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Amen Dunes debuts “Blue Rose,” his new album’s weird and warm opener

Freedom comes out March 30.

February 14, 2018

Damon McMahon's decade-old Amen Dunes project has taken on various sonic forms over the years. The music on the New York psych songwriter's newest album, Freedom, feels like a big leap forward, especially in terms of emotional directness. "Blue Rose," his new "Praise You"-paced tearjerker, debuting above with a dreamy video directed by Alex Goldberg, is a nice example of that. It's warm, melodic, and, according to a statement from the artist, at least somewhat autobiographical.

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McMahon describes the track as a "teenage clarion call," one that deals with "growing up with an unpredictable father, fighting back with music, drugs and fantasy, and eventual escape from it all." Those themes come across in the lyrics, which brilliantly channel the kind of over-it-all passion that only a stoned and creative teen could muster. "When evening comes, I go call up the band," McMahon sings on the opening, sounding nasally but clear-headed over peppy drums. "We play religious music, don’t think you’d understand, man."

Freedom comes out March 30 on Sacred Bones.
Tour dates:

Sat. March 31 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Tue. April 10 – Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theatre *
Wed. April 11 – Sacramento, CA @Crest Theatre *
Thu. April 12 – San Pedro, CA @ Warner Grand *
Sat. April 14 – Marfa, TX @ Marfa Myths
Sun. April 15 – San Diego, CA @ Humphreys Concerts By The Bay *
Tue. April 17 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Pomona *
Wed. April 18 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Madonna Expo Center *
Fri. April 20 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre *
Mon. April 23 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub
Tue. April 24 – Hamburg, DE @ Goldener Salon
Wed. April 25 – Copenhagen, DK @ Hotel Cecil
Fri. April 27 – Brussels, BE @ Grand Salon Boutique
Sat. April 28 – Paris, FR @ Badaboum
Mon. April 30 – Brighton, UK @ Prince Albert
Tue. May 1 – Leeds, UK @ Headroom House
Wed. May 2 – London, UK @ Omeara
Mon. May 7 – Houston, TX @ Revention Music Center *
Tue. May 8 – San Antonio, TX @ The Tobin Center for The Performing Arts *
Thu. May 10 – El Paso, TX @ Abraham Chavez Theatre *
Sat. May 12 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater *
Mon. May 14 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom *
Tue. May 15 – St Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House *
Thu. May 17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Benedum Center for The Performing Arts *
Fri. May 18 – Washington, DC @ Anthem *
Sat. May 19 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live *
Mon. May 21 – Nashville, TN @ The Ryman *
Tue. May 22 – Nashville, TN @ The Ryman *
Wed. May 23 – Louisville, KY @ Iroquois Amphitheater *
Thu. May 24 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Murat Theatre *
Sat. May 26 – South Burlington, VT - The Green at Shelburne Museum *
Thu. June 7 - Sat. June 9 – Porto, PT @ Primavera
Thu. June 14 - Sun. June 17 – Dover, DE @ Firefly Festival
Thu. Aug. 30 - Sep. 2 – Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival
Thu. Sep. 6 - Sep. 9 – Portmeirion, UK @ Festival No. 6

* w/ Fleet Foxes

Thumbnail image by Michael Schmelling