Taking Back Sunday (John Nolan (lead guitar, piano, vocals), Adam Lazzara (lead vocals), Shaun Cooper (bass) and Mark O’Connell (drums)), announced their eighth studio album ‘152’, set for release October 27, 2023, via Fantasy Records. Named for the section of road in North Carolina between Highpoint, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh where the band and their friends would meet up as teenagers⎯’152’ is the multl-platinum selling rock band’s first full-length offering since 2016’s ‘Tidal Wave’. To mark the occasion, Taking Back Sunday released a brand-new track, ‘S’old’, a fiery declaration of commitment and accountability.
Commenting on their new album ‘152’, Taking Back Sunday stated: "‘152’ offers a lot more hope and light than we first realized when we were in the thick of it, putting it all together. We’ve been fortunate enough, through our music, to grow up with a lot of people going through the same things at the same time, and probably feeling the same way. Our hope is that you’re able to find a little bit of yourself in this new collection of songs, because you’re not alone, and neither are we.”
Produced by Tushar Apte (whom the band met through a mutual collaboration with noted DJ Steve Aoki) and mixed by Neal Avron (Twenty One Pilots, Bleachers), the long-awaited LP features 10 intensely vulnerable and absorbing new tracks all delivered with fresh ambition and newfound purpose. Inspired by the long layoff and the cloud of uncertainty that blanketed the world (and music industry) these past few years, ‘152’ stands among the most genuinely reflective and emotionally pure efforts of Taking Back Sunday’s illustrious career.
“You would think after 20 years, we knew what each other is going to do,” said Lazzara. “But there were so many times making this record where I heard the initial idea and thought I knew where it would go, but then I was super surprised. It’s those kinds of surprises that make it so exciting. That’s why we all still want it so badly.”
Added O’Connell: ”When we’re writing songs, the one thing we ask ourselves, ‘Is it capable of making people feel something?’ You try to make people feel emotion. That’s the one goal we went in with, and we think we did it.”
From the album’s intricate riffs and anthemic vocals to its elegantly warm synths and economical string arrangements, the quartet work-shopped these new tracks like never before. That musical ambition, both musically and lyrically, is evident on the soaring album opener, ‘Amphetamine Smiles’, a powerful tale of reconnection that is as much about the band themselves as it is the world at-large. From send-up to seriousness, Taking Back Sunday continually challenged one another, exploring musical ideas in new and exciting ways. So many of these tracks dig deep and connect on a gut level. ‘S’old’ struggles with the obligations of adult responsibility and acceptance, (the previously released single) ‘The One’, is a far-reaching anthem of love and brotherhood, ‘Keep Going’, tracks the self-defeating darkness of betrayal, and ‘Quit Trying’, drips with a ‘can’t run from who you are’ self-awareness. All through ‘152’, the consistent thread is one of generosity, gratitude and ultimately, hope.
Over two decades, Taking Back Sunday have cultivated a massive, dedicated fanbase built around music that reverberates with sincerity, desire, and connection. The influential, beloved rock powerhouse, originally from Long Island, NY, brought songcraft and pop sensibilities to punk’s rigid conformity that expanded the genre’s contours and carried the band to new heights.
Despite the sizable gap between releases, a new generation of fans have discovered Taking Back Sunday and their enduring legacy has only grown in stature. The new album proves it was well worth the wait. ‘152’ is Taking Back Sunday at their very best, a gripping and self-assured statement from an essential band once again at the peak of their prodigious powers.