The Moth & The Flame's "The New Great Depression" off Upcoming Album

Photo Courtesy of The Moth & the Flame

Photo Courtesy of The Moth & the Flame

Two years after a life changing surgery, The Moth & the Flame will return February 1st with album Ruthless, an introspective take on the band’s experiences with mental health struggles and overcoming fear. The new release follows their 2016 album Young and Unafraid, praised by The Guardian as “dark, dour US indie with moments of transcendence and transplendence,” in addition to their 2013 EP, &.

The Moth & the Flame created Ruthless alongside producer Peter Katis, a Grammy Award winner who has worked with multi-talented bands like Sigur Ros, Interpol, and Middle Kids. About the release, lead vocalist Brandon Robbins explains, “It’s very basic, really. Piano and acoustic – it’s hard to get more basic than that. We started from there and then added in what we felt was needed, like bass guitar and analog synths, to get these very rich, dark, brooding movie sounds that matched with the soundscape we were trying to build. What we wanted to show people was the journey through anxiety and depression, not just the lows but the highs as well.”

The result is an expansion of the band’s signature lushly atmospheric and delicately moody sound.

Off Ruthless, single “The New Great Depression” tackles themes of depression and anxiety, with Robbins crooning, “Can I trust myself? I’m fine, don’t ask. The truth is the nightmare’s underneath, it’s useless. Oh well, who cares, the truth is the monster in my head is ruthless. Welcome The New Great Depression.” The accompanying music video— created in collaboration with visionary director Will Kindrick— harnesses stark imagery to convey haunting messages.

Two years ago, Corey Fox, friend and owner of the band’s hometown venue, Velour, had fallen in need of a kidney transplant. After learning he was a match, Robbins underwent successful transplant surgery— a procedure which Robbins said “completely transformed every aspect of the band.” Now, the trio demonstrates renewed hope and breadth.

Robbins explains further, ”I have a huge and profound respect for Mark and Andrew, for their patience and essentially their willingness to let me do this knowing it would lead to such a long break for the band. Having a friend come so close to losing his life made me realize that life is short and you need to be honest with people. And from that, I gained this confidence in myself – no one is perfect but I’m going to at least be comfortable talking about my issues because I know that other people are struggling and the connection that you build with people when you struggle together is unbelievable.”

The Moth & The Flame will perform at Hi, How Are You Day in Austin, Texas on January 22nd with The Flaming Lips, Doug Martsch, and Yo La Tengo. Preorder Ruthless on Amazon here.