Illustration by Nicole Rifkin
Last month, revered rock veterans Titus Andronicus came roaring back onto the rock scene with the announcement of their seventh studio album The Will to Live, and the release of the raucous first single, “(I’m) Screwed,” which immediately inspired feverish anticipation and rapturous accolades from fans old and new alike.
Today, the curtain is pulled back a little further, offering a fuller picture of the emotional and sonic spectrum of the upcoming album, as Titus Andronicus shares the second proper single of this new era, “Give Me Grief.” This new track is a more contemplative affair than its shouty and defiant predecessor, but no less of a proper windows-down rock anthem that will have fists pumping all summer and beyond.
“Thematically, The Will to Live is an attempt on my part to reckon with the cruelest of life’s truths,” explains singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles, “which is that, the wider you open yr heart to the good things in yr life (love, hope, etc.), the more you expose yrself to life’s most harrowing pains. A full and rich life demands a vulnerability that will inevitably be rewarded with intense suffering. I have had to think about this a lot over the past couple years, as my father lay in a 50-day medically induced coma with no promise of his eventual awakening, or as my cousin was laid far too soon in his grave, or as I shivered one dreadful Christmas eve outside the animal hospital, hoping that a last-minute blood transfusion might save my anemic cat. These moments of agony could have been avoided had I simply closed myself off from the joys offered to me by those I love, but that is no way to live, and I force myself to move forward beckoning love in all its forms, however frightening a prospect. Grief is necessary, for without the threat of grief, there can be no love, and life without love is no life at all.”
To that end, “Give Me Grief” is a duet between Stickles and former Titus Andronicus drummer Eric Harm (lately of up-and-coming power pop outfit Eric Harm and the $100), and the official video also shared today (once again directed by Titus Andronicus mainstay Ray Concepcion, with blocking and choreography from Stickles) showcases their enduring chemistry and camaraderie, with assists from Titus Andronicus bassist R.J. Gordon and saxophonist Ryan Weisheit. Harm contributes backing vocals to three additional songs on The Will to Live, adding to the lush harmonic landscape which listeners will find both familiar and fresh.
This inclusive collaborative spirit spreads across The Will to Live, which also features duets with Titus Andronicus guitarist Liam Betson and Josée Caron of the Canadian rock band Partner, as well as contributions from members of Arcade Fire, the Hold Steady, and the E Street Band.
Titus Andronicus will celebrate The Will to Live with the first leg of their 2022–23 world tour which begins with their record release show September 30 at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC. For complete details and ticket information, please visit titusandronicus.net/tour.
TITUS ANDRONICUS TOUR 2022
Sept 24 Atlantic City, NJ – Frantic City Festival
Sept 30 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Oct 1 Columbia, SC – Jam Room Festival
Oct 3 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
Oct 4 Nashville, TN – DRKMTTR
Oct 5 Oxford, MS – Proud Larry’s
Oct 6 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks
Oct 7 San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
Oct 8 Austin, TX – Far Out
Oct 9 Dallas, TX – Deep Ellum Art Co
Oct 10 Tulsa, OK – The Vanguard
Oct 12 Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge
Oct 13 St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill
Oct 14 Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
Oct 15 Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s
Oct 16 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
Oct 17 Ottawa, ON – Club SAW
Oct 18 Montreal, QC – L’Esco
Oct 21 Woodstock, NY – Colony
Oct 22 Holyoke, MA – Race Street Live
Oct 23 Pawtucket, RI – The Met
Oct 25 Portland, ME – Space
Oct 26 Portsmouth, NH – 3S Artspace
Oct 27 Boston, MA – Crystal Ballroom