City States Shares Single “False Start”

City States share "False Start," from their latest album 'Geography,' was mixed by John McEntire of Tortoise and Sea and Cake, healso produced Stereolab

City States began in Chicago circa 2008, initially started with a desire to branch out from the “four musicians in a room” aesthetic of Ebner’s earlier band experiences, gravitating instead toward more studio-savvy projects like The Notwist and Death Cab For Cutie. Since then, he’s followed through on that notion via the 2011 EP, Resolution, as well as several singles and cover songs, all the while opening shows for the likes of Doldrums and Au Revoir Simone.

Geography—which was mixed by John McEntire of Tortoise—is an album about change: it’s an album about the desire to understand the contours of the world, and knowing how to respond when landscapes shift unexpectedly; roughly halfway through the making of the LP, Ebner’s father died suddenly of a heart attack, and as a result most of the lyrics deal with notions of death, grief, and the struggle to find acceptance when losing someone close to you. Specifically, “To Remember” is inspired by the eulogy that Ebner gave at his father’s memorial service, detailing the relationship they had via the Fender Jaguar his dad bought in the early 1960s.

Musically, the album leans heavily on classic art-rock albums of the last 35 years—with it’s droning organs, ebowed guitars, and melodic synth arpeggios, Geography’s arrangements bring to mind the likes of Stereolab, Brian Eno’s Another Green World, and Remain In Light-era Talking Heads.


01. False Start
02. Endless Sunlight
03. To Remember
04. (For Dad)
05. Uncharted Waters
06. Willing
07. I’m Always Somewhere Else
08. Everything’s Here
09. There Was A Time
10. State of the Union

Production details:
Recorded by John McEntire at Soma Electronic Music Studios, and by Joel Ebner in various homes around Chicago IL.

Produced by Steve Lund and Joel Ebner.
Mixed by John McEntire.
Mastered by Carl Saff.
Art direction by Joel Ebner.

Joel Ebner: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, EBow, Keys, Synths, Programming
Mike Burmester: Drums
Steve Lund: Keys, Synths

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