The March Divide
Saturday, August 5, 2017 ~7 pm
San Antonio-based songwriter, Jared Putnam, leader of the sometimes more, but usually one-man pop-rock band, The March Divide, returns to Fort Stockton!
The March Divide’s new EP, Don’t Let Me Die in Arizona, will be released August 4th
Thankfully, the upcoming EP is not posthumously titled “I Died In Arizona,” but it came close. “I was in Arizona for a week with my family, and I got sicker than I’ve ever been in my life on that trip,” explains Jared Putnam, The March Divide’s non-stop workhorse and sole permanent member. “For the rest of my life, I’m always going to associate these songs with how sick I was that week. I actually remember listening to the final mixes and saying out loud, ‘please, don’t let me die in Arizona.’” Today, Putnam is safely back home in San Antonio, Texas and will release his inspired new EP, “Don’t Let Me Die In Arizona” on August 4th, 2017.
The new group of five tracks follows up Putnam’s recent series of warmly received covers of iconic hits of the 1980’s, each featuring artwork depicting Putnam digitally “wearing” the hairstyle of the covered artist (his Boy George look is particularly unforgettable!) “Don’t Let Me Die In Arizona” represents the fifth EP of original material, along with three full-length albums, that Putnam has issued since 2013. “This was a different sort of release for me,” he says. “I’ve been experimenting a lot with my approach to percussion, hoping to find a new balance between rock and pop.”
While he’s obviously a tireless songwriting machine, Putnam is also an unlikely torch bearer of a sound that was pioneered by bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, The Promise Ring, and Mineral, and eventually exploded with artists such as Paramore, Dashboard Confessional, and Jimmy Eat World. As many of these artists make comebacks, or get discovered by young people for the first time, Putnam has been steadily building a loyal audience since breaking up The Conversation, his own band of that era. Over the last few years, the press has discovered Putnam’s “completely clever” (Performer) songs “all about lyrics and melodies” (Babysue) that are “impressively hooky” (American Songwriter), filled with “bittersweet beauty” (Impose), “catchy hooks” (Innocent Words), and voiced by a man “gifted with a serious set of pipes” (The Aquarian). Atwood Magazine recently said, “Eloquently simple and concise, Putnam’s lyrics are immediately relatable. His experience and memory transfer directly from the song to the listener.” Those listeners are gaining in numbers, with “I Told You So,” the first single from Putnam’s second album as The March Divide, currently closing in on a million Apple Music streams alone.
Those fans should be satisfied with “Tired Voice,” the first single from “Don’t Let Me Die In Arizona,” as it is a perfect example of the intersection of Putnam’s past, the current revival of the genre, and his new approach to building a rhythm section. “I really wanted to deliver something more pop than rock,” he says of the tune. “Lyrically, this song is about the one step forward, two steps back feeling that comes with every music career, over time. While the highs make it all worth it, the lows are tough, and feel all too frequent.”
Regardless, as anyone who has been doing what Putnam has been doing for this long, he has manages to keep his perspective intact. “It’s important to remember that everything and everyone you leave behind, can and will go on without you,” Putnam concludes.
Jared Putnam is alive and well and living in San Antonio. “Don’t Let Me Die In Arizona,” the latest EP by The March Divide is scheduled for release on August 4th, 2017, preceded by the single and music video for “Tired Voice,” streaming soon.
Louisiana native and Austin resident Ben Millburn released a two part EP series called The Balance EPs over the last year. Austin Town Hall described Part I as “brimming with the perfect backing harmony and this swelling of huge guitar riffs that ring out in your speaker long after the tune is over.” PopMatters described Part II as “downright chilly, like if Kurt Vile’s weirdest stuff was even more glacial and empty. Its folksy guitar is less down-home friendliness and more tumbleweedy desert, no life around for miles.” Millburn is joined live by his new group, Sunglass Moustache, who bring the records to life and who make the live show a unique psychedelic rock and roll experience.