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Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs Take Us Back to the Future of the 80s with "Judy"

Toronto's favorite party-rockers have shared the gloriously retro first single from their new album.
Image courtesy of Dine Alone Records and Burger Records.

There's a reason Stranger Things was such a runaway favourite last year (and no, it's not just because PUP music video celebrity Finn Wolfhard starred in it): people fucking love peering back into the past. Stranger Things was an invigorating blast of nostalgia; even if you didn't grow up in the '80s playing Dungeons & Dragons in the basement with your pals, you could find a parallel to your own youth. Those times carry an air of innocence and unbridled excitement that we're always trying to get back to. If you're aching for more pure retro-glory before season two drops, the heroes in Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs are here to scratch that itch and then some. Plus, they love Dungeons & Dragons.


The Toronto six-piece is gearing up to release their new self-titled record via Dine Alone in Canada, and Burger Records in the U.S. The nine-track opus is due on July 28, and today they're sharing the lead single, "Judy." It sounds like if your beloved, patch-covered, never-washed jean jacket came to life, cram-listened to Bruce Springsteen and Thin Lizzy, and started a band with other punk-ass jean jackets. It's a riotous punch of powerpop bombast, finishing with a windows-down outro that careens down the highway into the sunset. Producer Alex Bonenfant (METZ, July Talk) does a slick job of nudging the song into E-Street Band-grade anthemics, making it an indulgent arena-rock escape. Coffey explains that the song is as escapist as it sounds. "'Judy' is a song about being young, sticking together and going the distance," he says. "Growing up and starting to become self-aware in the suburban sprawl was a really important time for me (and I think for a lot of people) so it's something that comes out pretty naturally when I write. If the whole album is a reflection on suburban blight and teenage isolation then 'Judy' is the thesis statement. It'll also be the only song that name-checks Dwight Twilley this year. He's the best." Whether you grew up in the '80s or not, Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs will reactivate the part of your brain that believes things can be as good as they seemed when you were a kid. The band is hitting the road this spring and summer, joining The Dirty Nil and The Flatliners for the stacked Dine Alone Tour through May and June.

Tour Dates: April 27 - Brooklyn, NY - Alphaville
April 28 - Montreal, QC - Turbohaus
May 25 - Hamilton, ON - Club Absinthe #
May 26 - London, ON - Rum Runners #
May 27 - Madison, WI - Mickey's Tavern
May 28 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club #
May 31 - Regina, SK - The Exchange #
June 1 - Calgary, AB - Nite Owl #
June 2 - Kelowna, BC - Habitat #
June 3 - Vancouver, BC - Venue Nightclub #
June 4 - Whistler, BC - Garfinkel's #
June 7 - Edmonton, AB - Needle Vinyl Tavern #
June 8 - Saskatoon, SK - Amigos Cantina #
June 9 - Winnipeg, MB - Park Theatre #
June 10 - Thunder Bay, ON - Crocks #
June 12 - Timmins, ON - The Working Class #
June 13 - Sudbury, ON - Asylum
June 14 - Ottawa, ON - Zaphod Beeblebrox #
June 15 - Waterloo, ON - Maxwell's #
June 17 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace #
# = w/ Flatliners & The Dirty Nil

Luke Ottenhof is a writer living in Ontario. Follow him on Twitter.