Skip to content

Hear Thao & the Get Down Stay Down’s Singularly Anthemic ‘We the Common’

Thao Nguyen / Photo by Lauren Tabak

Back in October we heard the quaint and bluesy first taste from We the Common, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down’s forthcoming third album. “Holy Roller” was both spare and jangly, and the LP’s just-out titular single starts much the same. For “We the Common [For Valerie Bolden],” Thao Nguyen strums away on an acoustic guitar, and as some banjo plucks follow along, her rich, raw voice pulls us along like a dusty magnet.

But then in comes a bright beat and some odd synth hits, making for a truly unusual combination of folk, pop, and rock — perhaps the next logical step that Beck never took following Mellow Gold — that explodes for an anthemic, soaring chorus. “We die, we die, we die until we try,” she sings, and by that metric, she is living quite large.

We aren’t exactly sure who Valerie Bolden is, but we do hope more songs on the album are inspired by her — so far she’s killing it as a muse. We do know, however, that Joanna Newsom will be appearing on a song called “Kindness Be Conceived” (view the full We the Common track list), and that Nguyen and her band are doing a handful of West Coast in-store performances in February, followed by a full U.S. tour in March.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down West Coast in-stores:

February 5 – Los Angeles, CA @ Fingerprints
February 6 – San Francisco, CA @ Amoeba
February 8 – Seattle, WA @ Sonic Boom
February 9 – Portland, OR @ Jackpot

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down Spring tour dates:

March 2 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
March 5 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
March 6 – Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club
March 7 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
March 8 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
March 9 – Salt Lake City, UT@ Urban Lounge
March 11 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
March 16 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
March 17 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
March 18 – Atlanta, GA @ Smith’s Olde Bar
March 19 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
March 20 – Washington DC @ Black Cat
March 22 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
March 23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
March 24 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
March 27 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
March 28 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
March 29 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
March 30 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
March 31 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
April 1 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
April 2 – Iowa City, IA @ Mission Creek Festival
April 3 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
April 5 – Alburquerque, NM @ Launchpad
April 2 – Iowa City, IA @ Mission Creek Festival
April 6 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
April 7 – San Diego, CA @Casbah
April 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour