Last month, New Jersey indie rock group The Wrens announced that they had signed a record deal with a notable label, and that their follow-up to 2003’s The Meadowlands was almost finished. And just a little less than a month later, the group now says the album is done. In a blog post on their website, guitarist Charles Bissell says that the record was completed, but a lot of terrible life and health-related events led up to it.
Bissell says that over Thanksgiving, he was in the hospital with “strep pneumonia, a collapsed lung, full renal failure…the works.” He also notes that “our 25th year as a band was not a red-letter one for us personally. There was cancer, family woes, children’s issues (aren’t there always?), capping off with this near-death pneumonia.”
“For me personally, this whole thing has changed a bunch of stuff, incl. priorities that have kept me toiling away on music to the exclusion of a lot of other things,” Bissell says in the blog post. “So that’ll change. Not sure what that means but it’ll be a lot more healthy.
“What it means more immediately is an end to the chasing of perfectionism with this record, which is only ever in part about the illusion of perfection anyway. And what that means is…the record’s done,” he continues. “It is what it is. And it’ll be fine. And that’s ME saying that. A few nuts & bolts have to be put back together when I get back home so we can ship all the rest off to mastering. But the it’s done and if the Hold Steady hadn’t beaten us to it, would probably now call it The Wrens Almost Killed Me.”
The album’s title or release date have yet to be announced, but a new Wrens album looks like it will finally see the day in 2015, and thankfully, Bissell is in better health shape now.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.