American indie rock and post-hardcore band mewithoutYou released their fifth full-length studio album this past spring, titled "Ten Stories." Like the Philadelphia-based quartet's 2009 album "It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright!," "Ten Stories" was produced by Daniel Smith (Sufjan Stevens) and mixed by Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins). As always, mewithoutYou have included fantastic album art, this time from Vasily Kafanov, which goes along with the theme, a circus train crash in 19th century Montana. Unlike their previous albums, however, mewithoutYou opted to self-release this one rather than continue on with Tooth & Nail Records, which is decidedly a wiser and more admirable way to go.
MewithoutYou's "Ten Stories" is arguably their best album to date, since it has the intelligence and experimentation of "It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright!" and the heaviness and vocal urgency of "Catch for Us the Foxes" (2004) and "Brother, Sister" (2006). Lyrically, singer Aaron Weiss continues with the sort of philosophical, emotional and spiritual content we have come to expect from him, such as his tendency to assign personalities and create dialogues between the flora and fauna of Earth's nature, revealing them as self-aware creatures. He also weaves the threads of absorbing tales. Though the album is titled "Ten Stories," there are in fact eleven songs in all, with such standouts as February, 1878, Elephant in the Dock, Fox's Dream of the Log Flume, and Bear's Vision of St. Agnes.
In support of "Ten Stories" mewithoutYou headed out on tour this past May alongside Brooklyn singer/songwriter Kevin Devine, with dates throughout the US. In fact, the band will ending their tour in their hometown of Philadelphia on August 18th at the TLA. And if you can't make it out to the show, go to mewithoutYou's website to order a copy of "Ten Stories," which is available on CD, LP, 2XLP, or digital download. And you can also consult the band's website for their other summer tour dates.
Incidentally, mewithoutYou performed live at the Daytrotter Sessions on July 17th, during which they played some of the new material from the "Ten Stories" album. You can check it out at Daytrotter's website.