The Minders prep new album ‘Psychedelic Blacktop’ (stream “These Days”)
The Minders -- who were affiliated with Elephant Six in the '90s and whose original/former drummer Rebecca Cole went on to form Wild Flag with members of Sleater-Kinney and Mary Timony -- are gearing up to release their first album since 2016's Into the River, Psychedelic Blacktop. They've been crowdfunding the album on Kickstarter since 2020 and rolling out new singles in the process, and we're now premiering the album's latest single, "These Days." The song channels '60s sunshine pop by way of '90s indie rock, and here's what band leader Martyn Leaper says about it:
I wrote the song “These Days”, after feeling isolated and hemmed in by the pandemic, and the political/social upheaval that has consumed society for the last several years. I think I was channeling a younger me. I thought about how I used to go dancing with my friends during my teens. We would dress up, spike our hair and go dance for hours at the local 3.2 bar (Colorado Springs, Co) to the B52’s, Thompson Twins, and whatever the college hits were. All our angst was exorcised - sweated out. The act of dancing with a sweetheart or a friend was so magical. I miss this feeling being swept away in the moment by something so carefree. I guess this song is a projection, a wish to be transported to another place in time. A better time, any time but these days.
The Minders recorded the track at Mike Coykendall’s home studio (Blue Rooms) here in Portland in June in the middle of the worst heatwave the city’s ever had. One of the unique aspects of “These Days” is the coda. The arrangement of the song was a collective effort, and the band really leaned in on the arrangement. The result is a short piece of music that starts with a slow waltz played on the piano. The music paints a brutalized landscape. There are no golden vistas here. I think this is us looking out on the wreckage of our city today. The carnage and fall out of thousands of people’s lives having been dislodged. Therefore I believe this song is true to these days.