“It’s Alive” By Ratboys

Ratboys announce their new full-length, The Window, will drop on August 25th via Topshelf Records with lead single/video “It’s Alive!” Along with the news, the Chicago band have announced new North American tour dates.

The Window sees Julia Steiner at her most personal, reflecting on love and grief with occasional humor and levity. She frequently leans on windows as a theme—the idea of an interrupted connection, the feeling of being near someone without being fully present—like on the pounding lead single, “It’s Alive!” Opening with Steiner’s honeyed vocals, “Outside my window the birds dance alone // I sit back and take it in // Like some sort of medicine,” it’s a bright and vivacious track that, in Steiner’s words, captures “the overarching feeling of the world spinning on beneath you while you’re stuck in one place.” In the video, directed by John TerEick, Ratboys play in an empty house, as its owners slowly start to move in.

The Window marks a number of firsts for the band. Throughout the last few years, Sean Neumann (bass) and Marcus Nuccio (drums) became full-time members alongside Julia Steiner (vocals, guitar) and Dave Sagan (guitars), making The Window the first album Ratboys have written collaboratively from start to finish. It was also the first time they’d ever traveled outside their home base of Chicago to record an album, journeying to Seattle to work with producer Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan and Sara, Foxing) for three weeks. The group worked on the arrangements together over the course of a year and half, so by the time the band showed up to the Hall of Justice Recording Studio in February 2022, The Window’s songs were well rehearsed and airtight. “We spent 2020 demoing the songs, and spent 2021 practicing them,” says Steiner. “We practiced twice a week for six months, exploring the songs and developing them. We’d send early versions to Chris and he’d give us notes. It went like that for weeks. It was such a dedicated and intentional process.”

Walla’s studio sensibilities pushed Ratboys to stretch and expand their vision, adding unexpected elements and instruments like rototoms, talkboxes, and fiddles. Hunting for sonic inspiration, Walla and the band sometimes spent hours just listening to their favorite albums, spinning everything from Sloan to Brainiac to The Roches. “The language Chris uses when speaking about music comes from a very emotionally centered place, and that’s something that resonated with us. He would say things like, ‘This cymbal hurts my feelings,’ or ‘This song is like a cat,’” says Nuccio. “It was such a disarming thing,” adds Neumann. “We didn’t get bogged down in technical terms, and he never placed pressure on us in that way. With Chris steering the ship, we were free to go off on little creative expeditions and come up with parts and ideas we’d never imagined.”

The Window
Top Shelf Records

1. Making Noise for the Ones You Love
2. Morning Zoo
3. Crossed that Line
4. It’s Alive!
5. No Way
6. The Window
7. Empty
8. Break
9. Black Earth, WI
10. I Want You (Fall 2010)
11. Bad Reaction

Ratboys Tour Dates

Fri. Aug. 25 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
Thu. Sep. 21 – Champaign-Urbana, IL @ Pygmalion Festival
Fri. Sep. 22 – Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
Sat. Sep. 23 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
Tue. Sep. 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Wed. Sep. 27 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Thu. Sep. 28 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Fri. Sep. 29 – Montreal, QC @ POP Montreal
Sat. Sep. 30 – Toronto, ON @ Monarch Tavern
Mon. Oct. 2 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Bottlerocket Social Hall
Tue. Oct. 3 – Cleveland, OH @ No Class
Wed. Oct. 4 – Ferndale, MI @ Magic Bag
Fri. Oct. 6 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Sat. Oct. 7 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee
Thu. Oct. 19 – Omaha, NE @ Reverb
Sat. Oct. 21 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
Sun. Oct. 22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Tue. Oct. 24 – Seattle, WA @ Madame Lou’s
Wed. Oct. 25 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Fri. Oct. 27 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord
Sat. Oct. 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room Highland Park
Sun. Oct. 29 – San Diego, CA @ The Loft at UC San Diego
Mon. Oct. 30 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Tue. Oct. 31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Thu. Nov. 2 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
Fri. Nov. 3 – Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room & Garage
Sat. Nov. 4 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada

Pre-order The Window BY Ratboys HERE


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