New Releases Reviews

The Van Pelt release first studio album in 25 years- ‘Artisans and Merchants’

NYC indie post punks The Van Pelt are back with fresh new material with their long-awaited fourth studio LP- out now!

We’ve already had a sneak preview of what the album may have to offer with first single ‘Punk House‘, released back in January.

The next single from the album- ‘Grid‘- is out now with accompanying video directed by Mark Nardelli of 5Boro and featuring the skateboarding prowess of Keith Hardy.

Front man Chris Leo describes the gritty, angular track as, “A little adventure with the loser protagonist trying to find their wallet.’

The band’s first studio recording in over 25 years, was recorded and mixed in Summer / Fall 2021 by Jeff Zeigler (The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile) at Uniform Recording in Philadelphia, PA, and features guest appearances by Nate Kinsella and Ted Leo among others.

The nine-track release is a strong return to the kind of indie, psychedelic, post-punk surrealism that have gained the band such a cult following. 

From the dreamy, psychedelia of opening track ‘We Gotta Leave‘ you’re subsumed into this floating, ambient album that can do harmonious drift as well as spiky, punk poetry. 

It’s the musical equivalent of a warm bath in tracks like ‘Image of Health‘ but the riffs get harder and sharper in the title track ‘Artisans and Merchants‘.  

Those wanting something more punky will like the pace and urgency of the  Richard Hell-esque ‘Grid‘ and the avant garde stroytelling of ‘Cold Cococnuts‘.

We land softly with closing track ‘Love is Brutal‘ which is anything but- it’s an expansive, gentle, stirring track which closes the album with a contented sigh. 

Definitely more of an indie album than punk but that’s no bad thing- it’s a well-crafted, harmonious and atmospheric release which embodies the punk ethos of challenging boundaries and refusing to be pigeonholed or constrained. 

‘Artisans and Merchants’ is out now. Order the album HERE

The Van Pelt
  1. We Gotta Leave
  2. Image of Health
  3. Artisans and Merchants
  4. Punk House
  5. Old Souls From Different Epochs
  6. Grid
  7. Cold Coconuts
  8. Did We Hear the Same Song
  9. Love is Brutal
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