Labor Day weekend often marks the end – of the summer, of vacations, of the long carefree days spent doing a whole lot of nothing but partying and feeling good. But for We Demand Parachutes, Labor Day weekend is the start of a new era, one that begins with the release of the alt-rock trio’s explosive new single “Hungover You”. The track hits the streams today, with the official music video to follow a week later on September 9, the day before the band appears at Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Virginia alongside Slipknot, Ghost, Disturbed and others.
Full-throttle from the first press of the play button, “Hungover You” was produced by Alan Day of Worcester pop-punk heroes Four Year Strong, and serves as the addictive first taste of We Demand Parachutes’ forthcoming EP Outside The Null Field, set for impact in November. “Hungover You” is the jump-off into new and exciting territories for the Maine-born, Boston-based group, and though the track arrives at the end of summer, that feeling of endless fun and never-ending good times is solidified at its core as it explodes out of the speakers. It’s the conduit for a personal connection between We Demand Parachutes’ three core members – vocalist and guitarist Kevin McCord, bassist and programmer Seth Richardson, and drums and percussionist Ben Shumaker – and their creative community of friends, fans and collaborators that spans far and wide.=
“‘Hungover You’ evolved as a joyful song about friendship and community,” the band says. “The verses reference our good friends in Boston and partying until late and then going home to work on writing music in Kevin’s basement. A lot of our songs are thematically darker; this EP in particular references anxiety, mental health and coming home from war. ‘Hungover You’ juxtaposes those themes and celebrates having a voice and making music with a group of friends in a positive, receptive creative community. We like to think we explore the darker themes on the album but leave the listener with a moment of positivity and gratitude.”
That gratitude shines through across a spectrum of energetic bliss on “Hungover You,” as the band – which takes its moniker from McCord’s time deployed overseas as a green beret in the United States Military – linked up with Day to augment a sound built up since formation a few years ago. This track, like We Demand Parachutes’ previous six singles dating back to their 2019 debut “Cameraman,” and to last year’s “Lost Her Mind” collab with Olivia Castriota, was mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering in Maine – where each member grew up as kids.
“‘Hungover You’ began as a demo several years ago and underwent a long period of tracking and mixing it to final form,” the band admits. “We had started to make release plans when the opportunity to work with Alan arose. We knew it was a strong contender for a potential record and were excited about the perspective that Alan could bring. In the studio, ‘Hungover You’ was the third song we worked on, and Alan brought great ideas that took the song beyond our expectations. One of those changes occurred during pre-production when Alan introduced an idea for a new chord progression in the chorus that led with the minor 6th in the key and progressed up the scale. This is fun from a songwriting perspective because it gives some minor chord tonality to a very uplifting and major sounding song.”
We Demand Parachutes describe working with Day as “a perfect example of exceptional collaboration,” as the producer took the initial shape of the song and helped further shape it into the melodic, super-polished pop powderkeg it is today. Working with Day was the normally DIY trio’s first experience working with a producer, “and it blew us all away what an external perspective can bring… Alan has been both a songwriter and musician on projects we have listened to and loved for years so adding his perspective as a fourth member was incredible.”
Day’s experience working with a host of artists that We Demand Parachutes cite as influences, from Knuckle Puck and Can’t Swim to Seaway and Cherie Amour, and, of course, Day’s own Four Year Strong, helped crystalize a sound that skips a rock across a genre pond to touch on elements of pop, post-hardcore, indie, pop-punk, and emo. But what emerges as “Hungover You” defies any easy categorization – it’s the type of song that transcends scenes and cliques and resides in its own sense of confident cool. And it sets an exciting pace for the four-track Outside The Null Field EP, the band’s most cohesive and over-arching release to date, that will arrive in the fall. This song, like the others, will be on full display as the band brings an energetic and upfront live show to stages across New England and New York – and down to Blue Ridge for the festival crowd.
“‘Hungover You’ is the high energy single, setting the tone for an EP that picks you up and never puts you down,” the band says. “Thematically we explore concepts of anxiety, nostalgia, and existential dread, and ‘Hungover You’ represents a positive reprieve within that. This EP is autobiographical and authentic to who we are in our own lives. You can expect to hear a lot of dynamic progressions with a focus on storytelling. We feel that our sound has come into its own through the creation of this EP, and we couldn’t be more excited. Ultimately, we want to connect with people.”