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Anthony Worden to celebrate sophomore album release at Trumpet Blossom

Local artist Anthony Worden released his second album today.

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Jack Howard, Arts Reporter

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With his latest diverse and immersive collection of indie-rock songs, Anthony Worden has left his latest mark on the Iowa City music scene.

His sophomore effort, Slouching Toward Tomorrow , comes out Sept. 21 on cassette tape, CD, and streaming services, with a release party and live set with his supporting band, the Illiterati, to follow at Trumpet Blossom Café at 8 p.m. A passionate proponent of DIY, the singer/songwriter has been involved on the Iowa City music scene for three years and has performed alongside a colorful variety of acts.

Released in 2017, his début album, Ideal Conceptions of the Beautiful and Good, is rife with densely layered indie-rock tunes. On his follow-up, Worden takes a more atmospheric approach to indie-rock conventions.

With the help of a talented cast of local musicians, the record showcases a dynamic sonic variety with a range of influences to parse out. From the shimmering guitar lines and doo-wop harmonies on the album opener, “Start it Up (With You),” to the crunchy guitar groove of the Velvets-esque “Respite” and the more contemplative and psychedelic closer, “Let’s Slip Away,” Worden and his band keep things interesting throughout the record’s half-hour running time, providing something for all listeners to enjoy.

When talking about his latest album, his influences, and his music, Worden is sure to mention Shawn Reed, the owner of Night-People Records.

“He’s one of the dopest Iowa City guys of all time,” Worden said. “He turned me onto a lot of good stuff, like Sonic Boom from Spacemen 3, and especially [Sonic Boom’s] band Spectrum. Once [Reed] showed me that, it really influenced the songs on the album.”

Worden said that in the recording of the album, collaboration was important in shaping the songs.

“It’s pretty much music first, then lyrics second,” he said. “I’m just starting with one idea, then bringing it into the studio, and then it becomes a totally different thing after that. You have all of these other people who take your idea to a whole other realm. I’m very loose in the studio, I don’t have very set ideas, and they’re able to change. I love working with people because it gives the songs you’re working on a new life and unique abilities from others in the studio. It becomes a lot greater than the [original] singular idea.”

With Worden and his band gearing up for the release show, he acknowledged that what listeners hear on the album is different from what they experience live.

“It’s definitely a different thing,” he said. “The songs are not recorded with any sort of live presentation in mind. For the live shows, I try to make it more fun and accessible, with maybe a little more rock ’n’ roll than the listening experience on the record.”

Worden and the Illiterati celebrate their album release on the Trumpet Blossom stage at 8 p.m. Sept. 21, performing the latest cuts from Slouching Toward Tomorrow, as well as older tunes in Worden’s songbook.

You can find Worden’s music on his bandcamp page here.

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