Yesterday Austin indie-rockers My Jerusalem finally had the opportunity to share some exciting news the group has been itching to reveal. The band has signed a worldwide record and publishing deal with Washington Square Music, the new imprint from established Alternative label Razor & Tie. The group’s third full-length album is due out this summer followed by an extensive national and international tour.
Washington Square currently lists just eight bands on their roster. Most notably Brooklyn-based The Hold Steady which has a small but rabid international fan base. The band was among the first to sign to the new label. The Craig Finn-led outfit played to full rooms a few years ago when the band was in town recording a new album. The small roster means My Jerusalem will likely enjoy full label support rather than getting lost in the mix as many bands (think Surfer Blood) do after signing a big deal.
“We’re truly excited to work with Washington Square. We miss the feeling of mystery and danger in rock and roll. We want to make sure it doesn’t disappear,” says lead singer Jeff Klein. “Washington Square gets it. This album is a celebration. A really fucked up celebration.”
Razor & Tie/ Washington Square co-owner Cliff Chenfeld elaborated, ““We are very excited to have My Jerusalem join the Washington Square roster. Jeff Klein and the band write innovative songs and it’s a pleasure to partner with an artist who gets plenty of love from both fans and fellow artists alike. My Jerusalem’s signing to Washington Square is a great example of the progress that we are making in attracting outstanding indie artists to the label.”
That’s heady praise coming from a man whose company represents the likes of Brand New, Suzanne Vega and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Incidentally, Austin-based metal gods The Sword are on the Razor & Tie roster as well. My Jerusalem is in good company but not lost amid a sprawling talent roster.
We got to hear some of the exciting new material live during My Jerusalem’s crowded Free Week show at Empire Control Room in January. The performance attracted a number of music industry folks. Rock critic and local radio personality Andy Langer was there as well as Jim Eno (Spoon), Razor & Tie executives and a ton of local musicians. If peers in the music community are supporting My Jerusalem as Chenfeld mentioned, that’s a good indicator the band is making exceptional music.
None other than Public High-Fi studio owner, Eno produced My Jerusalem’s critically acclaimed previous effort, Preachers. The entire album is a great listen. All the tracks are executed well, particularly Born in the Belly and Shatter Together. The latter song often finds Klein in the audience, mic cord trailing behind him as he belts out the lyrics while roaming the room. It’s a good bit of fun amid the somber and often jarring themes presented in the lyrics.
My Jerusalem’s next public appearance will be at South by Southwest (SXSW) next month. The group was invited to play an official showcase again this year. The performance is slated for March 18 at Ether’s Follies at midnight on Austin’s famed Sixth Street. Badges and wristband holders will have priority entry but there is a possibility of tickets available to the public for purchase just before show time.
Klein let us know the band is finalizing details on two other SXSW events. Check My Jerusalem’s Do512 page to get updates on those parties.
My Jerusalem is Jeff Klein (lead vocals), Grant Van Amburgh (drums), Jon Merz (guitar, keys, horns) and Kyle Robarge (bass).