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+/- {Plus/Minus} - "Calling Off the Rescue" (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)

14 May 2024

Photo by Andrew Bordwin

On May 31, +/- {Plus/Minus} will release their highly anticipated album, Further Afield, via Ernest Jenning Record Co. Today the band is thrilled to unveil their latest single, “Calling Off The Rescue,” accompanied by a captivating band-created video.

The video for “Calling Off The Rescue” provides an intimate glimpse into +/- {Plus/Minus}‘s dynamic live performances. Shot by the band using their mounted phones during rehearsal, the black and white verité document captures the escalating intensity of the song. As the track reaches it’s climax, the camera cuts between Chris Deaner’s bombastic drum solo, Patrick Ramos’ and James Baluyut’s dueling guitars, and the soaring harmonies of the song’s finale, creating an exhilarating journey for viewers.

Exploring themes of neglect and the struggle to salvage seemingly lost causes, “Calling Off The Rescue” delves into the notion of being lost without hope of rescue. Patrick Ramos of +/- {Plus/Minus} says, “I had been thinking about the Malaysian Airlines flight that vanished and other search and rescue operations and the horrifying idea of still being lost when a search is called off. It terrified and fascinated me. I liked the metaphor of it to describe the state of a neglected relationship. The song is about not being heard or seen. Love and the lack of it. About saving a failing relationship: maybe a marriage, a family, a friendship, a democracy.”

Despite its heavy subject matter, “Calling Off The Rescue” exudes an unexpectedly upbeat and uplifting vibe. Ramos reflects on the song, “I had an intro and chorus but no verse…We stumbled upon a chord progression that, with its matching minor feeling key, reminiscent of The Smiths, slotted in well with the original intro and chorus, and we leaned into the influence. It was the missing puzzle piece.”

With a runtime of 2:49, “Calling Off The Rescue” takes listeners on a dynamic journey, culminating in a cathartic finale that perfectly complements the wistful lyrics. The single showcases +/- {Plus/Minus}‘s signature blend of futuristic odd-time signature pop, electronic elements, and traditional rock instrumentation, solidifying their position as a captivating fixture in the indie rock scene.

For over two decades, +/- {Plus/Minus} has defied categorization with their unique sound, blending futuristic pop with electronic elements and rock instrumentation. Formed by childhood friends Patrick Ramos and James Baluyut, and later joined by drummer Chris Deaner, the band has released five full-length albums, several EPs, and toured extensively across the globe.

For over twenty years, +/- {Plus/Minus} has stood as a captivating fixture in the indie rock scene, defying simple categorization with their unique sound. The band’s origins trace back to the friendship of childhood friends Patrick Ramos and James Baluyut, who would go on to play with 90s New York indie stalwarts Versus. Following the dissolution of Versus in 2001, Ramos and Baluyut welcomed seasoned drummer Chris Deaner, hailing from the Austin music scene, into the fold. The trio’s synergy became evident early on, as they crafted their signature anthem, “Megalomaniac,” during their inaugural writing session. +/- {Plus/Minus} quickly established their unique sound, blending futuristic odd-time signature pop with electronic elements and traditional rock instrumentation. This fruitful collaboration led to the creation of five full-length albums, several EPs, a video compilation DVD, and extensive tours across the United States, Europe, and Asia, cementing +/- {Plus/Minus} as a notable presence in the indie music scene.

As the band members transitioned into parenthood, they continued to write together. Weekly recording sessions became a cornerstone of their routine. The band took their time redefining their sound and sonic palette. This work culminates with the release of their sixth full-length LP entitled Further Afield. This electrifying album, the band’s first in a decade, showcases a move away from odd-time signatures toward a more dance-driven approach.

Self-recorded in the band’s Brooklyn studio and a friend’s house in Saratoga Springs, Further Afield incorporates a wide array of unconventional elements: AI strings from Sounds.Studio (an AI music platform co-founded by Chris), the ethereal harmonies of a high school choir, the endearing voice of Chris’ grandfather, and an eclectic mix of newly learned instruments including the singing saw, pedal steel guitar, Omnichord, clarinet, and vibraphone.

The artwork for “Further Afield” was created by longtime collaborator Mark Robinson (Teenbeat, Unrest, Air Miami, Flin Flon) who has designed all +/- {Plus/Minus} releases. The arresting cover combines Mark’s signature minimalist graphic aesthetic with a collage of bold photographs.

Visit +/- {Plus/Minus} on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the band’s official website.