internal subject matter. Writing this album, I wanted to be bluntly transparent about romance. I was really looking to be nakedly honest despite any discomfort or personal embarrassment it would invariably cause.”
Thematically, the lyrics speak of heartbreak, longing and infatuation – they are presented in a sonically dischordant way, creating a musical dichotomy that breathes fresh air into a time honored rock n’ roll tradition. “I’m always looking for a twist, to make things musically interesting for myself” explains Powell, “I ditched any songs that seemed too pat, too easy, and focused on the ones that had a creepy feeling on the first listen, then became more relatable as you dig in. Conversely, I've also always loved the happy sounding pop songs that have weird, depraved subject matter. It's the same kind of rub.”
Archie Powell is the son of a violin prodigy who played in the Chicago Symphany Orchestra before landing as a permanent member of Milwaukee’s orchestra. Immediately following college, he and keyboardist Ryan started the Exports, bassist Adam joined after they recorded their first EP and they rounded out the permanent line-up with drummer RJ. The band’s first recorded effort was a digital freebie called the Loose Change EP that expanded their audience to a national level. It was followed by Skip Work, their debut full length, which drew praise from Boston Phoenix and My Old Kentucky Blog among others. Great Ideas in Action followed in 2012, and critics from Esquire, Billboard and NPR’s World Café were impressed.
For more info on the band visit www.archiepowellandtheexports.com