Pedro the Lion came together in the mid-’90s, guided by mastermind David Bazan’s thoughtful and emotionally resonant Indie Rock songs, which seemed to connect with the band’s cultishly loyal followers on a cellular level. Because of the deep connection, fans were deeply disappointed when Bazan announced the end of Pedro over a decade ago.
After nearly a decade of critically acclaimed albums and EPs — plus side-projects like the Synth Pop group Headphones — Bazan powered down Pedro (which always featured a rotating lineup of players) in 2006 and embarked on a successful solo career (perhaps slightly stigmatized by being labeled “Sadcore”). Performing genuinely solo, Bazan toyed with the mechanics of touring and releasing music, like traveling with a string quartet and releasing two new songs a month, which would later become the Bazan Monthly albums.
Last year Bazan announced the return of Pedro the Lion, saying he missed the energy of collaborating with other musicians.
"I was looking for a way to be in a band again," he said in an interview with NPR earlier this year. "I had been playing solo under my own name and in a band under my own name off and on for years and I was trying to find way to regularly play with a band again. One thing lead to another, and it became clear that the way to do that was to revive the band name Pedro the Lion and once I made that decision everything kind of fell into place and it felt really right."
The “new” Pedro has been working on songs, which will be released by the Polyvinyl label. Bazan says the revival of Pedro the Lion has been a “reawakening.” “It’s reconnected me to parts of myself and my history (both sonic and personal) that I had lost touch with,” he wrote on pedrothelion.com.
Bazan told NPR that the album, Phoenix (due early next year), draws musically from the breadth of Pedro’s previous output, while lyrically it is a concept-album homage to Phoenix, Ariz., where he grew up.
Pedro the Lion plays the Southgate House Revival Saturday at 9 p.m.
9 p.m. Saturday. $20. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com.