Published Jul 29, 2013Last year saw the first two albums by Los Angeles shoegazers Medicine receive a remastered reissue treatment, thanks to Brooklyn's Captured Tracks label. On August 6, the band will release their first new album in 18 years (not including 2003's confusing The Mechanical Forces of Love), To the Happy Few, which, according to Medicine founder/guitarist/producer Brad Laner, was "spontaneously and impulsively due to us all being stoked on the reissues."
After "a few serious, adult conversations about past bad feelings and issues," Laner, vocalist Beth Thompson and drummer Jim Goodall were "all willing and able" to begin making new music together. Of To the Happy Few, Laner tells Exclaim!, "It really does all kinds of things musically that never happened on the old Medicine albums, so I'm thrilled that people still think it sounds like us."
Laner says the trio were so productive in the studio that the plan is to get working on yet another new album when they get a chance.
"There is already another bunch of songs started," he says. "We only stopped to put this LP together the moment we had these 10 songs finished. We felt that they made a strong album and it was time to let the cat out of the bag. But we could quite easily have kept on writing and recording. We'll keep on doing it as long as it's inspiring and fun to do so."
Laner adds that touring To the Happy Few wasn't originally what they had in mind, but because playing live is such a crucial part of promoting albums in 2013, they might have to rethink their plans.
"We'd all be perfectly happy to just make records," he says, "but it seems like the thing to do at the moment is get out and play live a few times to give our new record a boost so we can make other ones."
Long out of print, Medicine's recently reissued albums were originally released by Rick Rubin's American Recordings, only to be rescued and recirculated by C/T owner and fan Mike Sniper. As for a reissue of 1995's swan song Her Highness, Laner adds that he and his bandmates have discussed it with Captured Tracks.
"Maybe as part of another box set after we make some more new records," Laner says. "Jim's idea is to do a 'reduced' edition (i.e., just the four best songs from it). Once we can figure out which four those are, maybe it'll happen."
For now, get set for To the Happy Few to arrive August 6 through Captured Tracks.
UPDATE: You can also now stream To the Happy Few below.