American Trappist Shares New Single “The Real Thing”

Music News American Trappist
American Trappist Shares New Single “The Real Thing”

Philadelphia musician Joe Michelini, who records as American Trappist and was previously a member of River City Extension, has shared a new single from his forthcoming album The Gate, out on May 15 via Smartt* Records. “The Real Thing” follows previous singles “Independence Day,” “Losing My Grip” and “Pleasure Mtn.” The Gate is the follow-up to his 2016 self-titled debut and 2018’s Tentanda Via.

“The Real Thing” marries warm, synth-y heartland rock with moody, grizzled vocals that border on post-punk. Guitar feedback swirls around his deep vocal timbres, contemplative piano and atmospheric, pirouetting synths. “Would you trade this life to never feel pain / What if love was never like the real thing” Michelini sings, and though the song (and the album at large) asks some of life’s big, dark and unnerving questions, there’s a comforting wisdom in his stony voice.

“‘The Real Thing’ was a missing piece, added late to the album,” Michelini says. Looking at most of what was written, and trying to figure out if there was anything I wanted to say that no other song was saying, I wrote this. The song served such a specific purpose for me emotionally that when the purpose was fulfilled from a writing standpoint, the production was really open ended, it didn’t matter so much. It gave the band an opportunity to breathe, and I felt a little lighter, like I had exorcised something.”

Listen to “The Real Thing” below, and preorder The Gate here.

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