Over the past two decades, Chicago indie rockers The Sea and Cake have quietly supplanted themselves as one of the more reliably satisfying bands in modern music. The quartet exists like a perennial public figure you don’t believe was ever younger than 50; the type you assume was just born with that seasoned, attractive look and well-established resume. Their sound is a mix of many styles while also including many constants: delicate and jazzy guitar work, sonic drum beats, a penchant for lengthy instrumental sequences, and the ever-present calmness of lead singer Sam Prekop’s voice.

On September 18th, Prekop and fellow members Archer Prewitt, Eric Claridge, and John McEntire will add to their discography with the release of Runner on Thrill Jockey Records, their tenth studio effort. The first single “Harps” was shared recently, and you can check it out above. Runner began as a simultaneous project during the recording of the band’s 2011 album The Moonlight Butterfly , before maturing into its own entity. Prekop explains in a Thrill Jockey press release:

Normally I would ignore past efforts when writing something new, but this felt different, The Moonlight Butterfly was ripe for expansion. Keeping the butterfly in mind focused a direction and provided a good jumping off point….I was interested in writing songs that started not with guitar but with synthesizer/sequencer ideas. The modular synth parts didn’t always make it through to the final recordings, but the influence is still there. On “Harps” for instance, that melody and structure could not have happened if I hadn’t played off the sequencer right at the beginning. Having the pieces start in my home studio, I became quite cavalier with them, painting with a new fat sloppy brush. The songs were feeling pleasantly out of control and I was hearing music unlike other material I had come up with before.

The group has also announced a nationwide fall tour that includes a November 8th stop at Slim’s. Grab your tickets here and check out the full schedule below.

The Sea and Cake 2012 Tour Dates

10-18 Toronto, Ontario – Lee’s Palace
10-19 Montreal, Quebec – Il Motore
10-20 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
10-21 Brooklyn, NY – Littlefield
10-22 New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge
10-23 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
10-24 Washington, DC – Black Cat
10-25 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
10-26 Nashville, TN – Cannery Row
10-27 Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre Ballroom
10-28 St. Louis, MO – Luminary Center
10-29 Chicago, IL – City Winery
11-01 Vancouver, British Columbia – Rickshaw Theatre
11-03 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
11-04 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
11-05 Eugene, OR – WOW Hall
11-06 Arcata, CA – Jambalaya
11-07 Petaluma, CA – Mystic Theatre
11-08 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
11-09 Visalia, CA – Cellar Door
11-10 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Bar
11-11 San Diego, CA – Casbah
11-13 Marfa, TX – Padre’s
11-14 Austin, TX – Mohawk
11-15 Dallas, TX – Trees

The Sea and Cake
November 8, 2012
9:00pm, $21