Feature, News, Reviews

Ratboys Announce New Album “The Window” due August 25th via Topshelf Records & Share New Single “It’s Alive”

June 6, 2023
Photo credit: Alexa Viscius 


Announce new album ‘The Window’ due August 25th via Topshelf Records
Share new single & video “It’s Alive”

Chicago’s beloved Ratboys announce their fourth studio album, The Window, out August 25th via Topshelf Records with lead single/video “It’s Alive!” and a North American tour. After more than ten years and four studio albums, The Window finally captures Ratboys as they were always meant to be heard—expansive while still intimate, audacious while still tender—the sound of four friends operating as a single, cohesive unit. The album is sonically diverse, shifting wildly from track to track and flexing everything from fuzzy power pop choruses to warm country twang to mournful folk.
Lyrically, The Window sees Julia Steiner at her most personal, reflecting on love and grief with occasional humor and levity. She frequently leans on windows as a theme—the idea of an interrupted connection, the feeling of being near someone without being fully present—like on the pounding lead single,“It’s Alive!” Opening with Steiner’s honeyed vocals, “Outside my window the birds dance alone // I sit back and take it in // Like some sort of medicine,” it’s a bright and vivacious track that, in Steiner’s words, captures “the overarching feeling of the world spinning on beneath you while you’re stuck in one place.”  In the video, directed by John TerEick, Ratboys play in an empty house, as its owners slowly start to move in.

With new Ratboys in the world, everything feels more accessible and more elated. The affection that is captured in this new track is destined to move you and stick with you. The new single is a blazing triumph from the outfit. Capturing this immense melody that oozes this distinct charm throughout the new landscape, delicate vocal harmonies and expressive lyrics simply shine. Compelled by the infectious vocal notes that shift throughout, the complexity of the soundscape gathers momentum with the focus on the big drum beats and crisp hits and the golden tonality of the guitars that rhythmically pierce the world with this powerful touch.

Ratboys have evolved through their time together and the new material marks this enthused energy and robust power that all musicians convey once united.

Pre-order album herehttps://ratboys-merch.limitedrun.com/?view=f38692

The Window marks a number of firsts for the band. Throughout the last few years, Sean Neumann (bass) and Marcus Nuccio (drums) became full-time members alongside Julia Steiner (vocals, guitar) and Dave Sagan (guitars), making The Window the first album Ratboys have written collaboratively from start to finish. It was also the first time they’d ever traveled outside their home base of Chicago to record an album, journeying to Seattle to work with producer Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan and Sara, Foxing) for three weeks. The group worked on the arrangements together over the course of a year and half, so by the time the band showed up to the Hall of Justice Recording Studio in February 2022, The Window’s songs were well rehearsed and airtight. “We spent 2020 demoing the songs, and spent 2021 practicing them,” says Steiner. “We practiced twice a week for six months, exploring the songs and developing them. We’d send early versions to Chris and he’d give us notes. It went like that for weeks. It was such a dedicated and intentional process.”

But while The Window was nearly fully formed going into the studio, the band also left some space for experimentation with Walla. The sessions struck the perfect balance between preparation and experimentation. Walla’s studio sensibilities pushed Ratboys to stretch and expand their vision, adding unexpected elements and instruments like rototoms, talkboxes, and fiddles. Hunting for sonic inspiration, Walla and the band sometimes spent hours just listening to their favorite albums, spinning everything from Sloan to Brainiac to The Roches. “The language Chris uses when speaking about music comes from a very emotionally centered place, and that’s something that resonated with us. He would say things like, ‘This cymbal hurts my feelings,’ or ‘This song is like a cat,’” says Nuccio. “It was such a disarming thing,” adds Neumann. “We didn’t get bogged down in technical terms, and he never placed pressure on us in that way. With Chris steering the ship, we were free to go off on little creative expeditions and come up with parts and ideas we’d never imagined.”

As Paste lauds, “Ratboys has had all of our hearts for 10 years…[and] a live chemistry that remains unparalleled and irreplaceable.” This fall, they’ll bring their incredible live show across North America. A list of dates can be found below and tickets will be on sale this Friday, June 9th at 10am local at the band’s website.

Ratboys Tour Dates
Fri. Aug. 25 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
Thu. Sep. 21 – Champaign-Urbana, IL @ Pygmalion Festival
Fri. Sep. 22 – Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
Sat. Sep. 23 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
Tue. Sep. 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Wed. Sep. 27 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Thu. Sep. 28 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Fri. Sep. 29 – Montreal, QC @ POP Montreal
Sat. Sep. 30 – Toronto, ON @ Monarch Tavern
Mon. Oct. 2 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Bottlerocket Social Hall
Tue. Oct. 3 – Cleveland, OH @ No Class
Wed. Oct. 4 – Ferndale, MI @ Magic Bag
Fri. Oct. 6 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Sat. Oct. 7 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee
Thu. Oct. 19 – Omaha, NE @ Reverb
Sat. Oct. 21 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
Sun. Oct. 22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Tue. Oct. 24 – Seattle, WA @ Madame Lou’s
Wed. Oct. 25 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Fri. Oct. 27 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord
Sat. Oct. 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room Highland Park
Sun. Oct. 29 – San Diego, CA @ The Loft at UC San Diego
Mon. Oct. 30 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Tue. Oct. 31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Thu. Nov. 2 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
Fri. Nov. 3 – Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room & Garage
Sat. Nov. 4 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada

The Window tracklist:
1. Making Noise for the Ones You Love
2. Morning Zoo
3. Crossed that Line
4. It’s Alive!
5. No Way
6. The Window
7. Empty
8. Break
9. Black Earth, WI
10. I Want You (Fall 2010)


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