Rocky Votolato has been an emotional core for the Seattle scene over the past 15 years. With each aching and comforting record, he’s fused folk and country aesthetics with a carried-over hardcore ethos from his youth in post-punk bands like Waxwing. Last month, he shared his eighth solo album, Hospital Handshakes, which saw him returning to a full-band sound and reuniting with producer and former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla. Now just weeks later, he’s already prepped to release Kindred Spirit, a new split EP with fellow songwriter Chuck Ragan, on June 2nd via SideOneDummy Records.
Votolato’s first offering from the EP, “Sparks of Recovery”, may sound familiar to his fans. The track originally appeared on 2012’s Television Of Saints under the name “Sparks”. Here the song takes on new life, with a full band and added twang. The track comes with a lyric video directed by former Bomb The Music Industry frontman Jeff Rosenstock. The clip deftly highlights Votolato’s knack for vivid language in his storytelling, drawing attention to the singer-songwriter’s descriptions of sitting in the back seat of a car after the death of a loved one. It’s all quintessential Votolato. Watch below.
Pre-orders for Kindred Spirit are ongoing.
This isn’t the first time Votolato and Ragan have teamed up. The two songwriters shared the stage for both the 2012 and 2013 versions of The Revival Tour, which saw them hitting the road and collaborating with a slew of other folk musicians. It’s an apt pairing as well considering their punk-turned-folk backgrounds (Ragan has led the iconic Hot Water Music since 1993).