One of the most important and original rock bands of the past fifteen years, Deafheaven have announced the long-awaited reissue of their monumental sophomore album Sunbather.
Remixed/remastered by original producer Jack Shirley and available in Spacial Audio, with updated packaging and a re-release of the original typeface courtesy of the album’s original designer Nick Steinhardt, and deluxe color vinyl treatment that includes a gatefold jacket with gloss varnish details and 2 printed inner sleeves with unseen album-era photography, the Sunbather 10th Anniversary Remix/Remaster is a crucial addition to the collection of any discerning music fan.
The Sunbather 10th Anniversary Remix/Remaster is set for release November 17th, 2023 via Deathwish Inc. (pre-order / pre-save here) and Deafheaven have announced a tour in recognition.
The 10th Anniversary Tour will feature support from Touché Amoré and will hit select markets this fall — check out all dates listed below and look for tickets to go on sale on July 28 at 10am local time here.
Sunbather was not only a massive success upon its release in 2013, it also created a radical shift in heavy music culture, an acceptance of the genre by previous outsiders, and a trailblazing sound that previously hadn’t been heard outside of learned circles.
It was a reveille introducing the changing of the guard in metal, featuring phenomenal reviews across the board and breaking the mold used by buttoned-up indie types and false-flag musical connoisseurs intent on keeping the status quo.
A maverick release in every facet, the cornerstone for the triumph that is Sunbather truly lies in its world class songwriting. From the opening anthem “Dream House,” it’s clear to see that Deafheaven was soaring triumphantly into the unknown, through the emotional highs and lows, the fire and rain, and onto the unseen road ahead.
Lyrically, Sunbather examines themes of existentialism, diving headfirst into the abyss, and the pursuit of self-discovery. The album’s title itself is similar in scope, representing the embrace of the light and movement out of the dark unknown.
By juxtaposing propulsive and harsh blast beats and riffs against soaring melody, Deafheaven had refocused the blind-hate nature found at the kernel of black metal into a melancholic and singular journey to explore uncharted territory.
An immediate success at the time of its release, Sunbather blasted through the glass ceiling that limited so many other heavy music bands before them. Lauded by virtually every major critical outlet, Sunbather is the picture perfect ideal of a music darling, leading to sold out shows around the globe in increasing numbers.
Sunbather would eventually become a year-end favorite, repeatedly named one of the best albums of 2013 and landing on top 10 lists that were previously alien to heavy music– outlets like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, the New York Times and so on. And while the critics were dog-piling on the compliments, the conservative nature of heavy metal could not help but spin things in the opposite direction.
“The easy answer was it was totally positive and overwhelming,” says founding guitarist Kerry McCoy with a bit of a chuckle when asked about his feelings about the response to Sunbather. “But in actuality it was also kind of frustrating. We were grateful for the positive notes, but there were people who thought we were the worst thing to ever happen to metal and others who thought that we claimed to invent the genre. Neither were true.”
In addition to the game-changing musical approach, the band’s aesthetics were nothing if not utterly controversial as well. Designer Nick Steinhardt’s striking cover with use of a highly stylized font and a pale pink as the chosen color is not only a masterstroke in contemporary design, it was a true middle finger to the black metal establishment– one that prided itself on a lo-fi black and white aesthetic. The bright and easily recognizable cover openly positioned the album as a true outsider unafraid to duck genre boundaries.
Formed in 2010 in San Francisco, California with the core duo of George Clarke and McCoy, the pair completed their debut demo with Jack Shirley, who would eventually helm Sunbather, releasing it on limited cassette.
The cassette became an underground phenomenon and lead to a record deal with Deathwish Inc. who released the cassette in limited numbers on seven-inch format. After recruiting a live band, the five-piece recorded their debut LP Roads to Judah and embarked on a series of shorter tours to promote the release. When the time came for the follow-up, the band slimmed back down to the original duo and added drummer Daniel Tracy, creating what many believe to be one of the most important musical statements of the ‘10s.
“Honestly, Sunbather gave us a career,” says McCoy with candor. “Before then we were working jobs and had these grandiose dreams, but that was the record that turned us into a real band. Because of that record, we ended up meeting a lot of people around the world that changed our lives and set us on the path we’re on now.”
Ten years later, Deafheaven is nothing less than a mammoth and live touring juggernaut, with fans across the far reaches of the earth and a flawless live lineup of Shiv Mehra on guitar (joined in 2013) and Chris Johnson on bass (2017) in addition to Clarke, McCoy and Tracy. Deafheaven continue to soar to the stratosphere with the Sunbather 10th Anniversary Remix/Remaster release and their 10th Anniversary Tour this fall, which follows a UK tour next month and a North American run with Coheed and Cambria in September and October.
Deafheaven, on tour:
August 19 Bristol, UK @ ArcTanGent
August 20 Glasgow, UK @ Core Festival 2023
August 21 Edinburgh, UK @ Summerhall
August 22 Belfast, UK @ Limelight
August 23 Dublin, IE @ The Button Factory
August 24 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
August 25 London, UK @ O2 Academy Islington
September 6 Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore Charlotte *
September 8 Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle *
September 9 Birmingham, AL @ Avondale Brewing Co. *
September 10 New Orleans, LA @ Fillmore New Orleans *
September 11 San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theatre *
September 13 Omaha, NE @ The Admiral Theater *
September 14 Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s *
September 15 St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theater *
September 16 Madison, WI @ The Sylvee *
September 18 Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre *
September 19 Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre *
September 20 Grand Rapids, MI @ Elevation
September 21 Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life 2023
September 23 Denver, CO @ Mission Ballroom *
September 24 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Union Event Center *
September 26 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House *
September 27 Missoula, MT @ The Wilma *
September 29 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House *
September 30 Calgary, AB @ The Palace Theatre *
October 2 Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre *
October 3 Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo *
October 4 Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater *
October 6 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock 2023
October 7 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium *
November 26 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues ^
November 27 Detroit, MI @ Saint Andrews Hall ^
November 29 Philadelphia, PA @ TLA ^
November 30 Boston, MA @ Royale ^
December 2 Washington, DC @ Howard ^
December 3 New York, NY @ Knockdown Center ^
December 7 San Francisco, CA @ Regency ^
December 8 Los Angeles, CA @ Novo ^
December 13 Denver, CO @ Summit ^
December 16 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s ^
* with Coheed and Cambria
^ with Touché Amoré
Sunbather 10th Anniversary Remix/Remaster, cover art:
Sunbather 10th Anniversary Remix/Remaster, Track Listing:
- Dream House
- Please Remember
- The Pecan Tree
For more on Deafheaven: