Rise Records and NY-based rock band The Movielife are streaming new song “Ghosts In The Photographs,“ the second song released from the band’s forthcoming studio album, Cities In Search Of A Heart. Previously premiering on The FADER, “Ghosts In The Photographs” is frontman Vinnie Caruana’s call for societal self-betterment in an attempt to expel the negativity present in all of our lives. “The light generated by an army of people striving to be better and to spread more love can destroy the black clouds around us,” Caruana says. “We all have to learn and grow from our mistakes. I don’t want to be haunted by mine; I want them to fuel me to be a better person and to keep pushing forward towards the light.” Cities In Search Of A Heart, The Movielife’s first offering since 2003’s seminal Forty Hour Train Back To Penn, marks the band’s triumphant return to form and is set to be released on Friday, 22nd September by Rise Records (pre-order).
Stream ‘Ghosts In The Photographs’ below here!
Additionally, The Movielife have announced a UK headline run in November (supported by Wallflower). These dates join the previously announced co-headline run that The Movielife is doing with The Early November around the U.S. and Eastern Canada in September and October.
You can see The Movielife at the following dates:
14th November – Joiners Southampton – Tickets
15th November – Underworld London- Tickets
17th November – Exchange Bristol- Tickets
18th November – Key Club Leeds- Tickets
19th November – G2 2P Glasgow- Tickets
20th November – Magnet Liverpool- Tickets
21st November – Academy 3 Manchester – Tickets
Don’t call Cities In Search Of A Heart a comeback album because reunions rarely sound as inspired as this. This is a record that shows how much the group’s songwriters—vocalist Caruana and guitarist Brandon Reilly—have grown since 2003’s Forty Hour Train Back To Penn, and it offers up their most inspired and energized songwriting to date. Whether you’ve loved The Movielife since they were a scrappy Long Island hardcore band in the early 2000s or you’re a recent initiate, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the kinetic energy and lyrical honesty that permeates every note of Cities In Search Of A Heart.
The story of this record officially began two years ago when, after spending a decade on their own projects—Caruana’s I Am The Avalanche and Reilly’s Nightmare Of You—the duo started playing shows together as The Movielife again. “The two of us became close friends again and we both felt like we had learned so much about songwriting since the early 2000s that we should do another record together,” Caruana recalls, speaking from his home in Brooklyn. “We had a great reaction to our reunion shows in 2014 but felt that instead of keeping it on a purely nostalgic level we wanted to write a record together that people could get into today.” Not wanting to taint the band’s legacy or recycle the past, the duo were faced with the monumental task of figuring out exactly who The Movielife are now, which was no easy task.
Caruana and Reilly initially struggled with writing the record until last year when they had the realization that they simply needed to make a new album that captured the punk spark that had been so prevalent in all of their previous releases. “I knew the tempos had to be up and we had to be energetic because that’s what our shows are like and that element is so important to who we are as a band,” Caruana explains. “I have to admit that the task of making this record seemed slightly impossible in the beginning but I’m so happy that we pushed ourselves so hard because we ended up making a Movielife record that we’re freaking out about and can’t wait to share with the world,” he adds.
Caruana has good reason to be excited. From the driving, melodic rocker “Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel” to the fuzzed-out pop perfection of “Laugh Ourselves To Death” and the orchestrally-tinged acoustic ballad “Pour Two Glasses,” the album shows that The Movielife have crafted a collection of songs that’s as captivating as it is catchy. Lyrically, the album sees Caruana once again writing from the heart, about where he is in his life today and about the current state of the world. “The dichotomy of The Movielife has always been upbeat music combined with sometimes unsettling lyrics and on this record that dark cloud is being addressed throughout the record in different ways,” Caruana says of the album. While lines like “We’re all gonna die, exploding in a ball of fire” from “Laugh Ourselves To Death” may sound nihilistic, it’s more of a reaction to the uncertainty that plagues the world today as interpreted through the band’s unique approach to songwriting. On the flip side, Cities In Search Of A Heart features some of the band’s most hopeful songs to date, keeping the album’s overall sound feel far more inspiring than defeatist.
But ultimately Cities In Search Of A Heart is meant to be listened to, not analyzed, so turn it up because rebirths usually aren’t this catchy. “Calling on the hearts, wear it on the sleeve for all to see,” Caruana sings during the album’s infectious closer “Hearts” and with these words it’s clear that he’s singing as much for himself as he is for the band’s listeners who may not have found their own voices quite yet. This album speaks to those very simple yet relatable attributes of what it means to be human during an unprecedented time in human history, so take it all in and hold on tight.
Cities In Search Of A Heart track listing:
01. Ski Mask
02. Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel
03. Ghosts In The Photographs
04. Sister Saint Monica
05. Pour Two Glasses
06. Lake Superior
07. Laugh Ourselves To Death
08. Blood Moon
09. You’re The Cure