Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Announce Sophomore Album 'This Unruly Mess I've Made' Release Date

Jason Koenig
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

More than three years after releasing their Grammy-winning debut album The Heist, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are back with their official sophomore LP, titled This Unruly Mess I've Made. As with their first album, this next offering will be self-released, and is due out Feb. 26.

Along with the album title and release date, the Seattle-based duo also released the cover art, an album trailer and a personal letter from Macklemore. "I couldn’t escape," he writes. "I’d been escaping the whole time. I had to finally look. Look at the mess we had made. In all its lacquered glory and its tarnished failures. Stare at it. Understand it. And then leave. I was too comfortable. Being comfortable is what kills artists."

The album arrives after the success of the group's comeback single, "Downtown," an ode to classic hip-hop that also featured pioneering MCs Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz and Melle Mel, which they performed at the MTV Video Music Awards last August. While the full tracklist has yet to be revealed, This Unruly Mess I've Made will also feature collaborations with Ed Sheeran ("Growing Up") and Leon Bridges ("Kevin"), the latter of which they performed at the American Music Awards in November.

The Heist debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 after its October 2012 release, with singles "Thrift Shop" featuring Wanz and "Can't Hold Us" featuring Ray Dalton climbing to No. 1 on the Hot 100. "Downtown" has peaked at No. 12 on the chart.

"I didn’t know what I wanted to say," Macklemore continues in the letter, seemingly explaining the long delay between releases. "Didn’t know how the ink would stick to the page. How to let go of the anxiety and suffocating fear that latched on to my vocal cords. I had to figure out how to use my voice again. So, we went ghost. The Irish Goodbye, into the woods, in the dead of winter. We bought a 1985 Suburban, loaded up some equipment and left town."

This Unruly Mess I've Made was recorded in the past year in the woods around their native Pacific Northwest. Check out the album trailer -- in which Macklemore narrates his letter in an increasingly urgent tone -- below and read the full letter right here.