Seminal neo-new wave pioneers The Rentals are back. They are currently rehearsing in Los Angeles preparing for their first worldwide tour in over ten years and, with only one Canadian date confirmed on July 25th at Vancouver, BC’s Richard’s On Richards, west coast music fans are prepping for one heck of a treat.
Matt Sharp (co-founder and former member of Weezer) is the main thread that runs through the history of The Rentals. It is his leadership and vision that provides the focus through which the collective voices of The Rentals can be heard. The band’s debut album Return of the Rentals (1995) brilliantly incorporated Moog synthesizers, boy/girl harmonies and soaring violins all rolled into sweet and simple pop songs. Their single “Friends Of P” (number 6 on Billboard‘s Modern Rock Chart) broke through The Billboard Hot 100 and into MTV’s Buzz Bin reviving elements of new wave and bringing the analog synthesizer back to the forefront of pop music. The band supported Return of the Rentals by going on the road with such well know acts as Garbage, Blur, Alanis Morrisette and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The band’s sophomore effort Seven More Minutes was an open love letter to Barcelona and the European music scene. The critically heralded follow up featured a whirlwind of collaborators including members of Blur, Elastica, Lush, Weezer and Ash.
In 1999, at the height of his creative output, Sharp mysteriously left the music world. Five years later, he emerged in the small country town of Leipers Fork, TN–it was here where Sharp retreated to work in the kind of studio isolation unheard of in popular music. During the course of the recording, Sharp met Canadian folk-rock duo Tegan and Sara and lent his Moog mastery to their hit album So Jealous. In 2004, Vancouver independent label Boompa Records released Sharp’s self-titled solo debut–a lo-fi, languid album set deep in the terrain of bleached out Americana.
2006 sees Sharp readying his return to the new wave pop/rock spotlight with new lineup of The Rentals in tow: original founding member Rachel Haden (that dog!), new members Sara Radle (vocals/multi-instrumentalist), Ben Pringle (synth master), Lauren Chipman (viola/vocals) and Dan Joeright (drums).
Their first show in over a decade, the return of The Rentals recently kicked off with an incredible sold-out, double-encore performance at Los Angeles’ Henry Fonda Theatre, quickly followed by two nights at the Yokohama Arena in Japan before they hit Vancouver. The band hopes to hit the studio later this year to record a new full-length album for release in 2007.
July 25: Vancouver, BC – Richard’s On Richards w. The Salteens, and Ozma