As frontwoman of the Spinanes, Rebecca Gates has probably influenced every indie rock band since the genre’s 1990s golden age. Her duo’s stripped-down take on the standard college rock format propelled their first album, Manos, to the top of the CMJ charts. 11 years have now passed since Gates’s last release, but with a new record entitled The Float due later this month, Prefix has the exclusive first listen to a new track called “Suite Sails.”
After three albums with the Spinanes on the legendary Sub Pop label and a 2001 solo record entitled Ruby Series, Gates took a break from performing to explore other artistic projects. She has curated a site-specific exhibition in Marfa, Texas; lectured at galleries around the world; and co-founded an audiomagazine called The Relay Project. Throughout, however, she has contributed guest vocals for artists including the Decemberists and Willie Nelson, and eventually the lure of making another record drew her back to the studio.
Inspired by her time away from the music industry and by the different geographical locations where she had found herself, Gates started writing again in 2003. The following year she began recording with a loose, varied group of musicians that she refers to as the Consortium, and work on the songs that would finally constitute The Float continued until late last year. Taken from the new album, “Suite Sails” starts brooding and muscular, but as layers of drums and piano are gradually incorporated alongside Gates’s powerful yet economical vocals, the track grows fuller, shinier and more confident.
Listen to “Suite Sails” below. The Float will arrive on June 12 via Parcematone.