Like loads of other young bands, dance-pop outfit Stepdad are in a constant state of flux. When the group formed in summer 2009 on Chicago’s South Side, it was as a duo of songwriters/producers/college dropouts Ryan McCarthy and Mark Tafel (aka ultramark). After compiling a boatload of songs, they left the Windy City for the serenity of Grand Rapids, MI, where they recorded their debut EP, Ordinaire.
From there, they added bassist Alex Fives and drummer Jeremy Malvin, at which time they started a run of shows with the likes of Fitz and the Tantrums, Passion Pit, and Rubblebucket. Now, following the recent inclusion of multi-instrumentalist Nathan K. to the lineup, the group will release their debut LP, Wildlife Pop, on June 12th via Black Bell Records/Warner Bros.
Produced by Chris Zane (Asobi Seksu, The Walkmen, Les Savy Fav) in NYC last summer, the 11-track album sees the band expand into poppier, more accessible realms, according to a press release. Proof positive of that expansion is evident in the album’s latest single, “Will I Ever Dance Again”.
Featuring a myriad of synth sounds, from the shimmery and danceable to the one that buzzes like an incessant bee, the track exemplifies sonic instability. And though ultramark’s vocals are just as unpredictable, bouncing between a New Wave whisper and a falsetto screech, they lend an air of cohesion by never ceasing to be enthralling in their theatricality. Stream it below.
Wildlife Pop Tracklist:
01. Must Land Running
03. Show Me Your Blood
04. Mystery in the Faking
05. Will I Ever Dance Again
06. To Ribbons
07. My Leather, My Fur, My Nails
08. Pick & Choose
09. Starfriends on Earth
10. Treasure Hugs
12. Warrior (Jungles Part 2)