American Football comprise vocalist/bassist/guitarist Mike Kinsella, guitarist Steve Holmes, and drummer/trumpet player Steve Lamos. Kinsella's emo/post-rock pedigree includes stints with bands like Cap'n Jazz and Joan of Arc; American Football share a similar aesthetic, blending jazzy tempos, pop hooks, and earnest vocals into their sound. The group released its self-titled debut EP in 1998 and its eponymous full-length in 1999 before abruptly breaking up after only a few years of existence. Kinsella went on to perform solo as Owen, as well as with his brother Tim in the equally elusive rock group Owls. American Football's legacy would grow following their dissolution, with new fans discovering their album as it went through various re-pressings over the years.
In 2014, the band reunited for a handful of sold-out shows in N.Y.C. to celebrate the album's 15th anniversary reissue, which included unreleased bonus tracks and demo recordings. They then took their reunion on the road, adding Kinsella's brother Nate on bass and playing packed houses in London, Tokyo, and around the world. It went so well that the band decided to record a new album. After writing new songs the quartet hit the studio for a couple months, updating their sound with age and experience, but still sounding remarkably like they did on their debut. Also titled American Football and released by Polyvinyl, the album was released in October of 2016. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi