Umphrey’s McGee has already been busy releasing a steady stream of new albums this year in celebration of their 20th anniversary, but it seems they’re still not done: The band has once again shared a surprise release in the middle of the night.

Following in the wake of their traditionally hyped January LP, it’s not us; its remix EP, it’s not them; and it’s not us‘s unexpected companion piece, it’s you, released quietly late in the evening on May 17th; the band has shared yet another new 2018 album, BeSides.

As Umphrey’s McGee explains in their unveiling of BeSides, with so much ground already covered in celebration of the band’s milestone birthday, “it seemed only appropriate to us that we would deliver one final chapter in the it’s not us, it’s you story to tie 2018 up with a tiny bow.” The announcement continues,

Today, we present the BeSides album, a sprawling collection of live renditions, bonus tracks, original demos, alternate arrangements, and evolutionary versions. Listen to the early iterations that came before the records and see how they’ve evolved on stage over time. It’s a variable Swiss Army knife for the UM fan. 

Read the band’s breakdown of the various live recordings, B-sides (get it?), and demos on BeSides below:

BeSides begins with the Stasik, Cinninger, & Cummins penned rendition of “Interloper,” born from a late night in the studio with Ryan handling piano duties, Jake manning drums and Joel adding Rhodes and synth. Jake later layered the guitar melodies and the immersive nature ambience that surrounds his studio in rural Michigan. “Interloper” was originally pressed to 7″ vinyl as part of the it’s not us Deluxe Edition, and this marks its digital debut.

BeSides then turns the page and launches into three exploratory live versions from the year’s pair of releases. “Remind Me,” “Attachments,” and “The Silent Type” all begin as their studio counterparts but don’t land anywhere close to their original launching pad. These three tracks check the boxes on a smattering of genres before reentry.

It’s a turn to metal as Jake’s original demo of “Dark Brush” comes leaping out of your headphones. While the form closely resembles the it’s not us finished product, Jake’s production quality makes calling it a ‘demo’ feel slightly misleading. The debut of “Seven Signs” follows, serving as a prime example of how the songwriting building blocks are continually moving around in the UM songwriting process. Note the left turn at 2:45 revealing the familiar melody that appears later in the “Maybe Someday” demo that follows. “Seven Signs” also contains a section that ultimately didn’t make the cut; an aggressive octave guitar riff from the song “FDR” originally from the Local Band Does OKlahoma live album. On the demo, that riff alternates with the current outro riff under Jake’s final guitar solo.

Jake’s studio engineering prowess rears its head on the near carbon copy of “What We Could Get” follows. The layers then get stripped away for Brendan’s original demo of “You & You Alone” from 2011. Featuring only acoustic guitar and his voice, the essence of this song is laid bare, standing in plain sight. “Push & Pull” gets a similar minimalist treatment on piano, recorded live in a single take at I.V. Lab Studios.

The BeSides record closes out with a version of “Triangle Tear” that is equal parts demo and bonus track. “Triangle Tear” was originally a much more sprawling instrumental piece. Jake and Joel wrote and recorded the first seven minutes of the track together at Boondock in 2014. After Joel left, Jake continued with the final 4:30 minute solo guitar section taking it in a completely different direction. 

You can check out the album artwork and credits and stream BeSides below. For a full list of upcoming Umphrey’s McGee tour dates, head here.

Umphrey’s McGee – BeSides (it’s not us, it’s you)

Umphrey’s McGee – BeSides – Front Cover

Umphrey’s McGee  – BeSides – Back Cover

Umphrey’s McGee – BeSides – Tracklisting & Credits

Recorded November 2016 at I.V. Lab Studios, Chicago, Illinois and Boondock Studio, Niles, Michigan
Ryan Stasik on piano, Jake Cinninger on drums & guitar, Joel Cummins on Rhodes & synths
Written by Stasik, Cinninger, Cummins

“Remind Me” [Live]
February 17th, 2018 Arena
Asheville, North Carolina
Written by Bayliss, Cinninger, Cummins, Stasik, Myers, Farag

“Attachments” [Live]
August 18th, 2018
St. Augustine Amphitheatre
St. Augustine, Florida
Written by Bayliss, Cinninger, Stasik, Cummins

“The Silent Type” [Live]
January 27th, 2018
The Fillmore
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Written by Bayliss

“Dark Brush”
December 2015
Cinninger on all instruments
Boondock Studio
Niles, Michigan
Written by Cinninger

“Seven Signs”
August 2011
Cinninger on guitars, bass & drums
Cummins on rhodes, synths & vocals
Boondock Studio
Niles, Michigan
Written by Cummins, Cinninger

“Maybe Someday”
May 2015
Full band demo at Boondock Studio, Niles, Michigan
Scratch vocals at Brendan’s house, Chicago, Illinois
Written by Bayliss, Cummins, Cinninger, Stasik, Myers, Farag

“What We Could Get”
October 2014
Cinninger on all instruments
Boondock Studio
Niles, Michigan
Written by Cinninger

“You & You Alone”
December 2011
Bayliss on guitar & vocals
Bayliss’s home studio
Written by Bayliss

“Push & Pull”
April 2018
Bayliss on piano & vocals
I.V. Lab Studios
Chicago, Illinois
Written by Bayliss

“Triangle Tear”
October 2016
Cinninger on guitar, bass & drums
Cummins on rhodes, synths & Moog bass
Boondock Studio
Niles, Michigan
Written by Bayliss, Cinninger, Cummins

View Tracklisting & Credits