“New Thing” by Lee Ranaldo

Lee Ranaldo has unveiled the video for “New Thing,” the second track to be taken from his forthcoming release Electric Trim, out September 15th, via Mute Records. Lee, has also announced a new handful of North American dates.

The video for “New Thing” was directed by Naomi Yang (founding member of Galaxie 500, Yang has directed videos for Richard Youngs and Julia Holter, amongst others), it sees Ranaldo travelling through New York City and holds a mirror to our current all-consuming obsession with smartphones and small screens.

Talking about the track and video, Ranaldo says “I’ve described ‘New Thing’ as ‘my song about the Internet’ – about our thousands of ‘friends’ and the obsession with accumulating ‘likes.’ When Naomi and I began discussing ideas for the video we knew we wanted to reference that subject matter but didn’t want to do so in any heavy-handed way. I told her I’d like to be a character of some sort rather than ‘guy singing with guitar’ and she found ‘Buster,’ as we dubbed the JVC 3100R “Television/Radio Pyramid Capsule Unit” on eBay. You wouldn’t believe what a cool old useless piece of outdated technology like that sells for these days!”

Naomi Yang goes on to explain, “We didn’t have to do anything more than hit the streets of New York to find the familiar scenario of everyone out and about glued to their screens. And so Lee, although he was carrying around a cumbersome vintage screen, was not so out of place. Some people noticed him, many did not at all. The idea of a ‘New Thing’ has another association for me. Lee and I actually first met all the way back in 1989 when I was in Galaxie 500 and he was in Sonic Youth – and I wanted to capture the personal nature and energy of his new projects while giving a nod to the past. In the video you can catch a glimpse of Lee’s paintings in his studio, of the Sonic Youth tape archive…and you can dive deep into the hypnotic sounds of his ‘New Thing.’”

Electric Trim was recorded in New York City and Barcelona in collaboration with producer Raül ‘Refree’ Fernandez and extends the work of Ranaldo’s solo canon, the most recent being his 2013 album, Last Night On Earth.

Ranaldo is a co-founder of Sonic Youth, a visual artist, producer and writer. In addition to Fernandez, he worked with several special guests on Electric Trim, including Sharon Van Etten who sings on six of the tracks and duets on “Last Looks” and Kid Millions (aka Man Forever) as well as longtime friend and collaborator Nels Cline (Wilco). In addition, the album features Ranaldo’s band The Dust (fellow Sonic Youth member Steve Shelley, guitarist Alan Licht, and bassist Tim Luntzel).

Ranaldo collaborated with award winning New York author Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn/The Fortress of Solitude) for lyrics on six of the songs. The American artist Richard Prince, who previously painted the sleeve for Sonic Youth’s 2004 album Sonic Nurse, created the artwork for the album.

Lee Ranaldo

Moroccan Mountains
Uncle Skeleton
Let’s Start Again
Last Looks (with Sharon Van Etten)
Circular (Right As Rain)
Electric Trim
Thrown Over The Wall
New Thing

October 24 – Los Angeles, CA – Zebulon
October 25 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
Cotober 27 – Portland, OR – Bunk Bar
October 28 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
October 29 – Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt
November 1 – Burlington, VT – ArtsRiot
November 2 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa
November 3 – Toronto, ON – Great Hall
November 4 – Detroit, MI – El Club
November 5 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
November 8 – Boston, MA – ONCE Ballroom
November 9 – Brooklyn, NY – Bell House
November 10 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
November 11 – Washington, DC – Black Cat