Coming off their critically acclaimed 2018 debut Kiss Yr Frenemies, tour-tight and ready to funnel those skills into festival dates and their second record, L.A.’s illuminati hotties instead found themselves in an immovable contract with a publicly collapsing record label. Songwriter and producer Sarah Tudzin began to write her way through contract purgatory, channeling personal and global anxieties into a vibrant mixtape filled with themes of aggression, claustrophobia and loss. As the mugshot-centric album art cheekily informs, this is NOT the record you’ve been waiting for (though you’ll hear that one soon). This is FREE IH.

The first track off FREE IH“will i get cancelled if i write a song called ‘if you were a man you’d be so cancelled,'” is streaming everywhere today and pre-orders for the LP are available now.

Though it was tracked locally between drummer Tim Kmet’s rehearsal space and Tudzin’s home, FREE IH sounds like an homage to the bands you’d catch on club stages during a sleepless, electrifying cross-country tour. It’s a product of Sarah’s wide array of influences, ranging from snotty Californian forebears Dead Kennedys and Black Flag to the innovation and bravado of Death Grips and Cardi B.It’s an instant cult classic, too––or should I say, it’s an occult classic. Last week a SoundCloud leaked under the name Occult Classic featuring the 12 songs on FREE IH, fans went into a frenzy. Soaking in the sheer audacity of one of the year’s best and most surprising records being released out of nowhere while also trying to work together to figure out who the mystery band was, they got a mere 24 hours with FREE IH before the link went dark again.

The LA-based band helmed by songwriter and producer Sarah Tudzin made waves with 2018’s Kiss Yr Frenemies, a debut of quirky, poppy rock lovingly fan-dubbed as “tenderpunk.” The record brought illuminati hotties critical acclaim and tour dates alongside contemporary heavyweights PUP and Lucy Dacus, pulling Tudzin away from the recording studio where she’s built up her C.V. engineering and mixing for artists like Weyes Blood, Slowdive and The Kills.

And while a follow-up record does loom on the horizon, someday… FREE IH plays an essential role in the illuminati hotties story; a giddy and meticulous document of a band that’s ready for what’s next, and making beyond-catchy music while they wait.

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