The Thermals are joining forces with Saddle Creek Records to release their sixth studio album, Desperate Ground, and we are pretty damn thrilled to hear it. This partnership between The Thermals, a Portland punk staple and Saddle Creek, a fundamental, early indie catalyst, has revived our faith in the music that led us here.
Apparently, our admiration of the Omaha label is pretty universal, and The Thermals are quite the Saddle Creek enthusiasts. We caught up with frontman Hutch Harris, who spilled his 10 favorite songs ever released by the iconic label.
Listen to the mixtape and read Hutch's comments below.
I've been a fan of Saddle Creek for about as long as they've been around. Here are my top ten tracks from my favorite Saddle Creek bands.
Conor Oberst may be known for doom and gloom, but he's a sexy motherfucker as well, and one of the few songwriters of my generation who can actually write about sex without being crass. This song is a perfect example of that. Kathy (Foster, Thermals bassist) and I organized the first Bright Eyes show in Portland, and we've been bros ever since.
The Thermals and Cursive toured together back in 2006. We had just released The Body, The Blood, The Machine, they were promoting Happy Hollow. It was very appropriate, considering both records were gigantic slabs of blasphemy. We got along great with these guys, and yes we've been bros ever since.
One of many awesome bands Conor Oberst turned me on to. The Faint were not only far ahead of the dance rock revolution of the '00s, they were much darker and way more punk than most of their contemporaries.
Before this list turns into a total sausage fest, let's get Azure Ray in here. From their gorgeous self-titled LP, "Sleep" is the perfect breather from all the male angst surrounding it. Orenda and Maria create some of the most beautiful, soothing lullabies these ears have ever heard.
5. Commander Venus - "Lock N' Chase"
Whoa, who the hell are these guys? This is a sweet track by a band that never really got the credit they deserved. I don't know what ever happened to these guys. Wherever they are, I hope they're doing well and still making great music.
Andy Lemaster is the great unsung hero of Saddle Creek. Intricate songwriting, impeccable production, and have you seen the guy? He's a doll! If at this point you're thinking I only signed with Saddle Creek so I could try and sleep with most of their bands, you're right.
Oh, it looks like Stef from The Good Life is ALREADY MARRIED. Well good thing her husband is not only quite handsome but also a really good singer. This band is fantastic! I guess I'm only marrying the dudes in The Good Life.
Yeah, this mix begins and ends with Conor Oberst, why shouldn't it? When Saddle Creek bleeds, it tastes like Conor. With Bright Eyes, Oberst proves how easily he can break your heart. With Desaparecidos, he shows how eager he is to smash your face in as well.
...And here's a new one added to the Baeble list of favorites: The Thermals' latest single, "Born To Kill".
Desperate Ground is available April 16th. Pre-order it here.
If you have a few more minutes, we suggest you watch our trip to the record store with The Thermals: