Circles Around The Sun will begin their next chapter in spring 2023 with Language, the group’s first full-length album with guitarist John Lee Shannon. Announced on Wednesday, the revelation comes alongside a groovy new single, “Outer Boroughs”.
CATS billed “Outer Boroughs” as the first single from Language, though the title track (featuring harpist Mikaela Davis) was released back in March as a standalone single. “Outer Boroughs” continues the instrumental dance-jam band’s work that has remained a constant since the group first came together to record the intermission music for the 2015 Fare Thee Well concerts. Adam MacDougall‘s keys fluctuate from funky to twinkly as they steer the band through the seven-minute track, taking detours into Shannon’s David Gilmour-inspired solo and a minimalistic rhythmic breakdown from drummer Mark Levy.
“‘Outer Boroughs’ was initially composed when the track emerged from an impromptu jam in the studio around a four-chord sequence Adam was playing around with,” Shannon said. “Dan’s bassline is one of my favorites, and is unusual in that he initially heard the ‘1’ in a different place than intended, giving extra emphasis to the downbeat of the second measure. It’s a breezy groove that paints several landscapes in vivid color before departing into deep space for an extended middle jam. Originally titled ‘Ouroboros’ for its cyclical nature, it was later changed to “Outer Boroughs” for a bit of mondegreen and a nod to the greatest city in the world.”
The band’s previous album, 2020’s self-titled, signaled their final recordings with original guitarist Neal Casal, who died of suicide in 2019. The venerable hired gun of an axe-slinger (and underappreciated solo artist in his own time) willed that the band continue in his absence, a mission his former colleagues carried on with a string of guest guitarists including Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead) and Eric Krasno. They finally found their match in August 2021, welcoming Shannon into the fold where he has remained since. The group’s live performances remain some of the most unique in the improvisational rock field, and with Language, Circles Around The Sun will continue to write their story, which refuses conclusion.
Check out “Outer Boroughs”, the lead single from the forthcoming Circles Around The Sun album, Language, available here for pre-order. The band has also added new dates to the corresponding tour, set to carry them into January 2023. Tickets go on sale on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
Circles Around The Sun – “Outer Boroughs”
1. Third Sunrise Over Gliese 667 (6:24)
2. The Singularity (5:13)
3. Outer Boroughs (7:28)
4. Away Team (6:36)
5. Wobble (6:04)
6. Language (Album Mix with Mikaela Davis) (7:54)
Dec 29, 2022 – Roanoke, VA – 5 Points Music Sanctuary
Dec 30, 2022 – Winston Salem, NC – The Ramkat
Dec 31, 2022 – Richmond, VA – The National *
Jan 20, 2023 – Albany, NY – Lark Hall
Jan 21, 2023 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
Jan 22, 2023 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall
Jan 25, 2023 – Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird Music Hall
Jan 26, 2023 – Harrisburg, PA – XL Live
Jan 27, 2023 – Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
Jan 28, 2023 – Fairfield, CT – StageOne
Jan 29, 2023 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
* with The Infamous Stringdusters