It's been a long time since we've heard from synthpop duo Tanlines -- eight years -- but they're back and have signed with Merge Records. Their new album The Big Mess will be out May 19. Check out the artwork and tracklist below.

Eric Emm and Jesse Cohen put Tanlines on the back burner to start families and other life things; Emm moved to rural Connecticut while Cohen stayed in Brooklyn, working in marketing and launching a successful podcast. Emm kept writing songs, though, which resulted in this album. “I spent years figuring out in my mind, ‘What is my musical life going to look like?’” Emm says. “I just kept writing.” Cohen joined him to help finish up the album, which was mixed by The National collaborator Peter Katis. “There’s a lot more reflection here, for Eric at least,” Cohen says, “on his past and his career as an artist, than we would have done before when we were banging out electronic pop tunes with sad melodies on top.”

The first single from The Big Mess is "Outer Banks," which has that signature Tanlines blend of melancholy and bouncy, danceable backing. “This song is about being a perfectionist," says Emm. "When I was younger, I thought that being called that was a compliment. But I’ve come to realize it’s actually a liability. This is especially true in any kind of partnership. Making concessions, adjustments and letting things go are all components of a successful endeavor.”

The video for "Outer Banks" plays off our Zoom-filled pandemic last few years. “I've spent the last few years in work environments where the deck seems to have become the primary communication tool for young professionals," says Cohen. "I wanted to find a way to use that language to tell the story of our song, ‘Outer Banks.’ Hopefully this video resonates and tickles anyone who has sat through the kind of presentation at work where someone in a box on the screen just reads the slides out loud. Welcome to Tanlines' hybrid work era!” Watch that below.

tanlines - the big mess

The Big Mess:
1. The Big Mess
2. Outer Banks
3. New Reality
4. Burns Effect
5. Clouds
6. Unreal
7. Arm’s Length Away
8. Endless Love
9. Speed
10. Hold On
11. The Age of Innocence

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