All-American Rejects have given us incredible bangers through the years like Swing, Swing, Dirty Little Secret, Move Along, and of course, Gives You Hell. After their last album, Kids in the Street, the quartet that is Tyson Ritter, guitarists Nick Wheeler and Mike Kennerty, and drummer Chris Gaylor took some much-needed time off whether it was solo/side projects or time away from family.
Now, All-American Rejects are back with two new songs and a full-length album due out this fall. Sweat and Close Your Eyes are available via digitally (Apple, Spotify, etc) and videos for each.
The video, directed by Jamie Thraves (Radiohead, Coldplay, Sam Smith) breaks heteronormativity and features a struggle for identity in a taste of what dealing with gender dysphoria is like. The videos features Tyson Ritter leading a complex double life; playing a cross-dressing sex worker (Betsy) at night and a suit-wearing family man (Robert) by day. Watch the videos below.
Speaking to Billboard, Ritter had this to say about Sweat and Close Your Eyes…
There are two new songs coming, “Close Your Eyes” and “Sweat.” The first track feels different from anything in AAR’s catalogue — you’ve never been a man afraid of pop music, or sweeping synths, or big hooks — but it’s certainly unique to your repertoire. Where did these songs come from?
When I was in L.A. with my feet at my little red piano, I established this relationship with a guy down the street named Benny Cassette. For “Close Your Eyes” he had a handful of tracks — he is a great producer — and he called me up. I was like, “This is great. This is makes me feel uncomfortable, you just proposing something like this, so send ‘em my way. I’ve never tried anything like this.” The closest I had ever gotten to co-writing before was with [Weezer’s] Rivers [Cuomo] for the Raditude record.
Benny’s track had this groove where I felt like I was pulling myself back into the ‘90s in a fun way. Something felt really nostalgic about “Close Your Eyes” for me, so I went with it. Even lyrically, I’m proud of finding some sort of depth with that song that I don’t think I’ve grabbed on with previous Rejects tracks.
After the two tracks, you’re releasing a new album hopefully sometime in the fall. What can fans expect from it?
We’ve got six tracks on wax. This pairing, “Close Your Eyes” and “Sweat,” is a tasting. This is the sauvignon blanc and this is the Cabernet. It’s not going to be the same Rejects record because it never is, if you’ve listened to one of our records. This time, to me, the visual offering is so important. The last five years of learning my craft as an actor and really developing that side of being a visual artist in that way has made me realize how important that really is — to put the eyes to the ears. This is going to be more of a visual experience. This record is going to be about your eyes and the headphones.