It’s been a while since we’ve heard from indie rock duo JR JR, but they’re about to dunk on us with a 3-song NBA-themed EP because the dudes friggin’ love sports ball.
The metro Detroit-bred band formerly known as Dale Earnhart Jr. Jr (yes, as in the stock-car racing legend, but with an extra ironic Jr. tagged on the end) independently released Invocations/Conversations last year, marking the duo’s first release since parting with longtime label Warner Bros. In May, they quietly released an EP, August and Everything Prior, just before formally cancelling their “Getting To Know You” tour. The tour, billed as a two-man/one-man show was set to visit smaller clubs across the country, including Ferndale’s Magic Bag.
For their upcoming EP, Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott are hitting the court with Swish, an EP that features a pair of covers, including Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball” and John Tesh’s “Roundball Rock,” the theme to “NBA on NBC.” The EP will also feature a new poppy cheerleader-y JR JR track, “Vertical,” which tugs on childhood nostalgia, popularity, and indecision.
When we said they love sports, we weren’t dribbling around. (Did we use the correctly? No?) Aside from the band’s former moniker there’s the fact that, in 2010, Zott and his band Victorious Secrets won a song-writing contest to officially represent “April in the D,” that magical time of year when Detroit’s NHL, NBA, and MLB teams are all shooting goals and stuff. (Zott’s group also later scored those catchy and annoying FreeCreditReport.com commercials.)
Anyway, Swish, which is available for preorder, and is due out on Sept. 30. However, the band will release each track for streaming on key dates associated with the NBA’s schedule, starting Monday, Aug. 17 when the NBA playoffs begin. The deluxe vinyl edition of the EP is printed on a picture disc made to look like a real basketball that you should absolutely not try and bounce or throw because it will shatter.
To commemorate the release, JR JR also teamed up with athletic gear giant Champion for a limited edition batch of basketball-themed merch, including shorts and retro NBA Jam-inspired jerseys boasting the JR JR logo.
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