Wolf Parade have announced Thin Mind, the group’s fifth full-length, out on January 24th, 2020 through Royal Mountain Records and Sub Pop. The ten-track album, which features the singles “Forest Green,” the previously released “Against the Day,” and “Julia Take Your Man Home.” was produced by John Goodmanson at Risque Disque on Vancouver Island, BC, mixed by Goodmanson at Bogroll Studios in Seattle, and mastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Mastering in Toronto.
Every moment spent gazing at our screens is oversaturated with content, an ever-accelerated news cycle conditioning our ever-decreasing attention spans. The struggle to stay present, and to foresee a clear, sustainable future, feels very real. Wolf Parade address this phenomenon head-on with Thin Mind, the band’s 5th full-length and second to be produced by Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound). “Thin Mind refers to the way that being around too much tech has made our focus thin,” says keyboardist Spencer Krug.
“It’s opening one more page, scrolling one more thing,” adds guitarist Dan Boeckner, “and the weird, sort-of hollow automaton feeling that you get from it.”
“This record is very personal, but at the same time, we’re all coming from the same place of a general sense of anxiety,” says drummer Arlen Thompson. “How do you deal with the constant barrage of having your opinions swayed by all these different actors when you don’t know who they are or what their purpose is? There is no normal anymore.”
Thin Mind marks a return to the original power trio of Dan, Spencer, and Arlen, following multi-instrumentalist Dante DeCaro’s amicable departure from the group in 2018, after the conclusion of their world tour supporting Cry Cry Cry.
One month later, the trio got together at Risqué Disque, an old stone barn-turned-studio in the woods of Vancouver Island, to begin writing Thin Mind—emerging with an album about making sense of the present while reckoning with visions of the future.
“It’s the first record where we did the whole thing in one place from start to end,” says Arlen. “It was just the three of us until John came in, woodshedding in this moss-covered, rotting building.”
Paradoxically, the band’s decision to forge a future-forward sound using a myriad of synthesizers—from ‘80s synths and ‘90s MiDi to more modern, kitchen sink instruments—recalls the sonics of Wolf Parade’s earliest EPs.
“The island has a really weird, pervasive darkness to it,” explains Arlen. “It’s got amazing nature, and there’s an inescapable spiritual vibe to the place. But it’s held with this tension between real estate money and nature now constantly being logged and developed. It’s a process that’s been happening for maybe 150 years—you’re watching this beautiful place just kind of melt.”
Ultimately, the band was only able to subvert the “thin mind” phenomenon by jumping right back into its creative process after Cry Cry Cry’s tour, with each member bringing their anxieties out of the modern world and re-examining them on an elemental level.
“There’s this positive element to Thin Mind, too,” explains Dan, “if you’re in that liminal, very modern psychological state in nature. At best, you become an incredibly powerful being for interpreting and processing information at a speed that our parents and grandparents couldn’t possibly comprehend. In the cognitive dissonance where we made this record, there was no escape.”
Sub Pop/Royal Mountain Records
1. Under Glass
2. Julia, Take Your Man Home
3. Forest Green
4. Out Of Control
5. The Static Age
6. As Kind As You Can
7. Fall Into The Future
8. Wandering Son
9. Against The Day
10. Town Square
Wolf Parade has extended its international headlining touring schedule in support of Thin Mind, to include U.S. shows for January and February 2020. The dates begin January 27th in Portland, Oregon at the Crystal Ballroom and run through February 24th in Brooklyn, New York at Brooklyn Steel.
Jan. 27 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom *
Jan. 29 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
Jan. 30 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater *
Jan. 31 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern *
Feb. 01 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole *
Feb. 03 – Austin, TX – Mohawk *
Feb. 04 – Dallas, TX – Trees *
Feb. 05 – Oklahoma City, OK – Tower Theatre *
Feb. 07 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf *
Feb. 08 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre *
Feb. 09 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge *
Feb. 11 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox *
Feb. 12 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore **
Feb. 16 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall **
Feb. 17 – London, ON – London Music Hall **
Feb. 18 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club **
Feb. 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer **
Feb. 22 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club **
Feb. 23 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club **
Feb. 24 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel **
Mar. 02 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg
Mar. 03 – Hamburg, DE – Knust
Mar. 04 – Berlin, DE – Gretchen
Mar. 06 – Cologne, DE – Club Volta
Mar. 07 – Zurich, CH – Bogen F
Mar. 08 – Luxembourg, LX – Rotondes
Mar. 09 – Paris, FR – Petit Bain
Mar. 10 – Brussels, BE – Orangerie @ Botanique
Mar. 11 – London, UK – The Dome
Mar. 13 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
Mar. 14 – Manchester, UK – YES (Pink Room)
Mar. 15 – Dublin, IE – The Button Factory
* w/ Land of Talk
** w/ Jo Passed