Mt. Joy, the L.A. band who rode to notoriety on the same slipstream that carried radio-friendly Americana-pop artists such as the Lumineers and the Head and the Heart, have announced that their sophomore album, “Rearrange Us,” will be out June 5 via Dualtone Records.
Besides the lives of the founding duo — native Philadelphians and boyhood pals Matt Quinn and Sam Cooper — a lot has been rearranged since the release of their self-titled album in 2018. Yes, they quickly went from songwriters with day jobs in the legal profession to steering a five-piece band to touring worldwide (including opening for the aforementioned Lumineers). But the new singles “Let Loose” and “Strangers” also reveal a turn toward the psych-blues Americana of the 1960s and ’70s, and the artists that music influenced. Maybe they should open for Counting Crows instead of the Lumineers.
The band — Quinn, Cooper, bassist Michael Byrnes, drummer Sotiris Eliopoulos and keyboardist Jackie Miclau — made the album with producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, Modest Mouse).
“Leading up to us hitting the studio, Sam and I were sharing an apartment together and we just got into this great creative rhythm, bouncing ideas off of each other, salvaging little acoustic snippets,” Quinn says in the album announcement. “Jackie and the rest of the band would come over and help build a real architecture around these ideas — putting together parts that now feel instrumental to these compositions. It felt like a real collective, heartening effort.”
It’s as if they’ve traded in their “Astrovan” for a vintage muscle car. They’re enjoying the ride either way.
||| Stream: “Let Loose” and “Strangers”