Weird Nightmare showcases a new side of Edkins’ already-established songwriting, with a raw, sugary blast of distorted pop. The new album exhibits all of his main band’s bite with an unexpected, yet totally satisfying, sweetness. Imagine The Amps covering Big Star, or the gloriously hissy miniature epics of classic-era Guided by Voices combined with the bombast of Copper Blue-era Sugar—just tons of red-line distortion cut with the type of tunecraft that thrills the moment it hits your ears.
On the first single, “Searching For You”, Edkins shares, “it’s a fun, no nonsense rock ‘n’ roll song. It’s about searching for meaning and inspiration all around us. In my mind, the ‘you’ in the chorus refers to something bigger than companionship or love, it’s that intangible thing we all look for but never find. ” Directed by Ryan Thompson and animated by Jordan “Dr. Cool” Minkoff, it’s time to step into a world of ultimate weirdness, and get served a hot slice of rock and roll video deliciousness in the new video for “Searching for You.”
Weird Nightmare has announced a handful of North American shows including a hometown album release show on May 21st in Toronto, ON at The Baby G. The band will also hit the road on a 7-date co-headlining tour with labelmates Kiwi Jr. See below for a full list of shows.
Sat. May 21st - Toronto, ON - Baby G (Toronto Record Release Show)
Fri. Jun. 17th - Detroit, MI - Third Man Records *
Sat. Jun. 18th - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
Thu. Jul. 28th - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s Alright *
Fri. Jul. 29th - Rehoboth Beach, DE - Dogfish Head Brewery *
Sat. Jul. 30th - Washington, DC - Songbyrd *
Sun. Jul. 31st - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s *
*w/ Kiwi Jr
Weird Nightmare is now available for preorder/presave on CD/LP/Cassette/DSPs from Sub Pop. The LP is packaged in a special embossed jacket with semi-transparent obi-strip along the spine, and pre-orders from megamart.sub pop.com, select independent retailers in North America, and in the UK, and in Europe will receive the Loser Edition of the album on Transparent Cotton Candy Swirl vinyl and Clear Coke Bottle vinyl, respectively. (See below mock-up.)
If you’re looking for a raw, sugary blast of distorted garage rock, look no further than Weird Nightmare. The debut album from METZ guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins contains all of his main band’s bite with an unexpected, yet totally satisfying, sweetness. Imagine The Amps covering Big Star, or the gloriously hissy miniature epics of classic-era Guided by Voices combined with the bombast of Copper Blue- era Sugar—just tons of red-line distortion cut with the type of tunecraft that thrills the moment it hits your ears.
These ten songs showcase a new side of Edkins’ already-established songwriting, but even though the bulk of Weird Nightmare was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic some of its tunes date back to 2013 in demo form. “Hooks and melody have always been a big part of my writing, but they really became the main focus this time” he explains. “It was about doing what felt natural.”
To be clear: Weird Nightmare is not a “pandemic album,” but an album—some of which had been gestating for quite a while—that just so happened to be recorded during the pandemic. “I had always planned on finishing these songs, but being unable to tour with METZ, and forced to lock down, really gave me a push.” After days spent homeschooling his son, Edkins would drive to the METZ rehearsal room and tinker deep into the night on these songs’ deceptively simple structures and rich, static-laden textures. “It was a godsend for me,” he states about the creative process. “The hours would disappear and I would get lost in the music and record. It was a beautiful escape.”
Weird Nightmare is, in its own way, a study in extremes: Edkins’ melodic instincts and penchant for dissonance are both turned up to the max throughout, the latter reflecting not only the barn-burning tendencies of METZ, but Alex’s own sonic predilections. “It doesn’t sound right to my ears until it’s pushed over the edge.” He also cites other artists who are masterful at mixing the sublime and the punishing—Kim Deal and Scout Niblett among them—as influences on his own songwriting. “My favorite songs are the simple ones,” he explains. “I’ve never been attracted to virtuosity or technicality. Certain songs have the power to lift your spirits like nothing else can. I wanted to create that type of song.”
“I’ve found a new confidence in my writing and producing,” Edkins continues while discussing his songwriting approach on Weird Nightmare. “I really enjoy creating and recording, and I wanted this record to reflect how much fun I was having.” And even though its songs occasionally dip into weighty themes—underneath the driving riffs of “Darkroom” are ruminations on trying to fight off bad habits amidst personal malaise, while the anthemic “Lusitania” is, in his words, “a fictional love song”—this album is indeed an absolute blast to listen to.
A few guests pitch in on Weird Nightmare: Canadian alt-pop genius Chad VanGaalen adds his unmistakable touch to the ever-escalating “Oh No,” while Alicia Bognanno of Bully lends her distinctive pipes to the thrashing “Wrecked,” a collaboration that effectively saved the song. “I almost didn’t put it on the album because I thought it was missing something,” Edkins explains. “I sent it to Alicia and she lifted it way up.”
And taking risks and reaching out of Edkins’ comfort zone was the name of the game when it came to making Weird Nightmare. “I found myself doing new things I didn’t have the guts to do before, recording everything by myself and trusting all of my musical instincts,” he states. “I think when music manifests quickly, a certain amount of honesty automatically comes along with it. When it is a purely instinctual creation, there is no opportunity to obscure the truth.”
1. Searching for You
5. Sunday Driver
8. Zebra Dance
9. Oh No
10. Holding Out