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The Polyphonic Spree: New Look, New Album, New Label

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As the music world descends upon Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Music Conference this week, it’s a fitting time for some news on The Polyphonic Spree. After all, their performances at the event earlier this decade helped raise their profile considerably. Plus, I’ll always associate the Texas band with SXSW because that’s where I shot an episode of MTV2’s Subterranean with 26 members of the collective back in 2004. As you might suspect, it’s the only time in my ten years of television production that I put an interview subject that large on camera. It was a fun, memorable, and worthwhile challenge.

The Polyphonic Spree will play the festival again this year as they gear up for the release of their third album, The Fragile Army, which will be released in June on TVT Records, their new label. Don’t expect to see their trademark robes, though. According to Little Big Man PR, they’ve “folded their robes up nicely and put them away for now.” Instead, they’ll be more “streamline for the future in their unified, military-style uniforms garnished with universal symbols for peace.”

PolyphonicSpree.jpgThe new look ties in with a more political stance for the group whose mix of symphonic, choral, and rock elements has always had a pretty bright and uplifting feel. This time, though, they will address the war in Iraq and its repercussions here in the U.S. The title track, "The Fragile Army," is “basically an ode-to-Bush song,” according to frontman Tim DeLaughter. He says “it’s very specific in its agenda. I believe it’s our own battle cry.”

I haven’t heard anything from The Fragile Army yet, but I’m definitely intrigued by The Polyphonic Spree’s new activist stance. I’m looking forward to hearing what that sounds like.

In the meantime, here’s the tracklisting for The Fragile Army:

1. Section 21 [Together We're Heavy]2. Section 22 [Running Away]3. Section 23 [Get Up And Go]4. Section 24 [The Fragile Army]5. Section 25 [Younger Yesterday]6. Section 26 [We Crawl]7. Section 27 [Oh I Feel Fine]8. Section 28 [Guaranteed Nightlite]9. Section 29 [Light To Follow]10. Section 30 [Watch Us Explode (Justify)]11. Section 31 [Overblow Your Nest]12. Section 32 [The Championship]

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