Austin, TX indie/folk-rock trio Under The Rug are preparing to release their new LP, Dear Adeline, out everywhere February 25th, 2022. Today, the band released the album's third single, "As Long As You're Here," which Spill Magazine called, "An expressive, Shakespeare-inspired, piano and vocal-led ballad." "As Long As You're Here" is out now.
A change in perspective can paint a picture in a whole new light. Austin, TX trio Under the Rug took this idea to heart when creating their stunning LP, Dear Adeline, a ten-track collection of emotive, dynamic indie rock that chronicles grief, tumult, and healing after the loss of a loved one and simultaneous dissolution of a romantic relationship. Like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Dear Adeline was written and self-produced in real time over the course of five years, each track capturing a specific moment in time that, when put together, creates a beautiful, three-dimensional portrait of the grieving and healing process. “If you’re not surprising yourself or learning something through the songwriting process then your songs will probably be boring,” says vocalist Casey Dayan. “The first few songs we wrote for Dear Adeline were written right after my mom died and my relationship ended and are really reactionary, and then the rest I wrote as I was figuring things out over the last few years. Each song on the album is a different stage of dealing with those events.”
Since forming over a decade ago, Under the Rug have cut their teeth as songwriters and engineers, writing and recording dozens of projects, amassing a dedicated fanbase, garnering praise from major publications like American Songwriter and independent tastemaker blogs including Mystic Sons, Two Story Melody, Comeherefloyd, LA On Lock and more, and even receiving a co-sign from The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle.
In addition to the natural growth that comes with the passage of time, Dear Adeline was written in part during a major shift for Under the Rug, as the trio—Dayan, guitarist Sean Campbell, and drummer Brendan McQueeney—relocated from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas. That change spurred their creativity in a new direction, pulling them out of a self-described rut that was the result of staying in one place for too long. “There’s something exciting about being in a new area and experimenting in a new space,” says McQueeney. “We had no idea how anything was going to sound in our new studio, so we were like kids, just trying things and playing around and it gave us this new energy.”
Stretching out such an emotionally raw project over a period of years, however, took an understandable toll on the group and Dayan in particular, whose own experiences are the primary inspiration for Dear Adeline. “Making this record was hard!” says Dayan. "There were times when I felt done with it—I’d moved on and was happy—but I’d started this years’ long project that was asking me to keep putting myself back in that headspace.”
Listeners will find that the group’s trust in one another and willingness to lay themselves emotionally bare results in an album that is as emotionally resonant as it is sonically compelling. At its core, Dear Adeline is a stadium-ready indie/alt record, but it continuously twists in different directions, dipping into prog, bluegrass, and folk territories throughout its runtime.
Dear Adeline kicks off with its title-track, a reflective folk/rock song written immediately after Dayan’s mother passed away and his relationship dissolved. It finds the vocalist attempting to write from the perspective of his future self, a self-penned reminder that one day things will be better. “I was in a really dark place when I started writing,” says Dayan. “But what was harder was trying to figure out how to end the saga, trying to see ahead. The way it finally ended is way more mature than it started, more of an observation about relationships in general rather than just the immediate anger I was feeling. In songwriting, you kind of have to be empathetic towards your characters, which is hard when it’s someone who hurt you. But I’m definitely better for it.”
Elsewhere on the album, the group takes a more high-concept approach to examining the grieving process. “Go To Sleep” is a mesmerizing ballad about the weight of insomnia, while “Eating Carrots” is a raw, somewhat humorous depiction of desperation in the throes of emotional distress.
To hear Dear Adeline as it is being released is to hear an empathetic chronicle of the healing process, but also an impressive exercise in restraint when it comes to editing. “These songs were all written at a specific moment in time,” says Campbell. “When we look back at them it’s easy to judge them and want to update them, post-healing, post-closure, but you have to leave them alone.”
“Some of these songs are just downright salty, if I could now, I would go back and edit some of them,” adds Dayan, “Be a little more mature, maybe, but I think that vulnerability is where the magic is. Just gotta let them sit and be what they are.”