News, Reviews

Spirits Having Fun Share “Hold The Phone” & Announce New Album “Two” – Out September 3rd on Born Yesterday

July 5, 2021
Julia Dratel and Mia Friedman

Spirits Having Fun Share “Hold The Phone”

Announce Two LP- Out September 3rd on Born Yesterday

Spirits Having Fun have travelled an unusual path to their second full length. Initially percolating in the Boston DIY scene before forming as an multi-city project that is now split between Chicago and New York, the band brings together musicians who have been involved in the jazz, punk and noise rock scenes of their respective cities who originally would only work together during marathon weekend visits and the occasional Midwestern touring loop. Composed of singer/guitarist Katie McShane, bassist Jesse Heasly, guitarist-vocalist Andrew Clinkman, and drummer Phil Sudderberg, the group found their way to a sound that is musically dense and adventurous while still being approachable and playful, and their debut 2019 LP Auto-Portrait began to attract attention outside of the scenes its members circulated in.

Now, the band are announcing their sophomore LP Two, and their signing to rising Chicago imprint Born Yesterday Records (Moontype, Cafe Racer) with the release of the album’s first single “Hold The Phone.”

The piercing and dramatic intro will hook you from the get-go, once the instrumentation comes into focus with this chugging appeal and vibrant vocal notes bouncing off the rhythmic passages, you embrace the standout charm of Spirits Having Fun. This passionate display of alternating time signatures, experimental transitions, bold stop-starts, and a dramatic vocal melody exploring the courageous range the instrumentation persues. The energy of this outfit is simply striking and oozes at every unpredictable turn throughout the arrangement.

Working with ubiquitous Chicago engineer Dave Vettraino (Dehd, Deeper, Melkbelly), the album (which is due out on September 3rd) is an intricately constructed and consistently surprising listen, that manages to foreground an inscrutable pop sensibility and immersive aesthetic while engaging in a dizzying array compositional shifts. Changes in time signature and tone are executed so deftly that it’s nearly impossible to track their progression, as the band wind around McShane’s striking singing voice and unusual sense of melody, with their technical skill serving as a medium to communicate a remarkable range of moods and feelings, often in quick succession. This quality is there in abundance on “Hold The Phone,” which seamlessly connects a series of seemingly disparate sections into a whole that feels exhilarating and dreamlike.

“‘Hold The Phone’ to me is really emblematic of a shift in how we write our songs,” explains Clinkman. “Before, we each would bring in songs as more or less finished objects and teach them to each other when we would get together, but as we’ve grown, there has been much more long distance sharing of just raw riffs and ideas, which Katie pieces together and makes whole. There’s a bit of each of us woven into the DNA of this song.”

Spirits Having Fun records are ones made from and for shows and spaces—arrangements rooted in a deeply collaborative process, that come to life through intuitive and locked-in live improvisation. Following their 2019 debut Auto-PortraitTwo finds the New York and Chicago based four-piece continuing to challenge ideas of what a rock band can be, pulling apart their musical experiences and reimagining them as kinetic compositions, equally studied but palpably organic. 

Out September 3 via Chicago’s Born Yesterday Records, Two is constructed around gut feelings and strong grooves, elastic rhythms and playful pacing. Its twelve songs expand, contract, and make sharp turns between melodies under singer-guitarist Katie McShane’s meditative lyrics.

Two is out on September 3rd via Born Yesterday. You can pre-order it here.


  1. Silhouette
  2. Hold The Phone
  3. The Leaf Is A Chorus
  4. Broken Cloud
  5. See A Sky
  6. Entropy Transfer Partners
  7. My Favorite Song
  8. My Machine
  9. Picture of a Person
  10. Am There
  11. A Long Walk in a Sunflower’s Shade
  12. The Sweet Oak

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