UPDATE: Refused is streaming their new album, their first in 17 years, one week before its official release. The album is available to hear exclusively on Pandora.
After unexpectedly announcing a wave of shows for 2015, including dates with Faith No More, Swedish hardcore band Refused have given fans the biggest and best surprise by revealing that they will release a new album, Freedom, the group's first in 17 years. The follow-up to 1998's revered The Shape of Punk to Come is set to drop June 30th and is led by the new song "Elektra," which can be streamed below.
"It's not a reunion anymore," vocalist Dennis Lyxzén said in a statement. "This is one of the most radical things we've ever done, both musically and lyrically."
Refused broke up just months after the release of The Shape of Punk to Come, an album that has since been recognized as a modern classic for its politically-charged lyrics and ambitious fusion of hardcore, techno, jazz and hip-hop.
The band reunited in 2012 to play shows that served as a belated victory lap for the record. But after that year's final performance in the group's hometown of Umeå, Sweden, Refused appeared to be finally, in their words, "fucking dead" – though Lyxzén did leave the door open for yet another resurrection. "We said in the summer when we played our last show, that was the last show," he told Rolling Stone in 2013. "Everyone is just busy with life. That being said, never say never."
According to drummer David Sandström, the band was inspired by critics and fans wary of the group damaging their legacy by releasing new music. "Nobody wanted us to fuck with the image of the band who makes a great album and splits up," he said. "Nobody wanted us to dilute it. That actually provoked us."
"Elektra," as well as the new track "366," was produced and co-written by longtime Refused fan and fellow Swede Shellback, who is best known for his chart-topping work with pop artists like Taylor Swift and Pink. Freedom – which is available for preorder at refusedstore.com – was otherwise overseen by producer Nick Launay (Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd., Nick Cave and Arcade Fire).
Refused's first U.S. performance of 2015 will take place at the Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas on May 24th. Full tour dates can be found below.
Freedom track list:
2. "Old Friends / New War"
3. "Dawkins Christ"
5. "Thought Is Blood"
6. "War on the Palaces"
7. "Destroy the Man"
9. "Servants of Death"
10. "Useless Europeans"
Refused tour dates:
May 2 – Meerhout, Belgium @ Grozerock
May 22 – Hünxe, Germany @ Ruhrpott Roden Open Air Festival
May 24 – Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling festival
May 25 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
May 26 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
May 28 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
May 29 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
May 30 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
May 31 – Chicago, IL @ Double Door
June 1 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
June 3 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
June 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 5 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
June 20 – Montebello, QC, Canada @ Amnesia Rock Fest
June 27 – Seinäjoki, Finland @ Provinssi
July 2 – Gdynia, Poland @ Open'er Festival
July 11 – Collalbo, Italy @ Rock im Ring Festival
July 16 – Viveiro, Spain @ Resurrection Fest
July 17 – Tonsberg, Norway @ Slottsfjell
July 18 – Tromso, Norway @ Bukta Tromso Open Air Festival
July 30 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Music Park
July 31 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
August 1 – Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center
August 2 – Columbia, MA @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 4 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
August 5 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
August 7 – Toronto, ON @ Ricoh Coliseum
August 28 – Bramham, UK @ Leeds Festival
August 29 – Gräfenhainichen, Germany @ Pure & Crafted Festival
August 30 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival