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Great music asks something from us. It’s not enough just to listen. The best albums move us because we’ve responded to their wake-up calls.

That’s the kind of invitation mewithoutYou first issued on its full-length debut, [A -> B Life], seven years ago. Those needing something better found just that where they first encountered the Philly-based group, whether on a disc or in a sweaty venue. And over the course of three albums and several hundred mesmerizing shows, audiences have consistently heard something dramatic and altogether different from mewithoutYou. Spirits have been jolted and calmed, in equal measures.

Oh wake up, sleepers.

Fans have long anticipated the fourth wake-up call from mewithoutYou—it’s all crazy! it’s all false! it’s all a dream! it’s alright. Following the expansive Brother, Sister, the album is another daring adventure charted by frontman Aaron Weiss, guitarist Michael Weiss, bassist Greg Jehanian, and drummer Rickie Mazzotta. Helping to further stretch the group’s boundaries is the production duo of indie dynamo Daniel Smith (Danielson Familie) and Philly workhorse Brian McTear (Mazarin, Matt Pond PA).

Anyone familiar with [A -> B Life] and the sophomore Catch for Us the Foxes knows the band’s intensity rests largely on the anguished wondering of Weiss’s lyrics. There have always been more questions than answers (“How can this great love be inside of me?” “What new mystery is this?”). This latest offering begins where Brother, Sister left off, with a series of meditations on forgiveness, love, death, and the illusions of self—all set to indelible melodies, lush compositions, and rousing choruses.

“O, Porcupine,” a standout track on Brother, Sister, asked us to listen to creation’s groans. Well, there’s plenty of that groaning on this album, together with all the cawing, chattering, and warbling by an allegorical cast of foxes, crows, bunnies, sheep, donkeys, and over a dozen other animals. Even the vegetables have something profound to say in this imaginative world.

Other surprises abound. Much of the mewithoutYou anguish of old has given way to a sense of gentle wonder, as on the celebratory “Timothy Hay” and “A Stick a Carrot and a String.” Jehanian, Mazzotta, Mike Weiss, and a whole slew of guest musicians have unearthed strange and beautiful sounds that accompany the album’s many marvels. A more tranquil Aaron, following an artistic progression he began on Brother, Sister, has more or less dropped his signature sing-shouting and is now a full-fledged singer.

That’s not to say that this album is afraid of the dark. “The Angel of Death Came to David’s Room” is a stark treatise about where we’re all headed, and “The King Beetle on a Coconut Estate” recounts an old fable about the blistering fate that awaits the fearless truth-seeker. It’s hard not to get chills when band and full orchestra reach the song’s devastating finale.

Recognizing how well the group eludes neat genre labels, mtvU awarded mewithoutYou the Left-Field Woodie in 2005 (picking them out from an illustrious pack that included the Arcade Fire and M.I.A.). Four years later, the band remains in left field, but one that continuously draws to them more eccentrics, seekers, and lovers of original music. “It’s all crazy,” Aaron sings on the closing “Allah, Allah, Allah,” (sure to be the New Anthem, as fans at recent shows already know). No doubt, but don’t refuse that call to join the band.

Quick Bio

Great music asks something from us. It’s not enough just to listen. The best albums move us because we’ve responded to their wake-up calls.

Read the full Biography



Aaron Weiss - Lead Vocals
Michael Weiss - Guitar
Christopher Kleinberg - Guitar
Greg Jehanian - Bass Guitar
Richard Mazzotta - Drums