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NOLA Punks Donovan Wolfington Premiere Excellent Topshelf Records Debut LP

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Donovan Wolfington

This just in: New Orleans has some great music. Crazy, right? In all seriousness, though, NOLA isn't exactly known for is punk and indie rock, but we've got the premiere of an awesome new album that bucks that trend. 

Donovan Wolfington is a New Orleans-area punk band that has turned dark times and some quick growing up into a diversely alluring sophomore album called How to Treat the Ones You Love. It started off on a Green Day tip and wound up being shaped by the death of a close friend and collaborator. It ranges from the breezy hooks of "Mercurus" to a spoken word rumination on shame and sin over hardcore guitars called "Locusts." 

It's streaming now exclusively via Billboard (ahead of its Aug. 21 release date) and you'll definitely want to check it out:

"We learned an awful lot about ourselves during this process and these songs are a reflection of those lessons," guitarist-vocalist Neil Berthier tells Billboard. While recording the album, studio engineer Rick Naiser died from a bone marrow disorder called myelofibrosis, just two weeks after first calling in sick. Losing their friend, around the holidays no less, demanded a massive creative about-face. "In what started out as, 'Let's make a record that sounds like Nimrod by Green Day,' we ended up making How To Treat The Ones You Love. Now we're all happier and ready to tour forever."

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Two members also quit the band during the recording process (they formed as college freshmen and recently graduated), though a new lineup has solidified for those tour dates (info below). The new lineup features bassist Alex Skalany and drummer Michael Saladis along with Berthier and fellow songwriter-guitarist Matthew Seferian.  

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The new LP (available for pre-order here) is Donovan Wolfington's first for Topshelf Records, after releasing the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark EP through the San Diego-based indie last year. They self-released their first album, Stop Breathing, in 2013. 

Here are their upcoming tour dates:

Aug. 19 - Portland, OR - Anarres w/ Sioux Falls, Alien Boy
Aug. 20 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Rock Shop
Aug. 21 - Cotati, CA - Highway Tattoo w/ Brown Bags
Aug. 22 - Oakland, CA - One Fam w/ Crush
Aug. 24 - Orange County, CA - Programme w/ Casual Friday
Aug. 25 - Riverside, CA - Sinbad's Hookah Lounge w/ Karoshi Boy, Young Jesus
Aug. 26 - San Diego, CA - Treehouse
Aug. 27 - El Centro, CA - Cafe101
Aug. 28 - Los Angeles, CA - Ham and Eggs Tavern w/ Young Jesus (21+)
Aug. 29 - Mesa, AZ - 51 West
Aug. 30 - Albuquerque, NM - Blaze Place
Sept. 1 - Denton, TX - Gatsby's Mansion w/ Mimisiku
Sept. 2 - Austin, TX - Holy Mountain
Sept. 3 - Houston, TX - The Summit