After twenty-five years of waiting, New York City cult indie favorites The Van Pelt have announced a March 17th, 2023, release date for their upcoming fourth studio full-length, titled “Artisans & Merchants”, which will be released jointly by Spartan Records in North America, La Castanya in Europe/World and Gringo in the UK.
The album 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 first single “Punk House” is out everywhere and a brand new music video for the can be seen below.
Frontman Chris Leo says: “When a bunch of old VHS tapes were unearthed, the band had them digitized and they turned out to be from US tours of the mid-90s. The footage is mainly of daily banalities: random purchases at rest stops, packing and unpacking the van, highway views that could be on the outskirts of Any Town USA. Yet there is a nostalgia to it that’s compelling. The song mirrors the mood in both sound and text. Lines like ‘The floor is filled with resin on the place where you’re to sleep / if you have enough to drink you can pretend that it’s a sheet’ bring any musician back to the rougher side of days on the road — yet again, the subtext here is that the spirit of it all is to be longed for”.
1. We Gotta Leave
2. Image of Health
3. Artisans & Merchants
4. Punk House
5. Old Souls from Different Epochs
7. Cold Coconuts
8. Did We Hear the Same Song
9. Love is Brutal
The Van Pelt has announced a series of UK, EU and Brooklyn shows in March and April. See dates below.
Live Shows 2023:
3/16 – Leeds, UK @ Warf Chambers
3/17 – Nottingham, UK @ The Old Cold Store
3/18 – London, UK @ The Garage
3/19 – Antwerp, BEL @ Trix
4/23 – Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus
Reunion show soundchecks revealed that this band has a voice that was prematurely muted by their inability to see clearly in the thick of their rise.
More than two decades later, The Van Pelt has returned to explore what was left behind with a new collection of songs, “Artisans & Merchants”. This is not a reunion album. This is vindication. For lovers of The Van Pelt, listening to “Artisans & Merchants” is like hearing the voice of a dear friend you haven’t seen in years — a friend you used to share countless beers with over banter that went nowhere other than delivering a solid night. Your friend is older, they’ve changed. In some ways you’re worried for them, looks like they might be teetering on the brink of something. In other ways, it’s the same old them, a nugget of a soul too unique to ever be altered. It’s for those unfamiliar with The Van Pelt though for whom we should be truly jealous. This is a stand-alone album, incredible vital songwriting in and of itself regardless of the long history this band has. The climax of the single “Image of Health” perhaps describes the beautiful desperation best: “And you never felt more alive / Than when the priest came to read you your rites”!