My Dad Is Dead’s Mark Edwards returns with Secular Joy

Photo courtesy of Secular Joy

One of the more interesting trends in today’s indie music world is the way aging artists have stayed with us.

North Carolina knows this better than most places with 90s indie greats Archers of Loaf and Superchunk embarking on tours, stacking up reissues and showing up on late-night talk shows. But, as they’ll tell you, these bands never officially said farewell.

That’s not so forĀ My Dad Is Dead. The influential Chapel Hill-via-Cleveland group split up last year after more than 25 years and 12 LPs.

Frontman and guitarist Mark Edwards hasn’t wasted any time getting back in the game though; Made for Better Things is the first album by his new band Secular Joy. It’s available to download and stream right now on Bandcamp with an official release to follow in February via Chapel HIll’s Unhinged Records.

Featuring MDID’s Billy Buckley on bass, Secular Joy isn’t far removed from Edwards’ previous work. This is still slacker rock in the vein of R.E.M. with Edwards dry warble expressing sarcastic detachment and world-weary insecurity with impressive feeling. The guitars here are stacked a little heavier than with MDID, reveling in big walls of sound instead of tense, wiry guitar tangles. In all, it’s different enough to be interesting without drifting so far as to to alienate fans of Edwards’ old band. — Jordan Lawrence

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