Dead Fame releases new album

It’s been years, but Richmond’s new-wave post-punk group Dead Fame is finally back with a new album.

It’s been years, but Richmond’s new-wave post-punk group Dead Fame is finally back with a new album.

“We spent too much time overthinking it,” says lead singer Michael Means laughing. “It’s our tragic flaw. With the first record, we really just wanted to get something out there for people to hear, so we did everything quickly. With this one, we really wanted to take our time and make it a good Dead Fame record and something to be proud of.”

The group, made up of Means, along with fellow band members KC Byrnes (guitar), Sadie Powers (bass), Christopher DeNitto (keys), and Eric Klemen (drums), will be releasing its newest EP, “Vicious Design,” on April 8th, which features four new songs as well as three remixes of the song “My Body, My Fool” by artists such as Double Duchess, Xiu Xiu, and DJ Nightstalker.

“The remixes sound completely different from each other,” Powers says. “They don’t just sound like dance remixes. They’re like different songs, but you can still hear the integrity of the song in each remix.”

Already hitting the internet is the album’s latest single “Joan Crawford,” which presents vintage Hollywood glamour and “Mommie Dearest” madness conveyed with synthesizers and electronic arrangements.

“It’s a crazy song, but it’s one of my favorites,” Means says.

According to the band, these new songs almost never saw the light of day.

After the group released its debut EP, 2012’s “Frontiers,” Dead Fame began making a name for itself in the local music scene, opening for such acts as Weekend, Iceage, Yip Deceiver, Parquet Courts, and many others as well as performing at several music festivals including Tom Tom Fest, Midpoint Music Festival, and Richmond’s own Fall Line Fest.

Looking to advance its music career, the band began recording demos to send to record companies with no clear goal of making an actual album. When things didn’t pan out with certain contacts, they decided to take matters into their own hands and just release the band’s music themselves.

“We came to the realization that if we keep waiting for someone else to come along and help us get our music out there, it’s never gonna happen,” Powers says. “And we really liked how these demos sounded. We thought that we could actually release these songs to the public and be proud of them.”

Dead Fame began spending its time dealing with audio engineering, album artwork, proper PR, recording, and other logistics – the “unattractive business part of the business,” Byrnes says.

According to the band, the new EP shows the group’s range as well as its progression.

“We kept thinking about where we’re coming from as a band and how we wanted to represent the vibe and feel of of our music,” Means says. “It’s dark, but it speaks to the mood. It shows the breadth of what we’re capable of and that we’re not locked in some sort of box.”

“These songs get you in the mood to go out and have fun, yet dark and sinister at the same time,” adds Powers. “it’s weird how it works.”

After the release of “Vicious Design,” Dead Fame says its number one focus will be to play more shows, both around Richmond and around the East Coast, but not before throwing an album release party at Balliceaux on May 3rd.

“Now that we’ve had our hands in this new EP, it should be easier for us to take that next step without thinking so hard on it,” Means says. “We have a better idea of what we want and what to expect.”

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Andrew Cothern

Andrew Cothern is the founder and editor of RVA Playlist, a music site that showcases events, concerts, album, show reviews, and opinion pieces that focus on the vibrant local music scene in Richmond.

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