Dust off your history books, garden state rockers Titus Andronicus are back. The Monitor, the follow-up to their well-received 2008 debut The Airing of Grievances, is due March 9 via XL Recordings. The release coincides with the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads, in which the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia fought off the coast of Virginia.
You might be asking what a Civil War battle has to do with an indie rock record, and those concerns are not unfounded. Patrick Stickles, lead singer/songwriter, describes the album as “sort of” a concept album about the Civil War, clarifying that “Really, it is a record about how the conflicts that led our nation into that great calamity remain unresolved, and the effect that this ongoing division has on our personal relationships and our behavior and how they’re all out to get us (or maybe not?) and yadda yadda yadda.” Sounds light and jaunty.
The Monitor was recorded in August of 2009 by Greg Calbi in New Paltz, NY and includes guest appearances from members of The Hold Steady, Ponytail, Vivian Girls, and Wye Oak.
Expect a tour closer to the album’s release date (some dates are announced at the band’s MySpace), as well as a 7-inch of lead single “Four Score and Seven” (split over the A-side and B-side) on February 9.
The Monitor tracklisting:
01. A More Perfect Union
02. Titus Andronicus Forever
03. No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future
04. Richard II
05. A Pot In Which To Piss
06. Four Score And Seven
07. Theme From “Cheers”
08. To Old Friends And New
09. …And Ever
10. The Battle Of Hampton Roads