Deer Tick with special guest Rafay Rashid

Deer Tick with Rafay Rashid at Lincoln Hill Farms

6.08.23, 8AM, SHOW UPDATE: At this time, the show is still scheduled to go on. We will continue to monitor the weather patterns and air quality index into early afternoon on Thursday. If something changes, we will provide updates on socials and notify ticket holders by email with additional details. Thank you. 

Date: Thursday, June 8, 2023Times: 5pm doors | 6:00 pm show Ticket prices: 
$65 Advanced Venue VIP Ticket *
$30 Advanced General Admission Ticket
$40 Day of Show General Admission Ticket

*Advanced Venue VIP tickets includes exclusive access to our elevated VIP area overlooking the Hop Yard Stage and scenic views of the farm with a private bar offering premium beverage options for purchase. Limited tickets available.


Deer Tick
Emotional Contracts

ATO Records

Emotional Contracts, the latest fulllength album from Deer Tick, catalogs all the existential casualties that accompany the passing of time, instilling each song with the irresistibly reckless spirit that’s defined the band for nearly two decades. Before heading into the studio with producer Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoon, SleaterKinney), the Providencebred fourpiece spent months working on demos in a perpetually flooded warehouse space in their hometown, enduring the busted heating system and massive holes in the roof as they carved out the album’s 10 raggedly eloquent tracks. Emotional Contracts fully echoes the unruly energy of its creation, ultimately making for a heavyhearted yet wildly lifeaffirming portrait of growing older without losing heart.
Deer Tick’s first new body of work since 2017’s simultaneously released Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2, Emotional Contracts is their most collaborative to date, and sees all four members operating at their peak songcraft powers. The album came to life over an unusually lengthy period of time for the band, with each track based in playing around together and connected in the almost telepathic way that’s only possible after nearly 20 years. Wellrehearsed and overly prepared, Deer Tick embraced a decidedly more freeandeasy approach to the recording process at Fridmann’s Tarbox Road Studios in Western New York. “We’ve had a habit of trying to maintain a strict control over everything in the studio, but this time we wanted to see what it would feel like to let go a bit,” says singer/guitarist John McCauley, whose bandmates include guitarist Ian O’Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan.
“We figured that the songs were strong enough to stand on their own two feet, so whatever we put them through would just make them stronger and take us in some new directions.” Dennis adds, “The fact that we’d spent so much time with these songs allowed us to be really free once we got into the studio. No one was overthinking anything, and because of that the album sounds like us in a way that we’d never captured to this extent before.” Featuring guest musicians like Steve Berlin of Los Lobosand background vocals from singer/songwriters like Courtney Marie Andrews, Vanessa Carlton (who is also McCauley’s wife), Kam Franklin, Angela Miller, and Sheree SmithDeer Tick’s ATO Records debut adds an even greater vitality to their feverish collection of timeless rockandroll.

