Memory Map are a constellation of Bloomington, Indiana all-stars. Guitarist Matt Tobey has another life as folk-punk character and Kimya Dawson collaborator Matty Pop Chart, as well as a staple of pop-punk trio Good Luck. Singer/rhythm guitarist/de facto bassist Mike Dixon, who's since relocated from Indiana, used to be in pinched-nose spazz-core foursome Rapider than Horsepower. Steely-armed drummer Josh Morrow splits his time among anywhere from three to 10 trillion other Hoosier bands, including psych-surf trio Triptides, '70s burnouts Harpooner, and a side-project called the Sands, fronted by former Magnolia Electric Co. linchpin Jason Evans Groth. Guitarist Mike Bridavsky, who's also in the Sands, owns the Bloomington studio Russian Recording — and, perhaps more recognizably, takes care of one of the most amazing animals on the planet, the magical space cat Lil BUB.
Despite their multitude of other engagements, Memory Map is, by all accounts, an particularly special project for all four members, partially because of the band’s completely unconventional songwriting process.
"It's like playing with Legos, but not following the instructions," Bridavsky tells us. First, Dixon and Morrow jam alone on rhythm and drums, while Tobey and Bridavsky separately come up with guitar structures. Then later (much later), Dixon ad-libs gibberish over these new parts, which Bridavsky records and later edits into vocal melodies that then Dixon uses to write actual lyrics. "It's really fun to see: 'Oh we came up with that, and no one ever wrote it — we all wrote little pieces.' And then it's cool to hear we have a pop song, and it's catchy, and you can sing along to it. But really, it's all a bunch of bullshit."
It's a rather terrific bunch of mathy bullshit, in the case of their new full-length, The Sky As Well As Space, out next Tuesday on Indianapolis-based label Joyful Noise. Stream the album for the first time below, and scroll down for Memory Map's tour dates.
Memory Map tour dates:
June 3 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox*
June 4 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's*
June 5 - Washington DC @ The Black Cat*
June 6 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge*
June 7 - Hamden, CT @ The Space*
June 8 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
June 9 - South Burlington, VT @ Showcase Lounge*
June 10 - Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar*
June 11 - Chicago, IL @ Quenchers
June 12 - Madison, WI @ Mickey's Tavern
June 13 - Indianapolis, IN @ Joyful Noise
June 14 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop