Release Date: Dec 13, 2011
Record label: Downtown
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
With the music industry pulling its belt tighter than Jarvis Cocker’s loosest notch and artist development becoming as antiquated as the mini disc, the only way for a buzz band to survive past their anticipated debut these days is to take matters into their own hands. Critically applauded for their debut album Workout Holiday, White Denim’s follow-up Fits, a chaotic mix that indulged the band’s extreme avant-garde jazz and funk leanings received a less than favourable reception. With the prospect of going back to their day jobs and treating White Denim as a ‘weekend band’, instead of spending their final free summer in last year getting trashed and catching-up on Judge Judy, the band went into drummer Josh Block’s home studio one last time and recorded the aptly titled Last Days Of Summer over one month and then gave it away for free.
White Denim quietly dropped the free online release Last Day of Summer just days after summer was over. Guitarist/vocalist James Petralli attached a note to the posting on their homepage, asking that, should you be compelled once you clicked, you please donate some/any cash for an upcoming tour. In addition to confirming that the trio-turned-foursome's (guitarist Austin Jenkins has been welcomed to the fold) next studio LP was within days of being finished, he wrote, "[Last Day of Summer] is something we made as a little summer retreat from our ongoing work on the third full length...
Doing "a Frank Ocean", here Austin's White Denim give an official release to an album that was given away for free via the band's website in 2010. They have good timing – this year's album, D, should rank highly on many end-of-year lists, and their astounding live show is earning them an increasingly devout fanbase. But this isn't exactly an entry point.
This album was briefly given away as a free download in September 2010, but that doesn't mean White Denim are pulling a fast one here. Label frustrations have thwarted one of America's most rhythmically dazzling bands. Now resolved, Last Day of Summer is being promoted properly. And it's even prettier and easier on the synapses than D – also released this year – without sacrificing any of the complexities for which the Texans are renowned.
Austin's White Denim makes the most of every "staycation. " Like Workout Holiday, the then-power trio's 2008 European debut, Last Day of Summer was cut between tours and taken from sessions that will comprise the band's forthcoming third LP for Downtown Records. Despite the circumstances, Summer's actually the band's most consistent work to date, a 12-song collection of squiggly jazz-pop anchored by the romantic inclinations of singer/guitarist James Petralli, whose layered vocals double in each channel.