Death Cab, Tegan & Sara, Silversun Pickups & Kevin Devine reflect on An Horse’s debut (which is being reissued)
Australian indie rock two-piece An Horse (Kate Cooper and Damon Cox) returned from hiatus last year with the great new single "Get Out Somehow," and now they're finally set to release a new album, their first since 2011's Walls. It's due out in April, and most info about it is still TBA, but first they're reissuing their 2009 debut album Rearrange Beds for its 10th anniversary. The album originally came out on Mom + Pop, but the reissue is coming via the smaller punk label Lame-O Records this Friday, January 25 (pre-order). (And via Poison City in Australia.) It's the first-ever vinyl pressing of the album.
"It’s hard to get my head around the fact that our first album is 10 years old. It feels like it’s from another lifetime and essentially it is," Kate tells us. "Damon and I both working in the same record store, bored out of our brains in hot, humid Brisbane, desperately wanting to make music. Getting alternate shifts at work because the boss said we talked too much. And we did talk too much, and we didn't work that much."
"We talked about music and records and touring and how we both wanted nothing more than to see the world and play everywhere," she adds. "We didn't understand why our other friends were growing up, selling their guitars and settling down. We hadn't even begun yet. We had no idea what this record would do to our lives. We had no idea that closing the shop early to set up the shop's instore PA system to write songs would would alter our lives irreversibly."
"I try not to think about it all too much. It's too heady. The fact that Damon and I even found each other is crazy. The fact that anyone still listens is even crazier to me."
An Horse get called "your favorite band's favorite band," and if your favorite bands are Death Cab For Cutie, Tegan and Sara, Silversun Pickups, and/or Kevin Devine, that's definitely true. In honor of the Rearrange Beds reissue, Death Cab's Ben Gibbard, Sara Quin, Silversun Pickups' Christopher Guanlao, and Kevin Devine have provided us with some stories of their experiences with the album and An Horse in general, and they go like this...
BEN GIBBARD (DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE):
Over twenty years and literally thousands of shows across the globe, I can count on one hand the number of hitherto, unknown-to-me support bands that completely blew me away. An Horse is one of them.
I can still remember how Kate, small in stature with short hair and high collared shirt, threw herself at the microphone in time Damon’s metronomic drumming. I remember how she sang with an emotional waver all the while staring a hole through the audience. They were quite simply the most powerful two piece I had ever seen (yes, even more than Jack and Meg).
Their set that night was comprised of songs that would make up the bulk of the album. Songs so perfect, catchy and intelligent I was almost upset that I hadn’t known they existed until that day.
I sincerely hope someone is about to hear these songs for the first time. You are in for quite a treat. And I am just a tiny bit jealous of you.
SARA QUIN (TEGAN AND SARA):
Hooky hardly begins to describe how Rearrange Beds worms its way into your ear and your heart. Revisiting the album ten years later I'm reminded that every single word is damn perfect. Each lyric a mantra and a mission for the sensitive hearts among us. I'm transported back to the transcendent magic of watching Kate and Damon build these songs into explosive masterpieces live, and how lucky I was to be there to see it.
CHRISTOPHER GUANLAO (SILVERSUN PICKUPS):
We’ve toured a bunch with An Horse, specifically when they released Rearrange Beds. They are one of the most talented, hard working and sweetest people out there. It’s an absolute joy when we get to tour with them. Rearrange Beds in particular became a soundtrack for us during that time. We were still pretty new with touring at that point so it will always feel like a traveling/away from your comfort zone type album to me. The bombastic drums and crunchy layered guitars combined with vulnerable and sometimes melancholy lyrics will always remind me of those early days of touring. And for Kate and Damon to be along with us in our adventures will forever leave a big place in my heart for An Horse.
I met Kate & Damon at Union Hall in Park Slope in the summer of 2009 while they were touring Rearrange Beds. We’d passed through one another’s musical periphery through some shared sensibilities and mutual friends, and I really liked their songs: smart without being obnoxious, emotive without being cloying, caffeinated without being childish. They felt almost lab-created to click with a particular corner of my brain.
They played, and they were great.
We met and talked and began a (to-date) ten-year friendship and musical relationship; many shows and miles and conversations later, they remain two of my favorite freaks, and this beautiful record that introduced me (and all of us) to them will always be very dear to me as a result.
Listen to a Spotify stream of Rearrange Beds and An Horse's 2018 single "Get Out Somehow" below, and stay tuned for more info on the upcoming album.