Exclusive: NEEDTOBREATHE Announces New Album ‘Caves’: “It Feels Like a ‘Joshua Tree’ for Us”

NEEDTOBREATHE are back with their ninth studio album, Caves.

Videos by American Songwriter

The rock group announced the news on Monday (May 22), sharing with American Songwriter an exclusive first glimpse inside the forthcoming release, one that will feature what the band considers some of their best work yet.

“This record is probably the most ambitious record we’ve made in a long time,” frontman Bear Rinehart says. For this album, expected to arrive this fall, the band brought their best songs to the table and took the time and care to make them larger-than-life productions for a release that will be brimming with anthemic arena-worthy sounds.

Caves was born from a band in solitude. The five-piece went away to the snow-capped mountains of Utah and to the outskirts of Minneapolis for days at a time, working out and honing in on what the album was meant to be. It was a rare, but essential time for the two-decade-old outfit.

“It’s so important now for the band to find that time,” Rinehart details. “Now we all live in different cities and have different lives in a lot of ways, so I think that time was really important for us to go in there and talk about what we’ve been going through and what kind of record we wanted it to be.”

They crafted an album taking into account the last few years, a period that taught them a lot about themselves and their creative process. Caves is by no means a pandemic album, but it was informed by what they learned throughout that time.

“I think [COVID] freed all of us up in a lot of ways to just create,” he says. “I think we wrote better songs, and we just dreamed a little bit bigger. We’ve allowed ourselves to do that.”

The result now is a very rock and roll record with songs that contain probably “the least rock and roll” subject matter possible, the frontman explains. “It’s not as rebellious as we maybe have been in the past,” he shares. “I feel like most of the songs really have something powerful in there about our life experience and we found that the music that has really connected with our fans has been music that they live their lives to.”

Throughout the years, their songs have soundtracked weddings, births, funerals, and all of life’s important moments, so that became a focus of the record. “We really wanted the audience to sort of co-author this record,” Rinehart says. “Where the songs really come to life is when people take them to mean what they want them to mean, what they mean to them.

“If the songs aren’t saying something powerful that people could go back to when they need them, then are they really worth making this record?” he adds.

While their belief in what makes their songs great songs hasn’t shifted, the band itself has seen a lot of change in the last few years. With the departure of Rinehart’s brother, Bo, the group was in flux for a while but has since found its footing as a revived outfit, something that has translated into this upcoming release.

“I think there was a lot of freedom around this record to feel like this is a new NEEDTOBREATHE,” the singer shares. “That led us into a much more confident way of making a record and I feel like it’s a new chapter for the band. Even though we’ve been around a long time, all of us kind of feel like this band is only a few years old in its current form. That is really a refreshing thing for me and exciting, and maybe even scary in some ways. But it gives us a lot of hope for the future.”

That future seems to have been foretold long ago. Rinehart says a friend always used to call them the Southern equivalent of U2. With Caves, the frontman is beginning to see it too. “I think this record feels like that,” he shares. “It feels like a Joshua Tree for us.” He can already sense a handful of NEEDTOBREATHE’s classics will come from this record.

Get a glimpse of what to expect from Caves in the album trailer below.

Photo by David Od

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