A fever dream in sonic form, St. Paul & The Broken Bones’ new album The Alien Coast represents the most adventurous and original output yet from an ever-evolving musical powerhouse. In a profound shift for the Alabama-bred eight-piece—Paul Janeway (vocals), Jesse Phillips (bass), Browan Lollar (guitar), Kevin Leon (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Chad Fisher (trombone), and Amari Ansari (saxophone)—the band’s fourth full-length and first for ATO Records strays far from the time-bending soul of past work like their 2014 debut, arriving at a convergence of rock & roll, R&B, psychedelia and funk. At turns explosive, elegant, and unhinged, that sound makes for a majestic backdrop to St. Paul & The Broken Bones’ visceral exploration of the strangest dimensions of the human psyche.
Produced by Matt Ross-Spang, The Alien Coast is the first album St. Paul & The Broken Bones have ever recorded in their hometown of Birmingham. In creating the ultra-vivid dreamscape threaded throughout The Alien Coast, the band’s chief lyricist drew inspiration from such disparate sources as Greek mythology, dystopian sci-fi, 17th century Italian sculpture, and colonial-period history books.