The March Divide | “DISTRACTIONS” SERIES / ANTICIPATION POPS LP | SLOW START RECORDS | OUT NOW
Every morning / I drag myself to the mirror / Pull a comb through my hair / And hope I’m ready for the day
The songwriting and performing career of San Antonio-based artist Jared Putnam aka The March Divide continues to wind and weave its way along the highways of America. Putnam is invading the hearts and minds of new fans every day as he continues a seemingly endless tour, with over 50 dates already played or announced for 2019, and more on the way.
The lyric above opens “I Got Lost,” one of three brand-new The March Divide tunes that will be released as the third installment of Putnam’s “Distractions” series of singles (Slow Start Records, April 5th). It’s poignant and visceral and goes to show the progression of Putnam’s songwriting over the years, a deeper, more personal, and risk-taking approach that he began to develop in earnest with his most recent full-length, 2018’s Anticipation Pops.
“One of the things that I like most about the ‘Distractions’ series is that I don’t feel like I need to live up to any expectations,” Putnam says. “I can just go wherever it takes me, not like with an album, where there needs to be some sort of cohesive theme to the songs and production.”
Showing audiences more and more of what Putnam’s about has helped The March Divide build a loyal following in the markets that Putnam frequently visits, and he’s not only a good showman on stage, he takes the time in-between songs and after the gig to connect with fans. It’s a personal touch that’s keeping him in business.
“People are almost always streaming music instead of popping in a CD or putting on a record,” he says. “But, I want to be a songwriter, not a t-shirt salesman, so I continue to push my physical sales. There are plenty of people out there that still want physical media, like me!”
He continues, saying, “‘Please form a single file line at the merch table, no pushing or shoving, please, there is plenty for everyone,’ is generally what I’ll say from the stage at the end of my set. It makes people laugh, so I just keep using it. After that, I walk around the room, and make a point to talk to every group of people. I even go outside and talk to the smokers.”
It’s Putnam’s affable way of grinding it out and hustling that has allowed him to do the thing most touring songwriters are unable to do, which is to keep on doing it at all. His growing fanbase funds the tour and their belief and appreciation of Putnam’s work has pushed him to his best songwriting to date. Putnam is a prolific artist, with four full-lengths, several EPs, a string of cover tunes, and now the “Distractions” series over a mere six years or so. He finds creative ways to get his tunes out.
“‘Distractions’ is something I came up with as a way to continue to release the music I’m working on, between albums,” he explains. “The name refers to the fact that when I’m writing and recording these songs, it’s usually a distraction from the things that I feel like I should be doing, like the business part of what I do. But at the end of the day, writing and recording is all I ever want to do anyway.”
The new three-song single “Distractions, Vol. 3” by The March Divide is out April 5th. “Distractions, Vol. 2” is out now. “Distractions, Vol. 4” is in the works. Anticipation Pops, the fourth full-length album by The March Divide is out now, all via Slow Start Records. Look for Jared Putnam out on the road throughout 2019.
You think we’d know Jared Putnam by now.
Over the course of three “impressively hooky” (American Songwriter) albums, five “completely clever” (Performer Magazine) EPs, numerous singles, and a batch of cover songs in a mere half-decade, Putnam’s mostly one-man project The March Divide has delivered a seemingly unending stream of songs that have established the San Antonio-based artist as one of the best rock songwriters working today.
Putnam’s upcoming fourth The March Divide album is Anticipation Pops (Aug. 24th, Slow Start Records) and is his best work to date, mostly because the ten songs here reveal a greater emotional depth, along with performances, and lyrics, that go beyond anything that Putnam has offered up before. Perhaps his near-manic recording and touring schedule was prologue that has led to the relatable sensitivity that is this album.
“This record feels like a new direction,” Putnam says.
Recording at home on the fly, and skipping his usual demo and pre-production process, has allowed Putnam to maintain a spontaneous feeling that informs these songs, and obviously kept him from overthinking lyrics or anything else that stood in the way of a group of tunes that could be called “raw” if Putnam wasn’t so good at producing himself and if the word “raw” didn’t scream “under produced.”
That is to say: These songs sound great.
Putnam claims that the work on Anticipation Pops represents a thematic “consistent inconsistency,” different from his more planned past albums. And while he dials that back when he agrees that the album is cohesive, he’s either being modest, or is far enough outside of his comfort zone now not to notice that Anticipation Pops is actually his most thematic record of all.
Writing ten personal songs from a unique perspective, but relatable to everyone, is an artistic goal most songwriters never achieve. True to Putnam’s attitude of throwing caution to the wind with this album, the first single is the record’s aptly titled opening cut, “I Don’t Care,” a two-minute gem that leaves ‘em wanting more.
“I think there’s something really special about a two-minute pop song,” Putnam says. “It’s like a shot of adrenaline. A song like that is a flash – it comes and goes – and is unexpected. ‘I Don’t Care’ really sets the tone. It’s a slow build of liberation and confidence, expressed in just two minutes.”
Doubling down on the attitude of “I Don’t Care,” Putnam affirms once again that he made Anticipation Pops by deciding, “this is what I’m doing, take it or leave it.” Apparently he didn’t know that the result would be the work his fans can care for most of all.
Anticipation Pops, the fourth full-length album by The March Divide is out August 24th, 2018 on the artist’s recently co-founded Slow Start Records label, preceded by the single, “I Don’t Care”.
06/15/2019: New Braunfels, TX @ Muck & Fuss
06/14/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Market Barbeque
06/16/2019: San Antonio, TX @ The Aquaduck
06/20/2019: New Braunfels, TX @ Muck & Fuss
06/21/2019: El Paso, TX @ The Nature House
06/22/2019: Phoenix, AZ @ Third Space
06/23/2019: Escondido, CA @ House Show (REQUEST INFO)
06/24/2019: Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
06/25/2019: Santa Fe, NM @ Desert Dogs Brewing
06/26/2019: Amarillo, NM @ The 806
06/27/2019: Los Alamos, NM @ Pajaritos Bewpub
06/28/2019: Los Alamos, NM @ Bathtub Row Brewing
06/29/2019: Wichita Falls, TX @ GypsyUncorked
06/30/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Fralo’s
07/05/2019: New Braunfels, TX @ Muck & Fuss
07/11/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Fralo’s
07/12/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Southtown 101
07/13/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Freetail Brewing (Presa)
07/18/2019: Dallas, TX @ Adair’s Saloon
07/19/2019: San Antonio, TX @ The Point
07/20/2019: Austin, TX @ House Show (REQUEST INFO)
07/25/2019: New Braunfels, TX @ Muck & Fuss
08/02/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Market Barbeque
08/09/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Southtown 101
08/10/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Freetail Brewing (Presa)
08/23/2019: Kansas City, MO @ KC House
08/24/2019: Wichita, KS @ Gaslight Gardens
08/25/2019: Dallas, TX @ Adair’s Saloon
08/30/2019: San Antonio, TX @ The Point
08/31/2019: San Antonio, TX @ Market Barbeque
09/07/2019: San Antonio, TX @ La Tuna Icehouse