Looks like Titus Andronicus are finally ready to follow-up 2012's Local Business. And what a follow-up it is! Patrick Stickles' New Jersey band has announced a 93-minute, 29-song "rock opera" called The Most Lamentable Tragedy (what would a Titus Andronicus release be without a Shakespeare reference or two?), to be released on July 28 on Merge Records.
Back in 2013, Stickles floated the idea of writing a multi-act (and multimedia) rock opera inspired by Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and Kay Redfield’s Touched with Fire. This isn't that, per se. According to a press release, The Most Lamentable Tragedy is a "work of fiction":
The central narrative of TMLT (“a work of fiction,” claims singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelgänger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him.
It sounds a bit like a Denis Villeneuve film or an upcoming season of True Detective. Musically, Stickles says Hüsker Dü’s Zen Arcade and Lou Reed’s Berlin were major sources of inspiration for the album:
In the aesthetic universe of our rock opera, the downcast songs are more like Zen Arcade, which is, you know, very bare-bones, kind of mean rock production. And the more uplifting, empowered, sort of optimistic, moral, heightened-reality sort of stuff is more ornate and fancy like Berlin.
Here's first single "Dimed Out":
Here's the artwork:
+@ "THE MOST LAMENTABLE TRAGEDY" +@ #TMLT +@ THE NEW ALBUM BY @titus_ndronicus +@ #TitusAndronicus +@ Available July 28th as digital download, 2xCD and 3xLP from @mergerecords +@ mergerecords.com #MRG527 +@ artwork by Nolen Strals @burgershirt
A photo posted by Titus Andronicus (@titus_ndronicus) on Apr 30, 2015 at 7:00am PDT