Brian Dunne shares his new single “Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors” off his upcoming album Loser On The Ropes, which releases April 14 via Kill Rock Stars.
“Any New Yorker knows the phrase ‘Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors’ because it’s what comes over the loudspeaker on the subway at every stop,” states Dunne. “I hadn’t ridden the train in a while because of the thing (trying not to mention the pandemic for the entirety of this album campaign) so when I hopped back on in mid-summer 2020, I really ‘heard’ it for the first time. Get in or get out, but get out of the way. And that’s really how I was feeling. So I wrote this narrative about a character who’s spent a lot of time ‘living, laughing, loving’ her way through the modern world, only to be jolted by a revolutionary awakening. And she has to make a choice, whether to embrace it, or run from it. It’s really an indictment of my younger self, if I’m being honest.”
Dunne signed with Kill Rock Stars on the strength of his demos for Loser On The Ropes, which he’d whittled down from nearly 200 tunes penned over several years of incessant writing. Working with producer Drew Vandenberg (Faye Webster, Of Montreal) in Athens, he fleshed the tracks out with analog synthesizers and reverb-drenched guitars, taking cues from Jonathan Richman, The Pretenders, Dire Straits, and Tunnel of Love-era Springsteen to cast a warm, cinematic haze over the whole thing that helped blur the already fuzzy lines between fantasy and reality for the characters who populate the collection.
Loser On The Ropes explores defeat and denial, fortune and faith, shame and redemption, all set against the backdrop of a world run by blowhards and bullshitters who manage to perpetually skate by without cost or consequence. The songs are lean and gritty, cutting straight to the heart of things with Dunne’s raw, understated poeticism, but rather than getting lost in the darkness of it all, Loser On The Ropes emerges as something much more resilient and exhilarating.
Operating with a DIY-ethos, Dunne has released a trio of widely respected albums, shared bills with everyone from Cat Power to Caroline Rose, and in 2021 landed an unexpected hit in the Netherlands when his standalone single “New Tattoo” reached #2 on the Spotify Viral 50 and led to him performing to an audience of 17,000 at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome. In 2022, Dunne launched the indie-folk-rock group Fantastic Cat with fellow singer/songwriters Anthony D’Amato, Don DiLego and Mike Montali, releasing their celebrated debut album The Very Best Of Fantastic Cat to widespread acclaim and a performance on CBS This Morning.