Today marks the 20th anniversary of American Football‘s landmark self-titled debut album and to celebrate the occasion, the band has announced a new collection of instrumental demos that remain among the “first proper set of demos the band ever made.” Year One Demos offer a snapshot of the band in their roughest form, recorded at drummer Steve Lamos’ childhood home on May 31, 1997.
“My dad ‘recorded’ this in the basement of the house I grew up in,” Lamos shared in a statement. “As far as I can recall, he set up two vocal mics, at 90-degree angles, set the levels, showed me how to turn the Roberts two-track to ‘record,’ and then we went upstairs while we played.”
The four-song release includes instrumental versions of tracks that would appear on proper releases in the coming years. “Five Silent Miles” was released in its instrumental form as part of their debut EP in 1998, while “The Summer Ends” would become one of the most memorable songs on their self-titled debut album one year later.
The band is also celebrating the 20th anniversary with a series of commemorative performance. In addition to their previously-announced performance at Chicago’s Riot Fest, the band will perform cuts from the album on tour, with three nights at Chicago’s Schubas Tavern this December. The dates coincide with the 30th anniversary of the beloved venue, and are joined by a number UK dates in London, Leeds, and Manchester.
This isn’t the first time the band have celebrated the seminal album’s anniversary. In 2014, they celebrated its 15th anniversary with a new deluxe reissue of the album on vinyl, CD, cassette, and MP3, as well as a series of sold-out reunion shows in Champaign, IL and New York.
Year One Demos will be released on vinyl and in digital formats this December 13 via Polyvinyl Records. Find the full tracklist, as well as the band’s upcoming tour dates, below and revisit our 2016 interview with vocalist Mike Kinsella here.
Year One Demos Cover Art: