MewithoutYou Goes ‘Crazy’ Orchestral
MewithoutYou Goes ‘Crazy’ Orchestral

Philadelphia based folk-rock act mewithoutYou are slated to return with their fourth album, "it's all crazy! it's all false! it's a dream! it's alright" on May 19 on Tooth & Nail. The eleven song set was recorded over the last year and shows a richer, more complex side of the band which was starting to rear its head during the sessions for 2006's "Brother, Sister."

To get a bigger, more experimental sound, the group scaled back from two guitarists to one and hired a composer to do a bevy of string and horn arrangements. The result is an orchestral folk record that fans of bands like Annuals, the Decemberists, or Danielson would be drawn to. "We tried to pick up where we were stretching it on the last record," guitarist Michael Weiss tells Billboard.com. "We thought lets make that the norm and take it out a little further. We had [composer] Joshua Stomper come in and he got down into real composition- he made everything work in such a way to produce a huge, beautiful sound."

mewithoutYou has long been associated with having a Christian following, and while Weiss concedes that this album sees lead singer/lyricist Aaron Weiss "opening himself up to a wider, spiritual influence," the overt references to the animal kingdom during the tuba infused "the Fox, the Crow, and the Cookie" and the six minute, orchestral rock of "the King Beetle on a Coconut Story" suggest that mewithoutYou could find a new, more mainstream audiences this year.

"A lot of people focus on Aaron's faith, but I think that each song has a very dense element to it. A general sense of joy and happiness," Weiss says. "The growing Christian culture- it's not something we've completely slammed the door on. We've definitely been a part of certain festivals. But I feel like you can't worry about what people are going to write about you- you can sit there and marvel at the whole thing."

mewithoutYou will be joined by Danielson for a release show at Philadelphia's Trocadero on May 23 and will launch a national tour on June 8 at the Canal Club in Richmond, Virginia.