Mostly recorded liveand honed down from nearly 20 songs to a concise, thoughtfully curated tenEmotional Contracts brings its combustible but sharply crafted sound to an oftenpensive look inward. “A lot of these songs are about standing at a certain point in your life and reflecting on what’s transpired so far, reckoning with the past but looking ahead with a pragmatic hope for the future,” says Chris. Opening on a blistering burst of guitar, Emotional Contracts begins that reflection with “If I Try To Leave”the firstever cowrite between McCauley and O’Neil. “Most of us have families now, and that song came from imagining how lost and aimless I’d feel if I just walked away from everything,” says McCauley. “It’s about how much I need that grounding force of family in my life.” “If I Try To Leave,” partly inspired by the warmth and grit of Keith Richards’s solo records, builds a sublimely bombastic backdrop to the song’s lucid selfrevelation (“Some animals survive/But I only play dead/If I were to leave/From my own beloved”), and illuminates Deer Tick’s undeniable gift for twisting melancholy into something glorious.
Next, on “Forgiving Ties,” O’Neil takes the lead for an anguished yet exuberant track that finds McCauley chiming in to play the part of his jittery inner voicelending another layer of livedin pathos to the song’s punchy introspection (“All of my confidence/It had a warrant/Knocked on the door/And split open my mind”). “As you get older, you end up having to come to terms with traumas from your past while also dealing with the weight of certain responsibilities that you maybe didn’t have when you were younger,” says O’Neil. “That’s especially true of raising a family, but it also applies to how this band has become more and more precious to us the longer it goes on.” Featuring the spirited trumpet work of Fridmann’s son Jon (who also played flute, French horn, glockenspiel, marimba, and trombone across various songs), “Forgiving Ties” bounces along on a brightly frenetic cascade of rhythms achieved through a midsession freeforall. “We had a little party where we all went crazy with a bunch of different percussion items, like cowbell and a whole other litany of things,” O’Neil recalls. “It’s a dance song that’s completely authentic to who we are as a band,” adds Dennis.
As revealed throughout Emotional Contracts, that unbridled authenticity stems from Deer Tick’s staying faithful to their instincts while tapping into the ineffable power of their easy camaraderie. On “Once In A Lifetime,” the band shares a gorgeously sprawling and soulsoothing track born from a spontaneously composed accordion part brought in by McCauley. “I recorded a voice memo of me fooling around with this accordion the very first day I bought it years ago, combined that with another riff, and then we all made a jam out of it,” he says. “It turned into a song about how when you see an opportunity you need to take it, because time is always running out.” Meanwhile, on “Running From Love,” Deer Tick deliver a
sweetly confessional, ’70sR&Binspired slowburner that first came to Dennis in a dream. “I dreamed that the band was performing at Roger Williams Park in Providence and we were all singing this song a cappella, with the whole crowd singing along,” he says. “I woke up and sang it into my phone while I was rocking the baby, and then brought it to the band later on. It’s funny because at first I didn’t really take the song seriously, but with the help of my friends we ended up bringing it to life.”

After the onetwo punch of “My Ship” (a lovely reverie cowritten by McCauley and The Rugburns’ Steve Poltz) and “A Light Can Go Out In The Heart” (a particularly wistful track from O’Neil), Emotional Contracts closes out with the allenveloping catharsis of “The Real Thing.” Another product of their deliberately freeflowing process, the nineminutelong epic emerged from a jam at their rainbattered rehearsal space. “At first I had an idea for a song called ‘The Last Book on the Shelf,’ which I ended up using as a title for a song about all the creepy bookbanning happening lately,” McCauley notes. “‘The Real Thing’ became about living with depression, which has been part of my existence since I was a kid,
and how it takes even more work to keep your head above water as you get older.” As the song drifts from brooding urgency to dreamlike grandeur, Deer Tick intensify its captivating impact with an evershifting tapestry of sonic details (moody strings, reverbed snare, lush flute melodies, intermittently muted vocals). “Dave had me go through that song about five times and create different types of feedback for an hour straight,” O’Neil points out. “It’s a good example of how great he is at piecing together different elements and keeping even a very long song like that exciting all the way through. When I look back on our other records I can remember some incredibly frustrating moments where you’re working on a solo fosix hours or something, but there really was nothing frustrating about making this album.”
Founded by McCauley in 2004, with the lineup solidified in 2009, Deer Tick partly attribute their unfaltering chemistry to a shared sense of humor. To that end, the album takes its title from an inside joke regarding potential aliases for the band. “We were saying that if we had to play a secret show under a fake name, we could be The Hitmen and dress in pinstripe suits like Prohibitionera gangsters. Then we decided, ‘Let’s just release an album as The Hitmenwe’ll call it Emotional Contracts, like contractkilling on an emotional level,” says McCauley. “But the title connects here with each song somehowevery song is about a deal you’ve made with yourself at some level.” But as a phenomenally rowdy live act who once averaged 250 shows a year, Deer Tick mainly credit their deeprooted connection to a mutual love for the unpredictability of the musical impulse. “I feel very lucky that we all ran into each other at some point pretty early on in our lives,” says McCauley. “From the start, I just wanted to find other musicians that would somehow all stick together, which definitely isn’t easy. But we all have a real fascination with music, and that desire to never limit ourselves or repeat ourselves is something that we all very much continue to share.”
VENUE & TICKET INFO: Food & beverage will be available for purchase during show. All tickets sales are final – no refunds or exchanges. Shows are rain or shine, inclement weather may cause delays. Ticketed events and concerts are general admission standing room only (no lawn chairs). Low-back foldable chairs will be permitted for those who are not able to stand for long periods of time only. Limited seating and picnic tables are available inside the venue. First come, first serve. Please read venue and parking information here before purchase. Music times are approximate.

Thursday, June 8, 2023
5:00 pm

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