Sheer Mag Release Long-Anticipated New Album ‘Playing Favorites’

Headlining North American Tour Kicks Off March 29

Sheer Mag have labored to carve out a discernibly singular position within the canon of contemporary rock – their sound is unmistakably and immediately recognizable as theirs alone. On Playing Favorites, Sheer Mag’s third full-length and first with Third Man Records, the band capitalize on a decade’s worth of devotion to their own collective spirit—a spirit refined in both the sweaty trenches of punk warehouses and the glamour of concert halls—emerging with a dense work of gripping emotions, massive hooks and masterfully constructed power-pop anthems all lead by frontwoman Tina Halladay’s earth shaking vocals. This is the record the Philadelphian rock and roll four-piece has always been destined to make.

Sheer Mag break significant musical ground on Playing Favorites, elevating their signature approach to rock and roll to lushly cinematic new heights. While at times marked by an intensified sense of melancholy, this newest offering takes stock of the confusing flow of daily life without moralizing, refusing to fall into antagonistic cynicism. Sheer Mag leans into the chaotic thrall of city living, of a life subdivided by the jagged highs and lows of bars, parties, and nightlife culture, with sweetly empathetic remove. 

The album burns with a sweetened gratitude for the lot one has been given in life: the luck of coming up punk; the luck of living an unalienated life; the luck of feeling love, and losing love. Sheer Mag began to work in earnest on their follow up to 2019’s A Distant Call in the summer of 2021, which they originally imagined would take the shape of a tautly constructed 4-song disco EP. Before long, the band realized this new material would perhaps be better served within the context of a fully fleshed out rock LP, bracketed by the support of a wider array of juxtaposing psychic moods and sonic textures. 

Playing Favorites is undoubtedly a record by the same Sheer Mag that audiences of all stripes have spent the last decade falling in love with. In fact, for all of its sonic departures and evolutions, this record is perhaps the most “Sheer Mag” release yet. Not so much a return to form, but rather a realization of those greatest promises that the band has up until now only hinted at. With Playing Favorites, Sheer Mag cater to their tastes and their tastes alone: so long as they continue to do so, the future of rock and roll, that great human tradition, is in the best of hands.

Sheer Mag’s extensive headlining North American kicks off in D.C. on March 29. The run routes them coast to coast through early May. In August they split for a Summer run across the U.K. and Europe. See below for a full list of dates. For tickets and updates, go here.

Are you going to give this one a spin?

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