Detroit indie-pop duo JR JR has announced the release of their infectiously catchy new EP August And Everything Prior on May 1 via their label imprint, Love Is EZ Records (a partnership with Secretly Distribution). The EP’s lead single “Good Old Days” is out today on all DSPs.
“Good Old Days” serves as the centerpiece of August And Everything Prior. Both heady and groovy, the track grabs the listener’s attention from its opening line: “What if somebody really does break the internet?” Conceptually, it’s a pass-the-torch-to-the-next-generation kind of song, brimming with 1960s acoustic folk, balmy harmonies, an infectious beat, and poetic purposeful lyrics. “This one is about our desire to welcome and encourage the next generation, because most generations end up holding onto their control for far too long. It’s inspiring for us to see young people who are doing their best to make impactful and necessary change,” says Josh Epstein, who plays as one half of JR JR alongside his bandmate Daniel Zott.
The duo has also announced the experiential and highly intimate ‘Getting to Know You‘ national tour that will accompany the EP’s release. It starts on May 2 in Detroit and crosses the country and back before ending in Nashville on July 26.
Each night, Epstein and Zott will break the barrier between performer and audience in a never-before-seen performance of the band’s past decade of work, including songs from their 2019 double LP Invocations/Conversations and their upcoming release. The show is intended to bring JR JR closer to their audience and give fans a fresh, insider look at the duo’s artistry. Tickets for all shows go on sale at 10am local time this Friday, March 6th at jrjmusic.com.
Ten years into their collaboration, JR JR is flourishing like never before. With the industry around them evolving, they have remained vibrantly active and artistically nimble. They operate their business and share their music on their own terms; they’re able to respond to changing trends while actively pursuing fresh creative opportunities to support their artistic vision.
“We often write songs that hold up a mirror to society, but we still respect the purely physical and visceral aspect of making music that just feels great,” Epstein says. “For us, quality and pop can coexist. This EP is our attempt to make an exuberant expression of joy that recalls the time we first started playing together. We were interested in a celebration of sound.”
Zott adds, “Making this EP felt like falling in love again. It’s full of hope, positivity, and a unique sense of romance.”
Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott formed JR JR (known then as Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr) in Detroit, Michigan in 2009. Prior to pairing up, the twosome had been searching for a creatively fluid situation where they could pool their talents as songwriters, singers, multi-instrumentalists, and producers. Since joining forces, Epstein and Zott have released four albums, five EPs, and several standalone singles. Select career highlights include a number of memorable appearances on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” Conan, and The Late Late Show with James Corden; performances at major festivals like Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and Lollapalooza; and critical acclaim from a wide variety of outlets such as Stereogum, Rolling Stone, Paste, SPIN, and New York Magazine.
JR JR’s latest effort August and Everything Prior is a salute to its roots. Written entirely by Epstein and Zott, it’s a thoughtful but danceable offering that harkens back to the band’s early releases. Zott details: “It’s also a revival in my own head of our love of acoustic songs mixed with elements of 1990s hip-hop. The EP grooves, but it also points to our folk roots.”
August and Everything Prior arrives as JR JR enters a more prolific era in which they can freely distribute music in a myriad of ways through their own label. Zott says: “With the speed of our output, we can be more in-the-moment and release music quickly as culture shifts.” Epstein adds: “It’s been amazing for us to be so self-contained and enjoy so much career and creative freedom. Being able to thrive right now feels like a modern miracle.”
JR JR Tour Dates
May 02 – Detroit @ Magic Bag
May 13 – Denver @ Globe Hall
May 16 – Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
May 17 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza
May 19 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
May 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
May 22 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Jun 11 – Dallas, TX @ The Blue Light
Jun 12 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Jun 13 – Austin, TX @ Antone’s
Jun 15 – Kansas City, MO @ RecordBar
Jun 16 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi
Jun 17 – Columbus, OH @ Big Room Bar
Jun 19 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
Jun 20 – Chicago, IL @ SPACE
Jul 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Sultan Room
Jul 19 – Boston, MA @ Once Ballroom
Jul 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Jul 22 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
Jul 24 – Charlotte, NC @ Free Range Brewery
Jul 25 – Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
Jul 26 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley