Published Jan 29, 2015While Rocky Votolato reportedly considered retiring from the music business after delivering 2012's Television of Saints, the Waxwing graduate has returned with his eighth full-length solo release, Hospital Handshakes. The album arrives April 21 through No Sleep/Glitterhouse.
A press release notes that the 11-song outing came out of Votolato's feelings of uncertainly during the promotion cycle for Television of Saints. Said to have second-guessed his abilities after realizing he hadn't written a song in over a year, the solo artist contemplated calling it quits. After taking time off, he began writing new songs in the summer of 2014, leading to the creation of Hospital Handshakes.
The songs were brought into Chris Walla's Seattle studio, with the former Death Cab for Cutie member serving as producer. Other artists involved with the project include Votolato's young brother Cody (the Blood Brothers, My Goodness, Head Wound City), Long Winters bassist Eric Corson, drummer Andy Lum (Craft Spells, My Goodness) and Casey Foubert (Pedro the Lion, Sufjan Stevens).
"This collection of songs hit me really hard, and at a really good time," Walla said in a statement of the sessions. "It's shaping up to be a visceral and tactile album; the band is incredible, and Rocky's writing is spring tight right now. This is a good one."
Hospital Handshakes is said to have Votolato exploring various personal themes, including "healing from trauma, overcoming depression, spiritual longing and finding true meaning in life." You can stream first single "The Hereafter" down below, courtesy of Stereogum.
2. The Hereafter
3. Hospital Handshakes
7. A New Son
8. Sawdust & Shavings
9. So Unexpected
10. This is my Work
11. The Finish Line