PREMIERE: Cheerleader Announce New Album “Almost Forever” and Release Lead Single

The Philly band return with their sophomore record and a new song, “Chimera.”

Five years after Philadelphia band Cheerleader—comprised of Joseph Haller, Joshua Pannepacker, Paul Impellizeri, and Sean Donaghy—released their 2015 debut The Sunshine of Your Youth, they’ve reinvented themselves for a follow-up. Over the last half-decade, the band had its demo space shut down by the city and lead singer Haller had to part ways with founding member Chris Duran. “A lot has happened since the band formed in 2011—people grow, people change, and priorities shift. It was in everyone’s best interest that we go our separate ways,” they explained. 

The new record, Almost Forever, is quite different from their debut, contending with themes more honest and bleak as compared to the innocent enthusiasm of their earlier work. The band collaborated closely with Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands) in recording and mixing, and the resulting eleven tracks might surprise those who know Cheerleader’s older stuff. 

Of “Chimera,” the track premiering today, Haller shares: “This was one of the last songs we demoed and there was so much going on in the recording that I wasn’t even sold on taking it to the studio. I was afraid the song would take forever to get right. But this is one time I was glad to be proven wrong. The song title has a bit of irony to it now in hindsight.”  

“Chimera,” of course, is defined as “a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.” But Cheerleader has achieved it, in a vid directed by Evan Henderson and Nicholas Brown during which Haller lies on a white floor as people hurl and roll paint around him ’til he’s a part of one giant art project.

Almost Forever is out February 7 via Bright Antenna.

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