Uppers & Downers is the forthcoming album from Los Angeles singer-songwriter Marlon Rabenreither, better known as Gold Star. Due out September 7th through Autumn Tone Records, it follows last year’s Big Blue.
As its title implies, the LP is an examination of life’s high and lows, the perks as well as the pitfalls. Rabenreither also makes sure to pay close attention to the rest of the spectrum, the moments in between these polar opposites. “The idea was to achieve a deeper scope, a more dynamic range: slow songs, fast songs, less genre specific, capturing all the moods,” explained Rabenreither in a press statement.
In June, he teased the new album with “Half the Time” and “Chinatown”. The former in particular was a major highlight with Bruce Springsteen splendor, its opening bass line and echoing drums evoking a moving cinematic moment. Picture it: A narrow, dusty road finally opens up to a grand, four-lane highway with golden plains on either side. It’s a riveting feeling, no doubt a “high” phase of Uppers & Downers.
For his latest offering, Rabenreither has shared “Baby Face”, which pulls more from classic ’70s rock and features sturdy, meaner guitars. Per Brooklyn Vegan, it was written with the help of White Fence drummer Nick Murray and The Last Shadow Puppets bassist Zach Dawes. Rabenreither discussed how it all came together:
“’Baby Face’ began by stacking two different drum loops on top of each other, after that I started messing around with adding Wurlitzer and the idea for the song started coming together. Once we started cutting the track in the studio, we had Nick Murray (The Growlers, White Fence, Thee Oh Sees) attempt to replicate these samples onto tape. The strings are from a Mellotron, like the samples used on ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. The track also features contributions from Zach Dawes (Last Shadow Puppets, Mini Mansions).”
Take a listen below.
And because they’re that good, revisit “Half the Time” and “Chinatown”:
Gold Star 2018 Tour Dates:
07/18 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall ^
08/05 – County Waterford, IE @ All Together Now Festival
09/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Highland Park Ebell
10/24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
10/29 – London, UK @ The Waiting Room
10/31 – Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Avant-Garde Festival
11/01 – Nijmegen, NL @ Merelyn
11/02 – Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg
11/03 – Groningen, NL @ Take Root Festival
11/04 – Heerlen, NL @ Southern Roots Festival
^ = w/ Phoebe Bridgers