Thao & the Get Down Stay Down will hit the road this summer on the heels of a successful North American spring tour that included sold-out stops in New York, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Los Angeles. Thao brings her live show to The Ballroom that SF Weekly praises, noting that “Nguyen exploded with energy,” while Guitar World calls the group’s show “electrifying.”
We the Common is the third full-length album from critically acclaimed artist Thao & the Get Down Stay Down. The album cut "Holy Roller" is streaming now at www.thaoandthegetdownstaydown.com. Frontwoman Thao Nguyen notes that the track "was the first song I wrote for this new record...it marked a shift in how I operate. I was steadily, in an overdue way, becoming grateful for everything and everyone I had. I tried to capture a sense of revival and a determination to be better."
Recorded at San Francisco's Tiny Telephone Studios and Dallas' Elmwood Studio, We the Common was produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Bill Callahan, the Walkmen, Explosions in the Sky) and features a duet with Joanna Newsom on the track "Kindness Be Conceived." Thao observes, "We the Common is an album about wanting to be a human who tries and is grateful for the opportunity. It is about wanting to be better and closer to people. I have had over a year respite from touring and recording-in this year I started really trying to be a part of the community I live in and the family I was born into." The album is the follow-up to Thao's 2009 release Know Better Learn Faster, which Pitchfork praised for its "warm exuberance that keeps the music spry" while SPIN noted that Thao's "lazily smoky voice has its bitterly harsh moments, but her coolly analytical self-awareness stings the most."
Based in San Francisco after growing up in Falls Church, VA, Thao Nguyen first picked up a guitar at age 12. She has worked with a long list of acclaimed artists including Andrew Bird, Mirah, Laura Veirs and producer Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens) and has recorded a pair of critically acclaimed records for Kill Rock Stars, 2008's We Brave Bee Stings and All and the aforementioned 2009 release Know Better Learn Faster with her backing band the Get Down Stay Down. Since her last album Thao has worked with the artist advocacy non-profit Air Traffic Control (http://atctower.net/) and has volunteered extensively with the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. This year, in addition to recording her forthcoming album, Thao has toured the US with the nationally syndicated NPR program "Radiolab."
The press continues to lavish praise upon We The Common:
“[We The Common is] music that makes you move from your bones out… [it’s] keenly intelligent and original.” –The New Yorker
“Quirky but cutting, playful but forceful, controlled but ragged, Thao Nguyen is one of the most commanding and distinctive young singers around. She infuses everything around her with electricity and mischievous boldness.” –NPR
“[Thao’s] most sharply written record to date…its 12 songs are smart, sometimes piercingly self-aware meditations on the creative life, teasing out the tension between life and art, the individual and the community—and perhaps most of all—security and restlessness.” –Pitchfork
“Ms. Nguyen’s voice, wobbly and rich, is engaging, and her gently confessional lyrics…are equally beguiling.”—The New York Times
“Nguyen is one of the most innovative guitarists around.” –Magnet