American indie rockers Titus Andronicus have returned to announce their seventh studio album, The Will to Love.
The LP will be the band’s first since An Obelisk was released back in 2019. According to the band, the new album will be influenced by the high-octane arena rock of The Who, Def Leppard, and 1980s-era Bruce Springsteen. “It may strike some as ironic we had to go to Canada to record our equivalent to Born In The USA,” singer Patrick Stickles says in a statement, “But the pursuit of Ultimate Rock knows no borders.”
To kick off the album cycle, the band have dropped their first preview single with (‘I’m) Screwed’. Combining pop punk pick slides and gutter punk vocals with cheery harmonies and indefatigable energy, ‘(I’m) Screwed’ is a wonderfully infectious way to get audiences excited for new material.
“In ‘(I’m) Screwed,’ we are introduced to the narrator of The Will to Live at the moment he realises the walls are closing in,” Stickles explains. “Be it real or imagined, he feels the pressure building on all sides, a feeling to which many of us can relate, I imagine. His faith and fortitude are tested like never before, and the narrative of the album will reveal whether that pressure crushes him or produces a diamond.”
The Will to Live doesn’t appear to be a concept album in the strictest sense of the term, but rather a collection of songs that all revolve around a similar concept of chasing after what the band call “the Ultimate Rock”. It’s a journey without a strict plot. An aimless walk through the woods with a strong sense of direction. But the album doesn’t just aim for mythical grandeur – it also pulls from some real-life inspirations.
“Certain recent challenges, some unique to myself and some we have all shared, but particularly the passing of my dearest friend [founding keyboardist Matt ‘Money’ Miller], have forced me to recognise not only the precious and fragile nature of life, but also the interconnectivity of all life,” Stickles says. “Loved ones we have lost are really not lost at all, as they, and we still living, are all component pieces of a far larger continuous organism, which both precedes and succeeds our illusory individual selves, united through time by (you guessed it) the will to live.”
“Recognition of this self-evident truth demands that we extend the same empathy and compassion we would wish for ourselves outward to every living creature,” Stickles adds, “even to those we would label our enemies, for we are all cells in the same body, sprung from a common womb, devoted to the common cause of survival. Naturally, though, our long-suffering narrator can only arrive at this conclusion through a painful and arduous odyssey through Hell itself – this is a Titus Andronicus record, after all.”
All this talk of walking through Hell is giving me some Black Midi vibes, but thankfully, Titus Andronicus aren’t abandoning their tightly compacted rock for free jazz any time soon. Check out the video for ‘(I’m) Screwed’, plus the tracklisting for the new LP, down below. The Will to Live is set for a September 30th release.
The Will to Live tracklisting:
1. ‘My Mother is Going to Kill Me’
2. ‘(I’m) Screwed’
3. ‘I Can Not Be Satisfied’
4. ‘Bridge and Tunnel’
5. ‘Grey Goo’
6. ‘Dead Meat’
7. ‘An Anomaly’
8. ‘Give Me Grief’
9. ‘Baby Crazy’
10. ‘All Through the Night’
11. ‘We’re Coming Back’
12. ’69 Stones’