NYC indie rock/post-hardcore/emo vets The Van Pelt are gearing up for their first proper album in 26 years, Artisans & Merchants, on March 17 via Spartan Records (pre-order). It's their first entirely new album since 1997's classic Sultans of Sentiment, and it also follows 2014's Imaginary Third, a collection of previously unreleased material from the band's initial run that they had been working on for a third album before breaking up. The album was recorded and mixed by Jeff Zeigler (The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile) and it features guest appearances by vocalist/guitarist Chris Leo's brother Ted Leo, American Football/Birthmark's Nate Kinsella, and more.

We're premiering lead single "Punk House," which finds the band's Slint-like mix of post-rock, post-hardcore, and spoken word in fine form. It sounds like it could be stripped straight from the band's classic '90s era, and it sounds fresh today too. It features a video made up of archival footage, and here's what Chris Leo says about it:

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.

Check it out below.

The Van Pelt are also playing a free show in Jersey City on tonight (1/19) at Pet Shop (193 Newark Ave) with Tiers to celebrate the reissues of their first two albums, Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves and Sultans of Sentiment. It starts at 8 PM, and they'll have vinyl copies of the reissues available. Flyer below. Plus, they just added a NYC show for April 23 at Saint Vitus, and they have a few Europe/UK shows in March. All upcoming dates are listed below.

In related news, Ted Leo is taking Chisel on a reunion tour this year.

The Van Pelt

1. We Gotta Leave
2. Image of Health
3. Artisans & Merchants
4. Punk House
5. Old Souls from Different Epochs
6. Grid
7. Cold Coconuts
8. Did We Hear The Same Song
9. Love Is Brutal

The Van Pelt -- 2023 Tour Dates
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

The Van Pelt

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