Forever a wildcat and wild card, Los Angeles' bassist/songwriter/vocalist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, is impossible to tame artistically. He is set to release his second album Apocalypse July 9 on Brainfeeder Records. Bringing a fusion of pop, soul, electronica, prog rock and funk into an unexplored dimension, the album slowly descends and tunnels to the core of what it takes to grasp peace, at a time that it seems most far. Listen to album track "Heartbreaks + Setbacks," co-written and co-produced by Mono/Poly, Flying Lotus and Bruner:
A true master of his craft, Thundercat can be found playing bass with Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu and Suicidal Tendencies, in the same breath as performing live with the likes of Stanley Clarke, Snoop Dogg or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Thundercat hits the road April 21 with Flying Lotus and Teebs, and will also be part of the Red Bull Music Academy in New York City this spring (full tour routing below).
Thundercat's 2011 solo debut The Golden Age of Apocalypse, co-produced by Flying Lotus, created a genre-blurring enigma of indie rock and jazz, with a touch of electronica. On Apocalypse, Thundercat pairs up with executive producer Flying Lotus to pull the veil back and reveal the simple truths of the cycle of life, for all its beauty and destruction. An album about loss and rebuilding, trying to gain something back, and capturing that moment of clarity where one finally finds feet back on the ground again.
From the deep, rumbling entrance of "Tenfold," each of the 12 tracks coalesce with Thundercat's signature bass, his riffs and basslines gliding skyhigh to meet Fly Lo's astral touch. Bruner's vocals and harmonies also soar with open honesty, rising above heartbreak with uplifting odes to love and companionship ("Tron Song") and wise mantras to live by ("Special Stage"). The album plays as a comedy and tragedy at the same time, delicately addressing tracks like "We'll Die" while bringing the all-out cosmic funk of the anthemic "Oh Sheit, it's X."
As heavy as the lyrical weight may be, the divine musicality of Flying Lotus and Thundercat's instrumental collaborations, brings light. Navigating dense rhythms and intense harmonic progressions, the LP pushes through the hypnotic strands of "The Life Aquatic," the analogue explorations of "Lotus & The Jondy" (recorded in Adrian Younge's studio with drummer Thomas Pridgen), and Thundercat and Lotus' prog rock jam "Seven," a spontaneous improv recording that organically materialized in less than an hour. It's no wonder the kindred pair often refer to their freeform sessions as "going to space." Continually pushing tracks to their furthest point, they take the listener to another place completely - somewhere beyond time, a place that transcends this realm. As the aforementioned track "Seven" (named for its challenging time signature) asks, "Can you hear the sounds of infinity?"
Apocalypse Track Listing
01 - Tenfold
02 - Heartbreaks + Setbacks
03 - The Life Aquatic
04 - Special Stage
05 - Tron Song
06 - Seven
07 - Oh Sheit It's X
08 - Without You
09 - Lotus and the Jondy
10 - Evangelion
11 - We'll Die
12 - A Message for Austin / Praise the Lord / Enter the Void
THUNDERCAT Tour Dates
Apr 16 Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex || Check Yo Ponytail
Apr 21 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Ballroom *
Apr 23 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade (Heaven Stage) *
Apr 24 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel *
Apr 25 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
Apr 26 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *
May 01 New York, NY - Brooklyn Masonic Temple || A Night of Improvised Round Robin Duets (Red Bull Music Academy)
May 05 New York, NY - Terminal 5 (Red Bull Music Academy) +
May 06 New York, NY - Terminal 5 (Red Bull Music Academy) +
May 12 Boston, MA - Paradise *
May 13 Montreal, QC - Metropolis *
May 15 Toronto, ON - Sound Academy *
May 16 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues Cleveland *
May 17 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom *
May 18 Chicago, IL - Metro *
May 19 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
May 22 Seattle, WA - Showbox Sodo *
May 23 Vancouver, BC - Vouge Theater *
May 24 Portland, OR - Roseland Theater *
May 25 Oakland, CA - Fox Theater *
* with Flying Lotus & Teebs
+ with Flying Lotus & Ultrasta
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