Tim Kasher—frontman for Cursive and The Good Life—has announced his fourth solo album, Middling Age (15 Passenger Records), which will be released on April 15th, 2022. He has also shared the spare, winding lead single “I Don’t Think About You” (ft. vocals by Megan Siebe) alongside a self-directed video. “‘I Don’t Think About You’ is a song that came together fairly quickly for me as I absentmindedly hummed the title over and over again whilst working out the chords. The conceit reminds me a little of ‘I Got My Mind Set On You,’ a song that repeats its refrain endlessly as a means of suggesting a certain obsession, so I thought I’d approach this song similarly. The obsession is over someone who has since gone, leaving the narrator alone amongst the detritus of a life they once shared,” Kasher explains. “The video was something I could do at home, alone, during pandemic times. I’ve always appreciated that New Order video for ‘Round And Round,’ a bevy of models staring blankly at the screen. I thought I’d do something along those lines, but unfortunately, it’s just a bunch of versions of me staring at the screen in lieu of attractive models.” Middling Age is now available for pre-order.
Middling Age is an existentialist screed on mortality and loss that has inadvertently arrived as the world struggles in kind. Known for his ability to thoughtfully explore the complex subject matter with empathy, humanity, and wit, Kasher is now contemplating some of life’s thorniest, yet most universal topics. The fear of losing loved ones, feelings of personal stagnancy and uncertainty, sweeping self-evaluations, and a sense of unrelenting disquietude all unfold across these 11 tracks. Kasher has always been able to tackle serious subjects without taking himself too seriously—as the album’s title implies—and his unique candor about life’s kaleidoscopic and often absurd nature has resonated with listeners who have grown alongside him. Now he brings that same uninhibited relatability to this personal, deeply felt consideration of how it feels to be ‘middle-aged,’ and the weight of the cumulative anxiety we collect as we grow older.
Kasher had already written much of what would become Middling Age prior to the pandemic, but with the world locked down and touring not an option, he opted to continue working on the songs while homebound. With studios shuttered, he cobbled together a lineup of musicians from around the country to help him craft the record remotely. A large cast of friends and collaborators all recorded their parts at home, including Jayson Gerycz of Cloud Nothings, providing all the percussion from his studio in Cleveland, Ohio; Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), from Chicago, IL, sings a verse of “Forever Of The Living Dead,” to which Jeff Rosenstock also supplies a dazzling saxophone solo from Los Angeles, CA; Cursive bandmates Patrick Newbery and Megan Siebe, offering trumpet and cello, respectively, from Omaha, Nebraska; and Macey Taylor of The Mystic Valley Band, providing the amazing bass line for “100 Ways To Paint A Bowl Of Limes” from Birmingham, AL. Kasher’s niece, a budding songwriter at age 9, wrote and performed opener “Long Days,” and also sings the album’s final notes.
Sonically, and fittingly, the eclectic Middling Age embraces both the upbeat and the downbeat. The album features some of the most beautiful music Kasher has written to date; the melodies are carried by his strong arrangements, which include additional instrumentation like flute, violin, and kalimba. Middling Age also contains some of his most stripped-down songs—a leanness that he credits to engineer Jason Cupp’s (American Football, Ratboys) support—and these more pared-down tracks sit seamlessly alongside the album’s louder moments. Album artwork and a full tracklisting are below.