Car Colors, the new solo project of The Wrens’ Charles Bissell, has released their first song, ‘Old Death’. Listen to the track below.
In October, Bissell announced that he had left New Jersey indie rock band The Wrens, of which he was the co-frontman, and was launching this new solo project.
In addition to ‘Old Death’, the song’s two B-sides, ‘And It’s All Guns and Arrows’ and ‘I’ll Bear’, are now available to stream.
Speaking about the new material, Bissell has said: “’Old Death’ is, like the rest of the album, sort of a sequel to [2003’s] ‘The Meadowlands’ before it and like that one, is about time, how one chooses to spend it, what those choices cost.”
“That means for me, the song (and album) is also about making the album itself. It’s about death, maybe obviously, but it’s really about my dumb life. And because so much of that life lined up weirdly well to the Odyssey, it’s all sorta hung on Homer’s narrative framework (while I unlike say, Ulysses, in my case it’s all very non-fictional/auto-biographical).”
“However like Ulysses, every song is written in a stream-of-consciousness mode. Or for me, really more of a stream-of-memories: that time this happened, that other-time-this-reminds-me-of happened etc. Hence, the parenthetical dating throughout the lyrics as those memories pop in & out. So basically like, unlike, like and then unlike Ulysses – ha.”
The Wrens formed in 1989, releasing a total of three studio albums, most recently 2003’s critically acclaimed ‘The Meadowlands’.
The first Car Colors album is set to be made up of tracks that had initially been composed for a fourth Wrens album. It will be released via The Wrens’ former label Absolutely Kosher Records in early 2024.
An Instagram post from October appeared to signal the end of the band, but a follow-up statement by Aeon Station – aka The Wrens bassist/vocalist Kevin Whelan, his brother Greg and Jerry MacDonald – disputed the idea that Bissell’s departure signals the group’s disbandment.
“Though Charles has decided to leave the band, it does not mean that the band has broken up,” the statement read. “3/4 of The Wrens continue to work together writing, recording music, and playing shows as Aeon Station. Who knows what the future may hold for The Wrens.
“The other Wrens wish Charles success on his solo project. Thank you to everyone who has supported the band through the years.”
Back in 2016, Bissell revealed that he was battling cancer. He shared later that year that he was in remission.