Oakland-based alternative outfit Thao & The Get Down Stay Down have announced their sixth studio album, Temple. It’s due out May 15th via Ribbon Music. In anticipation, the band has shared the self-titled single, along with a healthy run of tour dates.
Following 2016’s A Man Alive, the new LP finds frontwoman Thao Nguyen taking on a producing role for the first time, working alongside bandmate Adam Thompson. It also finds the band leader at her most vulnerably honest. According to a press release, Nguyen almost skipped making a new full-length altogether, feeling that rock music no longer felt right. However, she found motivation to craft the collection by giving her space to be herself, bringing her queer identity to the forefront for the first time. It’s a subject she’d long been quiet about in her music for fear of being alienated by her family and culture.
Now, having recently married her girlfriend, the singer is fully embracing her truth. In a press statement, she shared,
“I have divided myself into so many selves. I am nervous, but hopeful that in belonging to myself, I can still belong to my family, and my Vietnamese community, especially the elders. I believe that shame has made my work more general, when I’ve always wanted to be specific. This record is about me finally being specific. If you listen to my music, I want you to know who you are dealing with.”
On the title track, the band blends smooth sheen synths with punchy drums and an almost old Western guitar lick. The mixture exudes something both sweet and uneasy as Nguyen unfolds her haunting history with the opening lines, “I lost my city in the light of day/ Thick smoke, helicopter blades, heaven and earth/ I’ve never moved so fast.”
The new song comes paired with a music video directed by Jonny Look, featuring choreography by Erin S. Murray. Watch the full thing ahead.
Following the full album release, Nguyen and her band will be heading out on a lengthy run of North American tour dates. Performances kick off on June 17th in Tacoma, Washington before moving down the West Coast through Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Further stops include Chicago, Nashville, Cincinnati, Toronto, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Oklahoma City, closing out on August 11th in Salt Lake City.
Pre-orders for Temple, including pale-pink vinyl offerings, are up and running now. If you’re looking for some extra special merch, there’s also a limited edition “Temple Food Desert Kit,” which involves chè, a tri-colored rice pudding with toasted coconut and cashews. The dish is prepared by chef Diep Tran, and proceeds from the delicious kits go to Alma Backyard Farms, a non-profit focused on urban farming and creating new opportunities for formerly incarcerated people and disenfranchised communities in the LA area.
Check out Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s full tour itinerary below, along with the Temple album artwork and tracklist.
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down 2020 Tour Dates:
04/08 – Eugene, OR @ Sessions Music Hall
06/17 – Tacoma, WA @ Alma Mater
06/18 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial
06/19 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre
06/20 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
06/22 – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
06/24 – Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
06/25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
06/26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
06/27 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
07/15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line
07/16 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
07/18 – St. Louis, MO @ Ready Room
07/19 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
07/21 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Woodward Theater
07/22 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre
07/23 – Toronto, ON @ Longboat Hall
07/24 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom
07/25 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
07/28 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
07/29 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
07/30 – Washington, [email protected] 9:30 Club
07/31 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
08/01 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
08/02 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
08/04 – Houston, TX @ Studio at Warehouse Live
08/05 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
08/06 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
08/07 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Tower Theatre
08/08 – Kansas City, MO @ Grinders at XRDS
08/10 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
08/11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
03. Lion on the Hunt
04. Pure Cinema
06. How Could I
08. Rational Animal
09. I’ve Got Something