Tortoise Announce New LP 'The Catastrophist,' Share 'Gesceap' - Rolling Stone
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Tortoise Announce New LP ‘The Catastrophist,’ Share ‘Gesceap’

Chicago post-rock giants to release first album in six years this January

Chicago instrumental rock troupe Tortoise will return in January with a new LP titled The Catastrophist, the quintet’s first album since 2009’s Beacons of Ancestorship. The album will arrive January 22nd via the post-rock band’s longtime label Thrill Jockey, where The Catastrophist is available for pre-order.

The Catastrophist‘s roots lie in a suite of music the City of Chicago commissioned the band to create in 2010 to pay tribute to the area’s rich musical history. “When we finally got around to talking about a new record, the obvious solution to begin with was to take those pieces and see what else we could do with them,” drummer John McEntire said in a statement. “It turned out that for them to work for Tortoise, they needed a bit more of a rethink in terms of structure. They’re all pretty different in the sense that at first, they were just heads and solos. Now, they’re orchestrated and complex.”

The group’s first single “Gesceap” embodies how the commissioned suite turned into The Catastrophist as swerving, 8-bit-like synth melodies build over its eight-minute runtime toward a cataclysmic finish. “To a certain extent, it’s more of a reflection of how we actually sound when we play live,” McEntire says. Tortoise features McEntire along with multi-instrumentalists Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Doug McCombs and Jeff Parker.


While The Catastrophist features 11 new meticulously crafted tracks, the album, unlike past all-instrumental efforts, will feature vocals on two songs courtesy of a pair of special guests: U.S. Maple/Dead Rider’s Todd Rittmann sings on Tortoise’s cover of David Essex’s “Rock On” and Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley contributes to the soul ballad “Yonder Blue.”

Tortoise will play a hometown record release show this January at Chicago’s Thalia Hall before embarking on a spring trek (all dates below).

The Catastrophist Track List

1. “The Catastrophist”
2. “Ox Duke”
3. “Rock On”
4. “Gopher Island”
5. “Shake Hands With Danger”
6. “The Clearing Fills”
7. “Gesceap”
8. “Hot Coffee”
9. “Yonder Blue”
10. “Tesseract”
11. “At Odds With Logic”

Tortoise U.S. and European Tour

1/23 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
1/24 – Milwaukee, WI @ Mad Planet
2/7 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega Jr.
2/8 – Hamburg, DE @ Fabrik
2/9 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain
2/10 – Antwerpen, BE @ Trix
2/11 – Utrecht, NL @ Tivoli
2/12 – St. Gallen, CH @ Palace
2/13 – Geneva, CH @ Antigel Festival
2/14 – Zürich, CH @ Stall 6
2/ 15 – Reutlingen, DE @ Franz.K
2/16 – Vienna, AT @ Arena
2/17 – Budapest, HU @ A 38
2/18 – Zagreb, HR @ Mochvara
2/19 – Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv Club
2/20 – Rome, IT @ Monk Club
2/21 – Milan, IT @ Magnolia Club
3/9 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Cedar Cultural Center
3/11 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Blind Pig
3/12 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
3/13 – Montreal, QC @ Fairmount
3/14 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
3/15 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
3/16 – New York, NY @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
3/17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Littlefield
3/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
3/19 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
3/20 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern
3/22 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
3/23 – Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival
3/24 – Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio

In This Article: Tortoise


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