Red Light Management

Cass McCombs

Artist Bio

Cass McCombs is a transient storyteller interested in words, music and dreams. In conjunction with today’s album announcement, McCombs shares forthcoming ninth album, Tip of the Sphere, out February 8, 2019 on ANTI- Records.  


Tip of the Sphere follows 2016’s Mangy Love. For that record, McCombs made his television debut on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and was featured in The New York Times’ Sunday Arts & Leisure section calling him “the greatest songwriter of his time.” It was named a “Best Rock Album of the Year” by Pitchfork, featured in the Washington Posts “Best Music of 2016,” plus many other best of 2016 lists, and was his overall most critically praised album.


While most of McCombs albums have been pieced together in different studios over an extended period of time, Tip of the Sphere was recorded quickly and with a strong sense of purpose at Shahzad Ismaily’s Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn. This new approach for McCombs brought his songs a raw immediacy and a special balance of compassion and experimentation with the intent of making a more consistent statement. The rock songs have more fervor, the ballads are more beautiful, the explorations more confident; the sounds of jazz and Latin music creep in through the back window. Engineered by Sam Owens (aka Sam Evian), Tip of the Sphere features the core band of McCombs (guitar, vocals), Dan Horne (co-producer and bass), Otto Hauser (drums) and Frank LoCrasto (piano, organ, and more), plus a range of guests.


Tip of the Sphere recounts what has unfolded in the wake of Mangy Love’s pre-inaugural prophetic themes. It presents an artist trying to make sense of it all through a relentless, ever searching creative process. Throughout Tip of the Sphere, McCombs floats through a suite of songs driven by a journeying mysticism and dark grace. The thematic centerpiece of the album, “Sleeping Volcanoes,” is a rousing, rock and roll number that uses a distinct lyrical approach to intensify the narrative. On the main refrain, a key phrase of the song is repeated continuously and taken through its possible meanings, almost like a jazz musician repeating a musical phrase through key and chord changes. As described by McCombs, “Sleeping Volcanoes” is about “people passing each other on the sidewalk unaware of the emotional volatility they are brushing past, like a sleeping volcano that could erupt at any moment.”


The ‘Castillo de la Esfera’ is featured inside the vinyl edition of Tip of the Sphere. ‘The ‘Castillo de la Esfera‘ was created by fellow Northern California artist and contemporary Tahiti Pehrson as an homage to Brion Gysin’s dream machine. When the ‘Castillo de la Esfera’ is placed on top of the record player, and as the record is played (with or without a lightbulb cantilevered in the center), thoughts are encouraged to wander.

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Tour Dates

Apr 28 2019
Festival de Tierra Beat at Parque Bicentenario CDMX
Mexico City, Mexico
May 24 2019
Tomavistas Festival
Madrid, Spain
May 25 2019
Tomavistas Festival
Madrid, Spain
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May 28 2019
Prague, Czech Republic
May 29 2019
Berlin, Germany
May 30 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark
May 31 2019
Hamburg, Germany
Jun 01 2019
Gent, Belgium
Jun 03 2019
Paradiso Noord
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jun 04 2019
La Maroquinerie
Paris, France
Jun 06 2019
EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney)
London, United Kingdom
Jun 07 2019
Sideways Festival
Helsinki, Finland
Jun 19 2019
Sled Island
Calgary, Canada
Jun 22 2019
Oregon Zoo Amphitheater
Portland, OR
Jun 23 2019
Woodland Park Zoo
Seattle, WA
Jul 11 2019
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Winnipeg, Canada
Aug 29 2019
End of the Road Festival
Tollard Royal, United Kingdom