In the new Gillian Waldo-direct music video for “This Thirst,” delirium sets in as Ed Schrader and bassist Devlin Rice work the graveyard shift at a ’50s diner. It’s a bit like if Big Al from Happy Days did a bunch of drugs after the kids went home. “Who is stationed in the guest house?” Schrader sings with the eyes of a lunatic. “Switched your lock and sold the key.”
“This Thirst” and “Berliner” are the first glimpses of Nightclub Daydreaming. The fourth album by art-punk duo Ed Schrader’s Music Beat arrives March 25 via Carpark Records and it offers answers to questions nobody has ever thought to ask. Like, what if David Bowie had been addicted to coke in Baltimore instead of in Los Angeles?
Daydreaming is their first since their lush 2018 breakthrough Riddles. Schrader and Rice said they aimed to make this follow-up a “fun, danceable” record. But the pandemic, then personal tragedy, got in the way. As Rice put it in a statement: “the cave followed us into the discotheque.”
In October 2020, their friend and former VideoHippos drummer Kevin O’Meara went missing and was eventually found dead. O’Meara helped Schrader and Rice road-test “The Thirst” and other new songs while they opened for Dan Deacon’s tour right before the pandemic. Deacon wrote a poetic and moving tribute to O’Meara on his Instagram.
According to Schrader, the album was always about alienation and “mad euphoria in the face of doom.” But the loss of O’Meara brings a dimension of pain, and new emotional territory, to Schrader and Rice’s primal sound.
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat announced a U.S. tour that begins in Richmond, Virginia on March 9, and ends in their home city of Baltimore on April 30 at Ottobar. The full list of dates is on the band’s website.
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat Nightclub Daydreaming Track List:
1. “Pony In The Night”
2. “This Thirst”
3. “Eutaw Strut”
4. “European Moons”
6. “Black Pearl”
7. “Echo Base”
10. “Kensington Gore”