TIME Music Premiere: Umphrey’s McGee’s ‘Miami Virtue’

  • Share
  • Read Later
Jeff Kravitz/ Getty Images

It’s been more than two years without an album from progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee. Now, TIME has the first listen of their new song, “Miami Virtue.”

Over the course of the band’s 14 years together, Umphrey’s McGee has put out 11 albums and seen several line-up changes, as new members came and old ones left. Their newest album, Death By Stereo, is due out September 13 and showcases the work of the band’s current lineup — singer-guitarists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, Joel Cummins on keyboards, Andy Farag and Kris Myers on percussion and bassist Ryan Stasik.

(LIST: 100 Best Albums of All-TIME)

Umphrey’s McGee formed back in 1997 at the University of Notre Dame when Bayliss, Stasik, Cummins and former-drummer Mike Mirro came together. Due in large part to their proclivity towards a jamming performance style, Umphrey’s McGee garnered (predictable) comparisons to Phish early on. However, the Chicago-based band has since found more of a home in the progressive rock (or prog-rock) niche, due to their experiments with both musical structures and audience interaction. Case in point: while performing, they’ve encouraged audience members to participate by texting ideas for lyrics or themes, which are then displayed on big screens and the band creatively incorporates the suggestions into the performance.

You can check out the first single, “Miami Virtue,” from the upcoming album. While the track doesn’t exactly overwhelm with experimental sounds, there’s enough of a promising burst of crescendo near the end that we’re holding out hope for the live show’s potential. (For better audio quality, switch to full screen mode.)

Megan Gibson is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @MeganJGibson. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

VIDEO: Umphrey’s McGee: Letting Fans Direct the Band