Any band on the right side of the Wawa vs. Sheetz debate is a band worth listening to. Ratboys is one of those bands.
@slingshotdakota after a heated debate, and a final vote of 3-2, we have decided to become a WaWa band over Sheetz!
— Ratboys (@Ratboysband) July 1, 2016
But if that’s not enough, the Chicago-based band is now streaming their fantastic sophomore LP GN (Topshelf Records). It’s officially due out this Friday, but the band got the party started a few days early by sharing the album on their site. And it’s certainly worth a listen (or four, the amount of times I’ve already listened today).
The songwriting on GN (which, as you probably guessed, means Goodnight) is a quest for Ratboys front-people Julie Steiner and David Sagan to tell stories. Stories, Steiner says on the band’s site, “of the ways we leave and love each other; stories of the growth that springs from solitude; stories about being lost, but not afraid.
“We wanted to decode our memories and indulge our imaginary selves. we wanted to traverse Antarctica & the forest. We wanted to make music that we enjoy playing every day. right now, we’re there.”
And these stories sound so good. Steiner’s melodic vocals are about as soothing as it gets. The contributions of Cody Owens on trumpet and the occasional appearances from pedal steel, accordian, cello and violin are welcome additions. Some songs are rockier and plugged in, others folkier and acoustic. Oh, and they even drop a reference to late-night Wawa trips into a personal fav in “GM.” Ratboys claim to be “post-country,” and before listening to them, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what that even means. Now I wish there were more post-country bands.
You’ll have plenty of chances to catch Ratboys here in the Philly over the few months. They’ll join Slingshot Dakota at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem in a couple of weeks, play with All Get Out at Kung Fu Necktie in August and accompany Diet Cig at Chameleon Club in Lancaster in September. Details for these gigs can be found on the XPN Concert Calendar.
Stream GN in its entirety here, and listen to the album’s singles below.