The Gaslight Anthem - History Books [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Canary Yellow LP] | RECORD STORE DAY
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Like so many of the most essential rock bands, The Gaslight Anthem have a rare gift for finding glory in the inescapable pain of being alive. On their new album History Books—their first new music in over nine years—the New Jersey-bred four-piece bring their soulful breed of punk to ten thrilling songs exploring everything from mortality to mental illness to the more precarious dimensions of human connection. In the tradition of their seminal sophomore album The ’59 Sound, The Gaslight Anthem’s sixth full-length ultimately achieves of the tremendous feat of hitting every raw nerve while endlessly inspiring wildly triumphant singing-along.

“A lot of this record is questioning all the bad stuff we see in the world and the difficult things we go through in life, and asking how to deal with it,” says vocalist/guitarist Brian Fallon, whose bandmates include drummer Benny Horowitz, bassist Alex Levine, and lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia. “I think the answer is that we’re all in this together and that somehow makes it okay, even when it’s anything but easy. The main message of the album is empathy.”

The first release from their own Rich Mahogany Recordings (a label distributed via Thirty Tigers), History Books finds The Gaslight Anthem working with acclaimed producer/engineer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Death Cab for Cutie) and recording at his Bridgeport, CT-based Tarquin Studios. “We didn’t have any interest in reinventing what The Gaslight Anthem sounds like,” Fallon reveals. “We wanted to stay true to ourselves but also let Peter do what he does best, which is to make things sound beautiful and sad and fun and exciting all at the same time.” Featuring a guest appearance from longtime Gaslight Anthem champion Bruce Springsteen, History Books matches its unfussy yet gracefully crafted sound with the force-of-nature energy that’s defined the band since getting their start playing basement shows back in the mid-aughts. “None of us wanted to make a very somber or serious record showing how much we’ve matured,” says Fallon. “We’ve all changed and grown and learned so much, but the overall mood was a feeling of excitement to be back together and making music that means something to us.”

The follow-up to 2014’s Get Hurt, History Books takes its title from a heavy-hearted track about the power in letting go of what no longer serves you. “I think forgiveness is so important on so many levels, but I’ve learned that in some cases you need to cut ties with the people who’ve done you harm,” says Fallon. Rooted in lyrics that perfectly encapsulate Fallon’s penchant for gorgeously lived-in poetry (e.g., “Nights of smoke and dirty jokes/Darkened rooms with lonely ghosts/They were beautiful some time ago/But time keeps rollin’ us on”), “History Books” also echoes the album’s themes of transience and transcendence. “In some ways each song is a history book—they each tell a story of the past, and all the things that we’ve left behind,” Fallon points out.
History Books is available on CD, LP, Indie-exclusive Yellow Vinyl, and a "Ten Bands One Cause" Pink Vinyl.   Proceeds from the "Ten Bands One Cause" edition benefit the Red Door Community, an organization that provides community support for both those diagnosed with cancer and their caretakers.

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