HALLOWEEN, ALASKA RETURN WITH EAGERLY AWAITED THIRD ALBUM 4/7

East Side Digital recording group Halloween, Alaska has announced the upcoming release of its much anticipated third album. “CHAMPAGNE DOWNTOWN” – the Minnesota-based band’s first new music in more than three years – arrives in stores and at digital retailers on April 7th.
Having earned widespread acclaim for its atmospheric brand of synth-driven indie, “CHAMPAGNE DOWNTOWN” sees Halloween, Alaska crafting its most distinctive and disarming set to date. Songs such as “In Order” and “Gone With The Wind” are complex and thoughtful, rich with simmering textures and literate lyricism. Melding an expansive range of inventive sounds with anthemic indie-rock hooks, “CHAMPAGNE DOWNTOWN” straddles the boundary between the electronic and the organic to create a novel rethink of what pop music can mean in a new millennium.
Halloween, Alaska is comprised of James Diers (voice, keyboards, guitar), Matthew Friesen (bass, sampler), Jacob Hanson (guitar, keyboards, voice), and David King (acoustic and electronic drums) – the latter also serving as the enigmatic drummer with modernist jazz giants, The Bad Plus. Though founding keyboardist/programmer Ev has since left the official touring line-up, he remains on board for recording and assorted sound manipulation. “CHAMPAGNE DOWNTOWN” was recorded by Ev and mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Tchad Blake (Peter Gabriel, American Music Club, Latin Playboys).
Halloween, Alaska came together in 2002, encompassing members of such esteemed local outfits as Love-cars, 12RODS, and Happy Apple. The band self-released its eponymous debut in 2004, drawing critical praise and nationwide exposure when two tracks – “Des Moines” and “All The Arms Around You” – were featured on the Fox series, The O.C. Popular demand saw “HALLOWEEN, ALASKA” reissued the following year by East Side Digital, prompting a further flood of accolades.
“Halloween, Alaska’s emotive verve and electro-organic poise is so accomplished, you’d think you’d got your hands on The Blue Nile’s mislaid comeback album,” declared MOJO in it four-starred rave. “Melancholy stains every measured note, but HA reside slap-bang in the heart of America’s Midwest, and the atmosphere of low, distant horizons and isolation is palpable.” “Mesmerizing stuff,” hailed the Sunday Times, while the Twin Cities’ own City Pages noted that “the album drowns the ears in alien lullabies, though Diers’s candid lyrics about living-room clutter make everyday things just as song-worthy as these strange soundscapes…King combines his traditional drum kit with electronic pads that sound just as they should – beautifully artificial.”
That same year also saw the release of Halloween, Alaska’s sophomore outing, “TOO TALL TO HIDE.” The album – which includes a striking rethink of LL Cool J’s classic “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” – also reaped copious critical hosannas. “Having laid out a defining blend of lush electronica and spare, somber emo-rock on its debut,” wrote The Onion AV Club, “this time out the foursome explores the territory further – it’s soaring and introspective by turns.” “It displays all the charms of this band,” affirmed Pulse, “sentimentality tempered by a wink and masterful musicianship uncluttered by virtuoso-style wankery.”

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