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

Mar 04 2019
Union Stage
Washington, DC
Mar 05 2019
World Cafe Live Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 07 2019
Murmrr Theatre
Brooklyn, NY
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Mar 08 2019
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY
Mar 09 2019
The Sinclair
Cambridge, MA
Mar 11 2019
Horseshoe Tavern
Toronto, Canada
Mar 12 2019
Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Cleveland, OH
Mar 14 2019
Nashville, TN
Mar 15 2019
Indianapolis, IN
Mar 16 2019
Lincoln Hall
Chicago, IL
Mar 17 2019
The Back Room @ Colectivo
Milwaukee, WI
Mar 18 2019
Turf Club
St Paul, MN
Mar 20 2019
Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO
Mar 23 2019
The State Room
Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 25 2019
St. James
Vancouver, Canada
Mar 26 2019
Chop Suey
Seattle, WA
Mar 27 2019
Aladdin Theater
Portland, OR
Mar 29 2019
Sacramento, CA
Mar 30 2019
The Fonda Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Mar 31 2019
Beauty Bar
Las Vegas, NV
Mar 31 2019
Beauty Bar Las Vegas - Outdoor
Las Vegas, NV
Apr 02 2019
Soho Restaurant & Music Club
Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 04 2019
Moe's Alley
Santa Cruz, CA
Apr 05 2019
The Fillmore
San Francisco, CA
Apr 25 2019
Marfa Myths
Marfa, TX
May 24 2019
Tomavistas Festival
Madrid, Spain
May 25 2019
Tomavistas Festival
Madrid, Spain
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
Aug 29 2019
End of the Road Festival
Tollard Royal, United Kingdom