DeVotchKa frontman Nick Urata says the group’s new label, Concord Records, deserves some credit for “Angels,” the hard-rocking track which premieres exclusively below from the group’s upcoming sixth album, The Night Falls Forever.
“I had nine or 10 of the songs together that I thought were great and gave them to the record company, and they were really excited,” Urata tells Billboard. “But they were like, ‘We need a couple more songs,’ which was the last thing I wanted to hear. I had been working this ‘Angels’ song for, like, a year or two and really liked the chorus but hadn’t finished it. So (Concord) certainly lit a fire under the song and forced me to focus on it, so that’s some of the urgency that you hear that we hopefully captured on tape.”
Urata and his DeVotchKa mates also don’t mind having another high-octane track in the group’s repertoire, either. “That’s definitely one reason I love that song,” he says. “It feels like a good sort of driving song, something you’d want to put on for a long road trip. I hope it comes across that way.”
This Night Falls Forever is due out Aug. 24 and is DeVotchKa’s first new album since 100 Lovers in 2011. Some of that interim was marked by the search for a new label, while Urata acknowledges getting lost in a bit of a rabbit hole of film and TV scoring during that time. “We were doing performances the entire time, and I was recording these songs the entire time and the early iterations just weren’t cutting it,” Urata recalls. “So I just kept digging in, digging in, and before I knew it five or six years had passed. But looking back, I’m kind of glad it went that way. It was a bit of a luxury to take that much time, but I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out.” And fortunately, Urata adds, the rest of the band was patient with the process.
“They’re collaborators,” Urata says. “They’re certainly excited whenever I have something new and something finished, and certainly they were always there to help me flesh out these ideas. They might have felt like, ‘Hey, this is taking a minute…,’ but they weren’t putting a lot of pressure on me.”
DeVotchKa will celebrate the album’s release with an Aug. 23 show at Rough Trade in New York, then hit the road for a short North American tour starting Sept. 19 in Vancouver, with a quick European run slated for late November. “That’s a big part of what we’re looking forward to, probably the best part of putting out a record,” Urata says. “You can see what people are latching on to. I did try to think of that when I was putting these songs together, but there’s no way to know if it worked until you’re in front of them playing the songs.”