Exclusive: Umphrey’s McGee Share "Looks," Shapeshifting New Single From it's not us

Music News Umphrey’s McGee
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Exclusive: Umphrey&#8217;s McGee Share "Looks," Shapeshifting New Single From <i>it's not us</i>

Ahead of the impending release of their 11th studio album it’s not us on Jan. 12, singular Chicago rockers Umphrey’s McGee have shared a remarkable new single, “Looks.” The song is available below in lyric video form, exclusively at Paste.

Guitarist Jake Cinninger, who wrote “Looks,” said of the song:

“Looks” is an exploration of future metallic funk, with an undercurrent of uncertainty permeating throughout. The track is about human misadventure, and the resulting bad behavior. It represents a peripheral vision for trouble. Sonically, we hope listeners recognize the fearless mashup of styles. The guitar solo at the end was actually the very first take I played, performed live while we were tracking the drums. It is not a typical Umphrey’s track … but then again, what is? Our formula is constant change, designed to keep us happy and forever moving forward as a band. It’s foreshadowing & reminiscing all in one.

“Looks” lives up to Cinninger’s vision: The dynamic track builds its funky momentum with acrobatic drum rolls and staccato bass notes before discordant guitars and filtered vocals throw the comfortable groove for a loop, keeping us on our toes as the song continues to shift. “Never liked the looks of this / Suddenly a little slip / Head upon the floor again / It's your only friend,” a grim Cinninger sings before gaudy synths give way to what the lyric video below aptly describes as a “fierce guitar solo.” All told, the song manages a balance of fun and foreboding that few bands could pull off quite like Umphrey’s.

A press release describes it’s not us as “a wide-ranging, dynamic statement album from the band, one that showcases the versatility and world-class musicianship that is at their core.” Indeed, it sounds like the album will have something to offer each member of Umphrey’s diverse diehard fan base, including “big, heavy rock elements, guitar wizardry, softer moments, jazzy flourishes, propulsive percussion, jams and their most accessible songwriting yet.”

In celebration of the impending release of their 11th album, Umphrey’s will bring their ballyhooed live show across the U.S. on the it’s not us headlining tour. Their run includes a three-night stand at New York City’s famed Beacon Theatre Jan. 19-21, with the final show marking the band’s 20th birthday. You can see the rest of their dates below and find ticket info right here.

Watch the lyric video for “Looks” and listen to Umphrey’s McGee’s 2012 Daytrotter session below, and find their 2018 tour slate further down. You can preorder it’s not us here.

Umphrey’s McGee Tour Dates:

January
11 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Stage AE
12 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Taft Theatre
13 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Taft Theatre
19 – New York, N.Y. @ The Beacon Theatre
20 – New York, N.Y. @ The Beacon Theatre
21 – New York, N.Y. @ The Beacon Theatre
25 – New Haven, Conn. @ College Street Music Hall
26 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Fillmore
27 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Fillmore
28 – Jim Thorpe, Pa. @ Penn’s Peak

February
01 – Columbus, Ohio @ Express Live!
02 – Kalamazoo, Mich. @ Wings Event Center
03 – Kalamazoo, Mich. @ Wings Event Center
15 – Washington, D.C. @ The Anthem
16 – Asheville, N.C. @ ExploreAsheville.com Arena
17 – Asheville, N.C. @ ExploreAsheville.com Arena
18 – Tampa, Fla. @ WhigFest Music & Arts Festival

March
07 – Aspen, Colo. @ Belly Up Aspen
08 – Aspen, Colo. @ Belly Up Aspen
09 – Aspen, Colo. @ Belly Up Aspen
10 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Complex
14 – Missoula, Mont. @ The Wilma
15 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox
16 – Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
17 – Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom   
22 – South Lake Tahoe, Calif. @ Harrah's Lake Tahoe
23 – Oakland, Calif. @ The Fox Oakland
24 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Wiltern
25 – San Diego, Calif. @ The Observatory North Park

Also in Music