Richards and his indie label Tremolo Records are back with a daring new future-punk record entitled ‘Welcome to Flat Earth,’ dropping April 20.
Austin’s own psych-rock prodigy Ty Richards and his indie-label Tremolo Records announces the premiere of “Merry-Go-Round,” the first single off of his upcoming album, with KUTX. The premiere can be found HERE. The track can be purchased directly here and everywhere else digital music is sold. The song is from his forthcoming sophomore record, “Welcome to Flat Earth,” which will be released April 20, 2018, just before the weekend of Earth Day.
Starting today, the album can be pre-ordered on vinyl, cassette tape and digital download here. Ty Richards’ record release show for ‘Welcome to Flat Earth’ will take place at Mosaic Sound Collective, a former juvenile delinquent facility, also on Friday, April 20. Tickets can be purchased here.
“Welcome to Flat Earth” is an all-analog, DIY, future-punk record, and Richards’ new direction can best be described as “Devo meets Queens of the Stone Age.” With heavy grooves, video game-esque keyboards, blown out fuzz guitars and gritty, satirical vocals, the album will take listeners on a sonic journey recorded purely to analog tape in Richard’s home studio.
“I’m excited to release ‘Merry-Go-Round’ from my upcoming 2018 record, ‘Welcome to Flat Earth,'” said Ty Richards. “It’s kind of new-wave pop, kind of punk-rock and a lot of just-don’t-give-a-damn. This recording is hot off the tape, lo-fi and 100 percent analog. I heard someone call it ‘Nintendo-punk.’ I support that description.”
Since the release of his 2017 debut album, “Zillion,” Ty Richards has had a busy year filled with critical acclaim and a string of tour dates, even reaching number four on USA Today’s top college albums. The debut broke NACC college top 40 album charts after being picked up by more than 50 college stations nationwide. He landed KUTX “Artist of the Month” during SXSW 2017 and closed out the year with a song placement on Season 8, Episode 2 of Showtime’s “Shameless.” Once the “Zillion” rush came to a close, Richards went right back to the creative process, reinventing himself, and began recording new music for his next release. This time around, Richards holds up an anti-authoritarian, rebellious lens on the world, writing through a heavily surreal perspective.
“There is a strong use of absurd satire and ironic humor throughout the album,” said Richards. “‘Welcome to Flat Earth’ is jokingly named after the growing Flat Earth Theory movement of the present day. Over time though, the title and the vibe of the record as a whole has come to represent a much deeper theme in humanity – why do we trust authority?”
Writing for “Welcome to Flat Earth” began in late September of 2017 and concluded in early December of 2017. The album was completed in roughly three months, compared to the two years it took to finish “Zillion.” Richards wrote, performed, produced and mixed the album in a self proclaimed “tiny 10 by 12-foot bedroom,” and tracked everything on the record straight to tape, comletely analog with zero editing. Each song was made with two major creative limitations: no computers, and only eight tracks per song.
“This album represents a devolution from the previous record,” said Richards. “This collection of songs was recorded directly to a lo-fi reel-to-reel tape machine from the early 80’s. The same model, Tascam 388, was used by Prince to create demos, and is featured on the early records of The Black Keys and Dr. Dog.”
“Welcome to Flat Earth” features seven original songs and a Kinks cover. None of the original songs were pre-written, instead being penned and recorded at the same time in a “stream of consciousness” style. Brian Lucey mastered the album at Magic Garden Mastering in Los Angeles in December of 2017. Lucey was crucial in carrying out the final stroke on each song and ultimately brought out the “punk spirit” of the record. Lucey has an extensive discography including the likes of Beck, David Lynch, The Black Keys, Ray LaMontagne, Sigur Rós, Dr. John, Lucinda Williams, Dr. Dog and Ringo Deathstarr.
In line with the punk spirit, Richards’ lyrics drip with an ironic “post-truth” theme. Like Devo and punk predecessors of the 20th century, “Welcome to Flat Earth” combines aggressive electronic-rock with mischievous satire to poke fun at the “post-truth” world.
“I like the deeper truth of humanity that is unveiled by the ridiculous Flat Earth conspiracy,” said Richards. “Assuming it’s completely false, it still exposes the notion that almost everything we call ‘truth’ is based on trust – how do we know who to trust and not trust? That’s where we are now, welcome to the ‘post-truth’ world – or, ‘Welcome to Flat Earth.’ It’s absolutely amazing. It’s absolutely nauseating.”
“Welcome to Flat Earth” will be released on April 20, 2018, with southwest and west coast American tour dates, as well as tour dates in Japan, to be announced.
Listen to the single “Merry-Go-Round” below:
“WELCOME TO FLAT EARTH” TRACKLIST:
- Western Chauvinist
- Red Pill
- All Day and All of the Night
- Kissing the Wizard
- Bleed Yourself Dry
About Ty Richards:
Austin’s own psych rock prodigy Ty Richards, referred to as “the future of rock,” as well as “Beck Zeppelin,” debuted his first album, “Zillion,” in February of 2017, with his lead single, “Spaceman,” earning Song of the Day on Austin’s KUTX 98.9. Host Taylor Wallace said that, “Spaceman was a song meant to elicit big grins and bumping heads.” Podcast host Johnny Goudie of How Did I Get Here? proclaimed that Richards is “a hurricane of artistry.”
Richards went on to reach national success after the release of “Zillion.” Topping the charts of numerous radio stations, breaking the top 40 in the NACC (North American College and Community Top 200) charts and hitting number six on national specialty radio, Richards has won the ears of rock fans across the United States. He has performed all over, from packed Austin clubs with a four-piece band to west coast radio tours in California.
Ty Richards currently also runs a boutique creative shop, Paradox, and an indie record label, Tremolo Records, in Austin, Texas.