Madison, WI funk-grass outfit Armchair Boogie is ready for whatever life throws its way on its new single, “Hard Times”. Premiering exclusively through Live For Live Music, “Hard Times” arrives as the first single off the band’s third full-length album, Hard Times & Deadlines, out March 15th.
“Hard Times” highlights the dualities that define Armchair Boogie. On one hand, there’s the opening picking of Augie Dougherty‘s banjo, which elucidates the group’s traditional elements. By the time he breezes through the opening verse, however, the rest of the band comes alive as Denzel Connor‘s drums awaken the track to reveal Armchair’s folk-jam sensibilities. The stylistic personalities of the four-piece—which also features Eli Frieders on electric bass and Ben Majeska on acoustic guitar—work in tandem on “Hard Times”, as Armchair Boogie powers through the hard times and deadlines to discover what life is about.
“‘Hard Times’ is about my navigation of life’s realities,” Dougherty said. “Entering my late twenties came with a lot of pressure to pursue musical and other professional endeavors. Feeling lost, feeling a lack of freedom, feeling like I have to push on through.”
The ten songs on Hard Times & Deadlines came together during the pandemic, when the worries of being a musician during the live music shutdown coalesced with the anxieties of adulthood. Dougherty and Majeska both put those apprehensions into the songs they penned for the album.
“Life comes with highs and lows, and Hard Times & Deadlines captures the fleet of emotions that come with it. From broken hearts and fond memories. To broad horizons and the inevitable end of this human journey,” Majeska said.
As Dougherty added, “Hard Times & Deadlines is a pretty literal explanation of what I felt life was turning into. The fluffy part of college and party life was beginning to fade away and it seemed like it was time to put my head down and work.”
With the structures of the songs intact, Majeska and Dougherty brought the tunes to the rest of the band. This act of collaboration is what cemented these songs as Armchair Boogie material, as the band tapped into the fluid, communal playing style that has made it a rising name on the festival circuit.
Check out the new Armchair Boogie single “Hard Times” from the upcoming album Hard Times & Deadlines. Scroll down for a full tracklist and album artwork. Armchair has a string of tour dates set to carry the band through the end of 2023 before linking up with Kitchen Dwellers for a West Coast tour early next year. Visit the band’s website for tickets and a complete list of tour dates.
Armchair Boogie – “Hard Times”
Hard Times & Deadlines Tracklist
1. Hard Times (3:24)
2. Livin’ (3:50)
3. Gone in a Day (3:46)
4. All the Same (3:26)
5. Skippin’ Town (3:45)
6. You’ve Been Hurt (2:59)
7. Low Down Time (3:16)
8. Empty Pools (3:59)
9. Liquor Store (3:56)
10. Boneyard (3:22)