Fred Thomas
All Are Saved
Apr 7, 2015

  • Buy
    180-Gram Clear Gold
  • Buy
  • Buy
Show Bundles
All formats include instant MP3 download.

Even though a small audience of ravenous music fans could cite Fred Thomas as the brains behind Michigan's Saturday Looks Good To Me, even most of those obscurists might have blinked for long enough to miss portions of Thomas' 15 year stretch of constant output with projects as diverse as his aforementioned pop band, experimental noise acts or his own softspoken solo material.

Never settling down for a second, he's spent the last decade-and-a-half flying just beneath the radar of most listeners, but amassing a dedicated grassroots collection of fans, friends, collaborators, and admirers.

Those well acquainted with his anomalous approach to music and anti-networking are never surprised when Fred rolls through town unannounced playing drums in some random touring band or they get an email that says he's just released three new solo records in infinitesimally limited numbers.

So all of this brings us to All Are Saved, technically the eighth Fred Thomas solo album, but the first one many people will get a chance to hear.

The result of over a year of recording, refinement and long-labored sonic sculpting, these eleven tracks are the culmination of everything he's done before, while being a decidedly bold move into brand new territory.

Heavy, poetic lyrics are more spoken than sung, recalling the urgency and straightforwardness of cult bands like The Van Pelt or Life Without Buildings, while each song builds on a patchwork of grainy samples, dreamlike guitar figures and deftly produced clashes of organic instrumentation and vintage synth textures.

Fred's dabblings in melancholic chamber pop (SLGTM), ambient electronics (City Center), jangly but angular guitar playing (Failed Flowers), experimental production and jaw-droppingly confessional lyricism are all distilled into one unflinching statement.

These are the raw nerves of the friendliest guy at the party, spilling out shamelessly naked feelings. It's there in full force on the stream of consciousness protest song from a dream "Cops Don't Care Pt. II," in the venomous bile of "Bad Blood" and in the heartbreaking grief that triggers a continuum of memories on "Every Song Sung To A Dog."

No prior knowledge of Fred's vast resume is necessary, and that's kind of the point; All Are Saved is a singular document that requires no explanation and will immerse you in its strange, heavy beauty.

Painstakingly assembled between Detroit, Michigan and Athens, Georgia, the album features mixing assistance from Drew Vandenburg (of Montreal, Deerhunter) and guest spots from friends in bands like People Get Ready, Radiator Hospital, Known Moons and even a guest backing vocal cameo from Andrew W.K.

Songs

  • 1
    Every Song Sung To A Dog (3:52)
  • 2
    When They Built The Schools (3:33)
  • 3
    July (1:37)
  • 4
    Cops Don't Care Pt. II (1:47)
  • 5
    Monster Movie (3:27)
  • 6
    Bad Blood (4:09)
  • 7
    Unfading Flower (3:26)
  • 8
    Bed Bugs (5:04)
  • 9
    Expo '87 (2:30)
  • 10
    Thesis (Lear) (2:42)
  • 11
    Doggie (6:57)

Reviews

"In many ways, All Are Saved is a writer’s record, a gift to look over every prickly line and clever turn of phrase. But above all, it’s an overwhelmingly human record, one that never strays too far from its heart."

Stereogum

"This is a celebratory album, riddled with rhetorical questions and commandments, gentle reminders that things aren’t always as serious as they may seem."

Stereogum (#22 of 50 Best Albums of 2015 So Far)

"It sounds like therapy—a purging of long-fermented frustrations, his spoken word monologue laying atop raw swaths of textured noise."

Pitchfork

"By the time it's over, it’s hard not to feel breathless, grateful, and astonished."

Pitchfork

"Thomas has used the myriad pieces of his decades-long career to assemble something consistent, listenable and immediate. [8.3/10]"

Paste

"pop songs with a level of compassion, empathy, frustration, and hope few songwriters would deign to reveal."

Under The Radar

"The complexities of this record arrive and depart in brief visits, encircled by a base core of pleasant melodies and honest lyrics, leaving only a moment to question their motives before being immersed in the surrounding swarm of pretty sounds.”

Impose

"Fred Thomas, the restless and prolific songwriter who might be best known as the bandleader of turn-of-the-century indie collective Saturday Looks Good To Me, has a way of sounding cynical and sweet at the same time.”

The FADER

"On the long list of independent music's unknown legends, few deserve more spotlight than Thomas"

Oregon Live

"the finest album of Thomas’s twenty-plus year career."

The Hairsplitter

"extremely satisfying, challenging, and exciting"

Mostly Midwest
Load More

Videos

  • Cops Don't Care Pt. II (1:47)
    Joel Rakowski