SHARE SECOND SINGLE, “SUMMER ITCH” FROM DEBUT LP
LIVING ROOM ART OUT JULY 26TH ON PARK THE VAN RECORDS
minihorse have returned today with the second single, “Summer Itch“, from their upcoming debut LP Living Room Art, out July 26th on Park The Van Records.
The Fader calls “Summer Itch” “a delicate indie-rock track that develops into a loud, roaring monster” saying that the track “avoids bog-standard genre trappings in favor of a spectacular and sometimes overwhelming display of Collins’s prowess as a writer and producer. Building and building across its five minute runtime, the song swells into a harsh, raw climax.”
Inconsistent with the current weather “Summer Itch” was inspired by the oppressive Michigan winters with Ben Collins saying “I live in Michigan and when it’s freezing, I have a tendency to lock myself indoors. The days are short and sunlight is hard to come by. There’s a lethargic feeling to everything, which drives the central tempo of this song. Initially when we recorded it, it was more up-tempo, until we tried massively slowing the tape down, stretching out the sound in the process. We finished the song on top of these slowed-down basic tracks, and it feels very much like January in Michigan.”
minihorse previously announced their debut LP with what Stereogum called the “catchy as hell, introspective enough to provoke existential thought, yet somehow calming all at the same time” single “Drink You Dry“, which features Anna Burch on guitar and vocals. The “reverb-drenched layering [that] adds to that disembodied sense of drifting into another dimension” is the perfect introduction to the sludgy, My Bloody Valentine meets 90s indie-rock that comprise minihorse’s 10 track debut record. Not to be saddled with a throwback label Ben Collins’ (whose side hustles include, but are not limited to, handler for Sophia the AI robot, engineering a meditation app and producing records for the likes of Bonny Doon, Stef Chura and Fred Thomas among others) lyrics ring clear through a haze of modern anxiety, veritable mantras that speak to personal and collective experiences of trying to survive under the weight of the world and one’s own experience of it. The balance of beauty and strain, both musically and lyrically, make for an engaging and, at times, psychedelic listen, replete with soundscapes, wall of sound guitars and the meow of Collins’ cat Olive, all set against Collins’ poignant lyrics.
Speaking to the genesis of the band and “Drink You Dry” Collins’ says “Drink You Dry is the song that started minihorse. It was originally a demo I’d recorded to remember the chords and melody, but no matter how hard we tried, we were never able to re-capture the feeling of this demo. After inviting my friend Anna Burch to come sing some harmonies, it feels right to include this updated demo on our first record! While it’s lyrically impressionistic, the words came to me after being arrested and spending a night in jail. It happened directly after performing my own music for the first time, and explained to the officers that I was returning from a “solo show.” Later, reading the police report, I saw they had written down that I was a “one man band.”
minihorse’s Ben Collins has lived an entire lifetime. From working alongside some of Michigan’s most talented indie rockers to traveling the world as practical bodyguard to world-famous social humanoid robot Sophia, he’s accrued a breadth of experience that most people dream of—all before his band minihorse released their first album, no less. Living Room Art is equal parts dreamy and disturbing, nailing a softly psychedelic sound not unlike indie heroes Grandaddy and Olivia Tremor Control. The trio’s sharp blend of crunchy guitars, wavering atmospherics, and Collins’ cushion-soft vocals feels totally unique and revitalizing right now, creating a world as tactile and fascinating as Collins’ life itself.
Recorded in Collins’ home studio and Ann Arbor’s Big Sky studio, and featuring guest contributions from Midwestern indie heroes ranging from Fred Thomas and Kelly Moran to Anna Burch, minihorse’s gooey and tactile follow-up to 2016’s Big Lack EP often takes on surreal shapes, from the overwhelming waves of guitar on “Summer Itch” to the careening melody of its title track. Drawing from mind-expanding ayahuasca trips and car accidents (“Drink You Dry”) alike, Collins’ perspective hovers over these songs — especially when they’re directly connected to his past. The result mirrors to the experience of listening to Living Room Art as a whole: it’s alluringly just out of reach, to the point where you can’t help but hit “play” once more to unlock this record’s strange pleasures.
Park The Van was formed in New Orleans in 2004 to release music by Dr. Dog, and has since with artists such Broncho, Cayucas, The Magic Numbers, Generationals, Floating Action, The High Strung and many more. The company, now based in Calfornia, also manages Yeasayer, Gabriella Cohen, Broncho, Pigeon John, and Scott H. Biram.
minihorse – Website