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JAXLIVE teams up with SING OUT LOUD FESTIVAL 2021 to present



September 11

6:00 pm

The sixth studio album from Tallahassee-based rock bandMayday Parade, Sunnylandgets its title from an abandoned hospital where the band members used to sneak in to exploreas teenagers. “The hospitalshut down sometime in the mid-’80s but thenit just stayedthere for decades,” sayslead vocalist Derek Sanders. “It was asuper-creepy place—it was overgrown with vines,and still had some of the hospital beds and IV stands—but we have all these good memories of hanging out there whenwe were younger.”

The follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 album Black Lines, Sunnyland finds MaydayParade both reflecting on the past and pushing toward thefuture. The bandrecorded the album with longtime producers Zack Odom andKenneth Mount, and also teamed up with Grammy nominated producer John Feldmann (blink-182, Panic! At the Disco) and Howard Benson(Of Mice & Men, My Chemical Romance)for the very first time.The result is an album built on impassioned vocals, sing-along choruses, and deeply heartfeltlyrics.From the album-opening“Never Sure”—a tortured love song driven by blistering riffs and pummeling drumbeats—Mayday Parade instill all ofSunnylandwith unbridled energy. Whether they’re taking on a folk-infused ballad like “Always Leaving” or channeling brutalpunk fury into tracks like “If I Were You,” the band sustains an undeniable intensity. While much of the album explorespersonal matterslike loss and love (as on the stirringlyromantic, piano-laced “Piece Of Your Heart”),songs such as “It’s Hard to Be ReligiousWhen Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts Of Lightning” emerge as an outward-looking burstof anger. “That song was written within months of Donald Trump being elected and came from feeling upset that something as horrible as that could happen,” says Sanders. “But even though there’s a lot of negativity on the song, there’s still a hopeful chorus, becauseI think we need to try to stayhopeful.”And to close out Sunnyland, Mayday Parade deliver the album’s stripped-backtitle track, a melancholy midtempo number that unfolds with graceful acoustic guitar work, delicate harmonies, and subtlydetailed storytelling.Since making their debut with 2007’s A Lesson inRomantics, the band has sold over 1.1 million albums, steadily amassinga worldwide following. Through the years, theirchemistry has only gotten more potent, with all five members now contributingto the songwriting process (and coming up with upwards of 80 songs in the writing sessions for Sunnyland). “When we started this band most of us were still teenagers,” notes Sanders. “We’ve obviously grown up and changed a whole lot since then, but through all that we’ve grown closer as friends and tighteras musicians. It’s amazing and incredible that we’re able to still do this, and we all definitely realize how lucky we are.”Having gottentheir startselling their CDs in the parking lot of Vans Warped Tour, Mayday Parade have now headlined the tour five times, and will play the main stageagain this summer for the tour’s final run. For the band, each live showoffers the chanceto personally connect with the dedicated following they considermore like a family than a fanbase. And with the release of Sunnyland, Mayday Parade’s mission is to continue strengthening that connection through their uncompromisinghonestyand boundless emotion. “There’s a lot of sadness in these songs, but it’s always a good thing to get those feelingsout,” says Sandersof Sunnyland. “So if there are people out there dealing withhard times, we hope our music can help them work through that,and come away feeling a little better about everything.”

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