Following the lackluster release of Death in the Afternoon and the departure of bassist Robby Angelotti, founding members Jacob Keplinger and Justin Siegel nearly gave up on the band's future, and took a 3-month hiatus where the members traveled back to Massachusetts. When they returned, however, things were looking up, and Keplinger was eager to make more material. By August, they had a tracklist and had begun recording for a new album called The Spaces in Between. The album was much more synth-heavy than the first album, and for a minute, it seemed as if New Threads was about to release a pop album. However, things changed when they hired new bassist Daniel Suarez for a last-minute show in Nashville.
As they began playing live, Keplinger began writing a multitude of new punk tracks and quickly threw them together on a mixtape known as The Russ Anderson Mixtape. Included in the tape was "Body," among other songs that grew into bigger pieces of work later on.
Trans Am and "Alcohol"Edit
Suarez immediately proved a great addition to the band's lineup, and as the band introduced two new songs to their live set ("Alcohol" and "California Bound"), Keplinger and Siegel quickly realized they were making the wrong album, and scrapped everything but the two songs. The band moved forward with original guitarist Nick Cheater and now Suarez, and songs began pouring out of the group. Many of the album's final cuts, including "Long Ride," "Wisconsin," "Growing Pains," "Peach," and "Money" were written in this short period of time between October and December 2017, and the album quickly came together by Christmas. The new working title became Trans Am, and the first single was to be released on January 5, 2018- "Alcohol."
Surely enough, the band released their first new single in almost a year to outstanding reception, and the song became an instant classic for the band's catalog. It was shortly after this song's release that the band enlisted the help of Trevor Wright, a videographer at MTSU that was introduced to the band at a show in September 2017. Wright took promo shots for the band in October, but it wasn't until January that he and the band put together the music video for "Alcohol." In the video, guitarist Nick Cheater was absent, the first of many errors that led to his downfall. However, the video was a fan-favorite regardless, and the band eagerly got to work on wrapping up the album.
However, one thing still felt unsettled for the band, and it was their self-started label Mesa Dog Records. Unhappy with many of the aesthetic and business decisions dealing with the label, Keplinger and Siegel dissolved it and started something much more serious- Pink Hat Records. Built off of their micro-publishing company Pink Hat Publishing, PHR was able to be a much larger and more present entity in the band's promo materials for their future releases than Mesa Dog ever could.
Recording & ReleaseEdit
As they neared the end of February 2018, Keplinger and Siegel were running into creative blocks with two of the album's 11 songs- "Holiday Road" and "Trans Am," both of which had been performed live at the "Alcohol" release party in Nashville. Eventually, both of the songs were replaced- "Trans Am" by "Body," originally heard on The Russ Anderson Mixtape last September- and "Holiday Road" by a new song called "KEEP'EMOUT!," taken from a free-rock experimental album by Keplinger and Siegel titled Jazz Music, which was never released. With these two songs in the tracklist and the album's title track gone, Keplinger and Siegel again decided to change the name of the album, this time taking a self-titled approach.
The band released the album's second single, "Body," on March 9, 2018, again alongside a video directed by Trevor Wright. This video did include Cheater, so all rumors of his departure had died down. Continuing to play the DIY-circuit in and around Nashville/Murfreesboro, the band gained a loyal following that was crucial for their future successes. But it wasn't until they made any sort of announcement for the album that things would really pick up.
On April 13, the band released "Now & Then" alongside an album announcement, with pre-orders becoming available that day. The album's new release date was May 11, 2018, and the song was released with the album's third and final music video. This video, which was also directed by Trevor Wright but did not feature Nick Cheater, became the confirmation that he had in fact left the band, and promotional shots were done by Wright of Keplinger, Siegel, and Suarez.
But the biggest surprise of all came at the album's release party when Daniel Suarez announced that he was also leaving the band, and reducing the lineup back to Keplinger and Siegel, just as they started.
- Alcohol - Keplinger, Siegel
- Body - Keplinger
- Money - Keplinger, Siegel
- Stay Away - Keplinger, Siegel
- KEEP'EMOUT! - Keplinger, Siegel, Suarez
- Long Ride - Keplinger, Siegel
- Now & Then - Keplinger, Siegel
- Wisconsin - Keplinger
- California Bound - Keplinger, Siegel
- Growing Pains - Keplinger, Siegel
- Peach - Keplinger, Siegel
Produced by Jacob Keplinger and Justin Siegel. Recorded at Pink Hat Studios.
- Released on January 5, 2018
- Released on March 9, 2018
Now & Then Edit
- Released on April 13, 2018
California Bound Edit
- Released on May 4, 2018
- Released on May 11, 2018
- If the listener plays the album on loop, the end of "Peach" leads directly into "Alcohol."
- The Russ Anderson Mixtape also included a song called "Friends" that would later grow into "The Bread."
- "California Bound" was originally titled "Vegas Bound," as the band contemplated relocating after Death in the Afternoon.
- Along with "California Bound," "Alcohol" and "Wisconsin" are the only songs on the album that were written in Keplinger's dorm room.
- The entire album was recorded in The Townhouse, a location used by New Threads as a headquarters in Murfreesboro from August 2017 to July 2018.
- The music video for “Alcohol” opens with drummer Justin Siegel being slapped across the face by bassist Daniel Suarez. This was the result of a slap bet (per How I Met Your Mother) that Siegel lost. The bet continued into the music video for “Body,” where lead guitarist Nick Cheater was slapped.
- In “Peach,” sound samples from the rest of the album can be heard, such as a beer can opening and a bong rip from “Alcohol,” reversed drum takes from “Wisconsin,” throwaway vocal tracks from “Long Ride,” “California Bound,” and “KEEP’EMOUT!,” and even guitar tracks from “Growing Pains” are re-used in this song.
- In the second verse of “Growing Pains,” Keplinger sings the line ‘…and I still miss the city with you…’. Immediately following this line, the melody from ‘Alcohol’ is played on acoustic guitar. The same melody is heard at the end of “The City,” a track from 2017’s Death in the Afternoon, played almost identically as in “Growing Pains.”
- The bass featured on the single artwork for “Alcohol” was featured in the music video for “America,” a track from the band’s third LP Felonious Wilma. The bass was re-painted in 2019 and used for the Threadsboro track "Sunburn" as well.
- Jacob Keplinger - vocals, guitar, keys, engineering, mixing, mastering, art direction and design
- Justin Siegel - vocals, drums, production
- Daniel Suarez - vocals, bass
- Nick Cheater - vocals, guitar
- Trevor Wright - photography, videography