Chicago’s Ratboys have been making bittersweet, country-inflected indie rock for a while now, releasing their debut AOID in 2015, follow-up full-length GN in 2017 and a companion EP, GL, last year. Today (Nov. 12), they’ve announced their third album on Topshelf Records, Printer’s Devil (out Feb. 28, 2020), with a video for the bouncy lead single “Alien with a Sleep Mask On.” Printer’s Devil is their first record to have a solidified four-piece lineup, with singer-songwriter and guitarist Julia Steiner, and guitarist Dave Sagan joined by drummer Marcus Nuccio and bassist Sean Neumann.
True to its title, “Alien with a Sleep Mask On” is an outer-space drama: Steiner is an astronaut lost in the cosmos, with her team struggling to get her back to Earth. There don’t seem to be any extraterrestrials to be found, at least not in the way one might expect—but while Steiner might be human, she sure doesn’t feel like it. “So inside my head,” she laments, “It’s beautiful from the outside, but I’m always looking in.”
Watch “Alien with a Sleep Mask On” (dir. John TerEick + Jake Nokovic) and revisit a Ratboys Daytrotter session from 2015 below. You can preorder Printer’s Devil here.