Five-and-a-half years ago, four impressionable teenagers descended on Ottawa Bluesfest, where they played two afternoon sets. They rocked out like My Morning Jacket in their prime and delivered thoughtful, insightful lyrics that recalled Neil Young and Eddie Vedder in their youth. As the crowd slowly filled up to see who were ripping ear-piercing guitar riffs and thunderous rhythms, they would learn that the band’s name was The Districts. We were fans before their festival appearance, but their two performances turned us into die-hards. Now, they regularly appear in these parts.

In the six years we’ve followed the band from little Lititz, Pennsylvania, we’ve witnessed them mature as adults and refine their craft. Like all great bands, they refuse to be stagnant, constantly looking at ways to evolve. With their indie-rock roots firmly established, they experimented with a bit of post-punk and folk-rock. For their latest single, they go even further away from the rock ‘n roll ways.

Get out the dancing shoes because “Cheap Regrets” is an adrenaline-inducing, infectious piece of nu-disco – or at the band describes as nihilist disco. The track is part Future Islands, another part Operators, and a chunk of Daft Punk. But instead of relying on synthesizers, Pat Cassidy’s chiming guitar rings loud and clear, sizzling through the hypnotic beats and buzzing synths.

Although the band’s sound has evolved, frontman Rob Grote’s songwriting has not. Despite the entertaining and rapturous music, Grote once again offers a critique of American society. Specifically, he sets his sights on the Machiavellian tendencies of the rich and famous and those who “lead” the country.

“I didn’t know what a mirror was til I went to LA.
Jacuzzis, an uzi, and a Land Rover ride,
That’s what the money’s for
Bikinis, Bellinis, and paté.

And in the country we’re just burning up too,
The weakest link’s just a drain on the food.
And if it’s better being left on it’s own
Let’s prod it like cattle.

Watch the video below, which sees Grote do his best Christopher Walken impression as he walks through the streets and bridges of Philadelphia.

The Districts are Rob Grote (vocals/guitar), Conor Jacobus (bass), Pat Cassidy (guitar), and Braden Lawrence (drums). Their new album, You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere, will be released March 13th via Fat Possum Records. Pre-orders available here.

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