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PO: SUMAC - May You Be Held LP

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Official press release:

Expressionistic metal ensemble SUMAC have announced their new album, May You Be Held, out September 18th. Picking up where the band left off with 2018's critically acclaimed Love in Shadow, the trio of Aaron Turner (ISIS, Old Man Gloom), Brian Cook (Russian Circles), and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) push further into the extreme polarity of their sound with their latest collection of long-form composition and free-form exploration. Meticulously detailed and complex one moment, rudimentary and repetitive the next, and completely untethered and unscripted at seemingly random intervals—May You Be Held is an album that fluctuates between extreme discipline and control on one end and an almost feral energy on the other.

"As an artist in this time of significant upheaval, society seemingly having reached the end of its current iteration, it's of critical importance to absorb and interpret this process of dissolution - and of the transformation that hopefully follows it" says Turner. "While I don't believe we're on the brink of collective destruction precisely now, this is clearly a pivotal stage in the story of humankind - and there is something that feels right about this music at this exact and very uncertain moment."

SUMAC's work has always been about transition between different states of being. Our sense of normal, and indeed our sense of life, is now being shaken. We don't know what is coming next. We are looking for pointers towards the future, as well as things to hold onto in the moment. This is a fundamental aspect of May You Be Held's larger theme. Musically, it's about continual unification and divergence, and is imbued with the uncertainty inherent in that cycle. In that uncertainty there is also hope, frustration, madness, and a desire for connection. All this too is part of this moment in our history—everything happening at once, the simultaneous emergence of humanity's best and worst characteristics. Lyrically, May You Be Held follows the humanistic themes explored on Love in Shadow, partially informed by Turner's navigation of fatherhood and family life.

"It's clear humans have figured out many ways over the centuries to acclimate to adverse circumstances, and even to thrive in them," Turner says. "My hope for our family, humanity and future generations, is that we find our way by doing what we have always done—invent, adapt, band together, and ideally, hold each other up through love and kindness."

May You Be Held was recorded throughout 2017, 2018 and 2019 by Kurt Ballou at Robert Lang Studios, Matt Bayles at The Unknown, and at House of Low Culture.

May You Be Held track listing:

1. A Prayer for Your Path
2. May You Be Held
3. The Iron Chair
4. Consumed
5. Laughter and Silence

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If you missed gold, it's again available at bandcamp and http://thrilljockey.com/products/may-you-be-held

May You Be Held (Together.  But Barely).

Start with their first album, https://www.discogs.com/God-Speed-You-Black-Emperor-All-Lights-Fucked-On-The-Hairy-Amp-Drooling/release/218865

Just now, Derek™ said:

Not seeing Media Mail at Thrill – not that $26 PPD is remotely bad for a double LP – but this is even cheaper and you get a download available day-of, if you care to have FLAC / 320 handy.

yep, I had it in my cart at Thrill, and then once I saw the bandcamp option, I quickly shifted there. Cheaper shipping + FLAC = yassssssss

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1 hour ago, alwaysopenmouth said:

Bandcamp LP was sold out but unless that’s another gold variant then i’m not too bummed about getting the TJ one. I’ve been on a Sumac and Isis kick lately so this was great news for me, they’re such a sick band.

Same variant, at least going off the mockup.

I strongly resonate with that Isis / Sumac kick, by the way.  Been feeling that on a personal level for the last 3 years or so and wondering when (or if) it’ll wear off.  I’m sure I’ve voiced this in another thread, but Sumac are especially fun because even after all this time I still find myself buckling up for each new record they put out.  They’re awesome on first listen, don’t get me wrong, but they’re just so dense and cavernous... I feel like it takes me more time and effort to unpack their records than any other band these days.  That’s not a complaint by any means.  If anything it lends itself to crazy amounts of replay value.  Once things begin to click into place and those curveball grooves and breakdowns become second-nature, and you become acquainted with the explosive payoffs at the end of those abstract noise sections... wew lad.  Nothing quite like it.  I’m never fully enamored with a new Sumac record despite fully “getting” the one before it, so at this point I’ve just accepted we’re in great hands and have every reason to be hyped.

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