We Are The Union announce ‘Ordinary Life’ LP – BV-exclusive vinyl pre-order & new song!
Modern ska-punk greats We Are The Union have been steadily releasing non-album singles since last year, and now they're finally ready to release a followup album to 2018's excellent Self Care. It's called Ordinary Life, it comes out June 4 via Bad Time Records, and it tells the story of lead vocalist Reade Wolcott coming out as a trans woman.
"Hello world, this is Reade. I'm ready to share my truth that I am a trans woman," she wrote on Instagram. "Throughout the first two-thirds of 2020, I wrote a nearly endless supply of songs about my gender identity, heartbreak, and my continued struggles with mental health. We’ve worked tirelessly together, completely in secret, over the past eight months to create a brand new We Are The Union full-length from those songs."
"Everything that I’ve ever sung about, and everything that I’ve ever struggled with mentally is rooted in my dysphoria," Reade told SPIN. "I go back to the first record being about how we’re unapologetically who we are, we don’t give a shit what society says we’re gonna live our lives on our terms. Well, that was dysphoria."
"Once I decided okay, this is gonna be my coming out, this is going to be my moment to really live my truth. That was the moment that I started to be a lot more free about songwriting," she continues, "and the freer and more vulnerable I got, the more outside the box the songs got."
The album announcement is accompanied by lead single "Morbid Obsessions," on which Reade shares a crucial part of this album's story. "She wanted a dress like all the other girls, a head full of curls/they said 'son you can't always get what you want in this world,'" she sings. The song grapples with the frustration, judgement, and self harm that comes with suppressing your true self, but it's ultimately an uplifting song that shakes all of that off. The moral of the story: "If I get one life, I'm gonna do what I want."
As you'd expect from We Are The Union, "Morbid Obsessions" is a bright, catchy, energized ska-punk song, and if Self Care -- the band's first album with Jer Hunter (JER, Skatune Network) as a member -- felt like a creative rebirth, then "Morbid Obsessions" feels even more so like one. This is some of the most refreshing, instantly satisfying, and purposeful ska-punk you'll hear in 2021, and not because there's been any lack of it so far.
"Morbid Obsessions" comes with a video directed by frequent collaborator Chris Graue, and it plays off the song's themes with Chris' usual tongue-in-cheek style, starring Reade as the living dead. Check it out below. None of WATU's recent singles are on Ordinary Life, but the title track did appear on last year's Ska Against Racism compilation and you can stream that below too.
2. Morbid Obsessions
3. Short Circuit
4. Broken Brain
5. Make It Easy
6. Boys Will Be Girls
8. Big River
9. Ordinary Life
10. Everything Alone
Pre-order our variant of Ordinary Life here.