Protomartyr Return with New Album 'Formal Growth in the Desert,' Play Canada on Tour

Watch a video for "Make Way" before the album's June arrival

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 7, 2023

Protomartyr have detailed their sixth studio LP. The Detroit outfit will share new album Formal Growth in the Desert on June 2 via Domino.

Following 2020's Ultimate Success TodayFormal Growth in the Desert trades in existential awareness, its 12 songs connected by an underlying theme vocalist Joe Casey describes as "getting on with life," even when it feels impossible.

Though it was recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX, the album's title isn't a nod to the recording environment. Casey explains, "The desert is more of a metaphor or symbol of emotional deserts, or a place or time that seems to lack life."

Album opener "Make Way" arrives today alongside the details, complete with a video from director Trevor Naud you can view below. In it, a team of scientists appear to run a cognitive study — involving boom mics, mazes and humidifiers — from the pitch of an indoor soccer dome.

Naud shares how there is "a deliberate through line" between the visuals for "Make Way" and his 2020 video for Protomartyr's "Worm in Heaven," explaining, "The two songs feel partnered with each other. So I wanted the videos to feel like they exist in the same world. There are layers of experiments happening — all within a closed environment. We don't know what's happened to the world outside, but there's an undertone that things maybe aren't quite right."

The band have also mapped out world tour plans behind their latest. Following some US dates in and around appearances at SXSW 2023, the band will begin a summer slate of shows in Canada.

Protomartyr will first play Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern (June 13) and Montreal's Fairmount Theatre (June 14), ahead of travelling west to play the Cobalt in Vancouver on July 6. You can find the complete itinerary below, while further ticket details are available via the band's official website.

Formal Growth in the Desert

1. Make Way
2. For Tomorrow
3. Elimination Dances
4. Fun in Hi Skool
5. Let's Tip the Creator
6. Graft vs. Host
7. 3800 Tigers
8. Polacrilex Kid
9. Fulfillment Center
10. We Know the Rats
11. The Author
12. Rain Garden

Protomartyr 2023 Tour Dates:

03/11 Columbus, OH - Soupfest
03/12 Chattanooga, TN - JJ's Bohemia
03/13 New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa
03/15 Austin, TX - SXSW Laneway Official Showcase Lucille
03/16 Austin, TX - SXSW Levitation Showcase Hotel Vegas
03/16 Austin, TX - SXSW Brooklyn Vegan Showcase Empire
03/17 Austin, TX - SXSW Third Man Showcase 13th Floor
03/18 Dallas, TX - Texas Theater
03/20 Phoenix, AZ - Rebel
03/21 San Diego, CA - Casbah
03/22 Los Angeles, CA - Teragram
03/24 Bakersfield, CA - Temblor Brewing
03/25 Reno, NV - Holland Project
03/26 Boise, ID - Treefort Music Fest
03/28 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
03/29 Omaha, NE - Slowdown
03/30 Davenport, IA - Raccoon Motel
03/31 Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme
06/13 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
06/14 Montreal, QC - Fairmount Theatre
06/16 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
06/17 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
06/20 Washington, D.C. - Black Cat
06/21 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
06/22 Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
06/23 Nashville, TN - Blue Room
06/24 St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway
06/26 Oklahoma City, OK - 89th Street
06/28 Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole
06/29 Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room
07/01 San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
07/02 Santa Cruz, CA - Moe's Alley
07/05 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
07/06 Vancouver, BC - The Cobalt
07/07 Seattle, WA - Crocodile
07/08 Spokane, WA - Lucky You
07/11 Saint Paul, MN - Turf Club
07/12 Madison, WI - High Noon
07/13 Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall
08/06 Frankfurt, DE - Zoom
08/07 Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
08/09 Brighton, UK - Concorde 2
08/10 Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms
08/11 Cardiff, UK - Clwb Ifor Bach
08/12 Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
08/14 Eindhoven, NL - Effenaar
08/15 Hannover, DE - Indiego Glocksee
08/17 Copenhagen, DK - Loppen
08/18 Bodo, NO - Parkenfestivalen
08/19 Trondheim, NL - Pstereo
10/26 London, UK - Electric Ballroom

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