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Harry and The Potters releasing first LP in 13 years, touring (stream “The Trace”)

Harry and the Potters
photo by Kim Newmoney

Remember wizard rock? The genre, which had its heyday during the early-mid 2000s while the Harry Potter books and films were being released, inspired bands like Draco and the Malfoys, The Whomping Willows, The Remus Lupins, Roonil Wazlib, and others to sing about the wizarding world, and was chronicled in 2008 documentary We Are Wizards. Following the series’ 20th anniversary last year, though, love of Harry Potter is not even close to dead, and neither is wizard rock. Harry and the Potters, who originated the genre in 2002, have returned with their first new album 13 years, Lumos, due out June 21 (pre-order). It focuses on the events of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, and its unfortunate parallels to our current political moment. Kimya Dawson makes a special guest appearances as Hermione on “Where’s Ron?” and other songs focus on the Voldemort’s horcruxes, the Deathly Hallows themselves, the banality of evil (a song for for pureblood wizard Albert Runcorn, who Harry impersonates while infiltrating the Ministry of Magic), and more.

First single “The Trace” is about the magical system that detects the usage of magic by underaged wizards outside of Hogwarts, and is eventually reappropriated to track down wizards who refer to Lord Voldemort by his name instead of “He Who Must Not Be Named” or “The Dark Lord,” and you can listen to it below. About the song, brothers Paul and Joe DeGeorge (both of whom play Harry in the band), say:

In Harry Potter’s wizarding world there is a culture of surveillance. The Trace is a kind of tracking magic specifically used to police underage magic outside of Hogwarts. On our summer tours when our equipment malfunctioned we would conveniently joke, “Whoops. Sorry, we can’t use magic during summer vacation. We’ll get arrested.” In times of peace this might be deflected as a not-particularly-threatening overreach of power, but, as we attempt to say in the song, this culture of surveillance opens the door to misuse and abuse when a ruling class is set on restricting the power of others. We see this when Voldemort seizes power and his regime institutes a more aggressive police state through new surveillance tools like the Taboo, which tracks the use of specific words and can lead to the arrest and detainment of their speaker.

When we play this song I think about the prevalence of surveillance structures in our society. I think about the way communities of color and immigrants are surveilled and policed. I think about the near-constant surveillance being done by private tech companies who monitor our every click as a means of influencing our thoughts and behaviors. In the United States there’s a lot of good work being done by organizations like Free Press, Demand Progress, and Fight for the Future to protect people’s privacy rights from being violated by government, police, and corporate entities. This is a pivotal moment in our history as we figure out what privacies we will keep as we move forward. Do we simply accept the terms of service and continue?

Harry and The Potters embark on their first North America tour of libraries (and other venues) since 2011 in support of Lumos this summer, stopping in Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Boston and more. They’ll be in Brooklyn for a show at Knitting Factory on August 22, and tickets are on sale now. See all of their tour dates below.

“We’re hoping that parents and their young kids might see us play at the library,” Paul told Rolling Stone. “Hear a song explicitly critiquing pureblood supremacy and then later have a real discussion about white supremacy and how it manifests in their own lives.”

Harry and the Potters - Lumos

Harry and The Potters – Lumos Tracklisting
1. Lumos
2. You’re Not the Wizard
3. Good Riddance (Privet Drive)
4. The Trace
5. On the Importance of Media Literacy Under Authoritarian Rule
6. Hermione’s Army
7. What Happened to the Cat?
8. The Banality of Evil (Song for Albert Runcorn)
9. Gone Campin’
10. Where’s Ron? (featuring Kimya Dawson as Hermione Granger)
11. No Pureblood Supremacy
12. Voldemort in Your Head
13. The Sword, The Cup, and the Dragon
14. The Cloak
15. The Stone
16. The Wand

Harry and The Potters: 2019 Tour
June 21 – Gloucester, MA – Sawyer Free Library
June 22 – Buffalo, NY – Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
June 23 – London, ON – The Rec Room
June 24 – Toronto, ON – The Rec Room
June 26 – Ann Arbor, MI – Ann Arbor District Downtown Library
June 28 – Athens, OH – Athens Public Library
June 29 – Louisville, KY – Louisville Free Public Library
June 30 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen
July 1 – DeForest, WI – DeForest Area Public Library
July 2 – Dubuque, IA – Eagle Point Park (rain location: Carnegie-Stout Public Library)
July 3 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
July 4 – Rapid City, SD – Memorial Park Bandshell
July 5 – Steamboat Springs, CO – Strings Music Festival
July 6 – Boulder, CO – Band Shell in Central Park
July 7 – Denver, CO – Mercury Cafe
July 8 – Provo, UT – Provo Library at Academy Square
July 9 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
July 12 – Missoula, MT – Missoula Public Library
July 13 – Calgary, AB – The Rec Room
July 14 – Edmonton, AB – The Rec Room
July 16 – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Public Library
July 17 – Anacortes, WA – Causland Park
July 18 – Olympia, WA – Olympia Timberland Library
July 19 – Seattle, WA – Seattle Public Library
July 20 – Portland, OR – St. Johns Library
July 20 – Portland, OR – Gresham Library
July 21 – Eugene, OR – Downtown Eugene Public Library
July 23 – Santa Clara, CA – Northside Branch Library
July 24 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
July 25 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Public Library Main Branch
July 27 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Public Library
July 30 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
July 31 – Huntington Beach, CA – Huntington Beach Public Library
August 1 – Las Vegas, NV – Clark County Library
August 2 – Phoenix, AZ – Burton Barr Central Library
August 3 – Tucson, AZ – Flowing Wells Branch Library
August 4 – El Paso, TX – El Paso Public Library
August 5 – San Antonio, TX – The Magik Theater
August 6 – Houston, TX – Houston Public Library – Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza
August 7 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Public Library – Main Library
August 8 – Ridgeland, MS – Ridgeland Public Library
August 9 – Dallas, TX – LeakyCon
August 11 – Dallas, TX – Renner Frankford Branch Library
August 12 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
August 14 – Shawnee, KS – Monticello Library
August 15 – Tulsa, OK – Tulsa City County Library – Hardesty Regional Library
August 16 – Springfield, MO – The Library Center
August 18 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Public Library
August 20 – Washington, DC – Woodridge Library
August 21 – Lewes, DE – Lewes Public Library
August 22 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
August 24 – Boston, MA – Boston Public Library (Dartmouth Street Steps)

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