After months of dropping hints at shows and teasing you on Twitter, we are pleased to announce that production on the fourth Flobots record is underway.
Our new album is called NOENEMIES. NOENEMIES is unlike anything we’ve ever made.
The mission of NOENEMIES is to make the biggest impact we can on the communities that have touched our lives as a band and as human beings. We’ve determined that the best way for us to achieve this is by giving you the tools we use every day to build power and combat fear and greed in the world around us. NOENEMIES is a two-part record.
The first part is a brand-new Flobots record like the ones we’ve shared with you in the past, the next chapter in our musical journey.
The second is a collection of protest songs. Songs of spirit. Songs of power. Our hope is that you can use these songs as a tool for uniting and uplifting those around you. When we raise our voices together we remind ourselves that another world is possible- a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world- and that building this world will require participation from all of us.
To walk amongst each other, joined through song, is to know that we’re part of something bigger. When we sing together, our power is revealed. We know ourselves to be a sleeping giant.
Here are 5 reasons why.
Over the last few years we’ve been searching for what it means to raise our voices together. We’ve asked the question at churches, schools, prisons, protests, museums, senior centers, caves, tunnels, canoes, and abandoned water tanks. We have found ourselves making music with poets, storytellers, second line marching bands, youth choirs, intertribal drum circles, symphony orchestras, drumlines, breakdancers, singing cowboys, and most importantly, regular people who don’t see themselves as musicians.
These adventures have opened our eyes to a larger story, one filled with scenes of struggle spanning from the stage to the street.
Now it is time to tell that story.
We are determined to do whatever it takes to make sure this is our best album yet.
If we need to set up in the stairwell of a skyscraper to record the perfect drum sounds, we will.
If we need to organize a parade to provide the background texture for a song, we will.
If we need to enlist friends from across the country or the other side of the musical spectrum, we will.
Nothing is off the table. Because this album has a higher purpose.
NOENEMIES was born from a vision that our next batch of songs could sprout organically from the trenches of today's social struggles. But when we sought to locate the folk songs of today’s protests, we had trouble finding them. We realized we needed to grow them.
But instead of trying to grow songs right away, we decided our first step was to focus on the soil itself, to begin reclaiming collective singing as a tool for social change. We set out to create a new folk culture.
To do this, we reached out to friends from the Black Lives Matter movement and the movement for Climate Justice, friends from Occupy Wall Street and friends working on migrant’s rights, and we literally just invited people into the same room and said “what songs can we all sing?”. Then we asked this same question of people OUTSIDE of social movements. People who don't see themselves as activists. People who might not agree on things.
We did this again and again. More than 50 times over the last year.
The more we did it, the more songs we found in common. Some old. Some new. Many borrowed.
It blew our minds.
That’s why we can tell you, without any hyperbole, that NOENEMIES is much more than an album. It is a movement.
And that’s why for NOENEMIES, we will not only release a full length LP of brand new Flobots studio tracks, but we’ll also be creating a second disc filled with a live recording of street music embodying this modern folk culture, performed in collaboration with an army of our sonic allies- a full menagerie of choirs and street instrumentalists.
The songs on this second disc will also be released in the most analog and retro of formats- a book- featuring lyrics, tabs, and arrangements for 12 songs that we believe speak to us all, no matter our cause, background, or subculture. We’re thinking of it as a modern American songbook.
We’ve always been very protective of our creative process. Our first album (Fight With Tools) had already been released locally when it was picked up by Universal Republic. Our last album (Circle in the Square) was already mixed and mastered before we were even approached by the smaller label we ended up working with. We’ve always been fiercely independent in our approach. But this time we want to take it further.
We want this album, more than any other, to speak to our collective power. So instead of looking for labels. We’re looking to you.
By pre-ordering NOENEMIES, you will help us recoup all the costs of recording, producing, mixing, mastering, and duplicating the album, the live recording, and the modern american songbook, as well as publicizing, promoting, releasing, and distributing it! You will help launch us into the next phase of our career, which of course means going out on the road and bringing the music to your community. It means shows. It means workshops. It means sharing our tools.
It means you will become a part of the movement.
The year most people got to know us was 2008, the national release of Fight With Tools. 2008 was also a historic election year. 8 years later, as we prepare to release our album in 2016, the country is gearing up for another decisive election. Many of our friends think this timing is significant.
Now, elections may generate conversations. But movements change the course of history.
When we look at the movements happening today, we see everyday people seeking to resist violence, racism, and destruction. We see raised voices crying out for transformation. It is critically important that they succeed.
That’s why with NOENEMIES we aim to do more than just release another batch of songs.
In whatever way we can, large or small, we aim to make history.
We hope you will join us.
Risks and challenges
Our plan is to finish recording by December and release the album in March. But our highest priority is making you the best album we have ever made. If that means a later release date, we will change the date as needed rather than sacrifice quality.
This album is designed to resonate.
This album is designed to awaken.
And that means something very specific.
That means that even after the songs are mixed and mastered and the CD's are manufactured, shipped, and in your hands, the project is still not completed.
In a world that teaches you to be silent, the true completion of this project will happen when you join together with others to overcome the fear of isolation with the courage to raise your voice.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter