You may recognize Cullen Omori from Smith Westerns, a Chicago indie-rock act that rose fast in the hype ranks of the blog world. They made three well loved records and then disbanded, as it goes sometimes, but that’s not the end of the story. Former band members Max Kakacek & Julien Ehrlich have since formed Whitney, while Omori has recently released his dark-pop solo debut New Misery. As Omori explains…

I had this overwhelming feeling that perhaps the apex of my life both as a musician and as an individual would be relegated to five years in my late teens/early 20s. This fear really forced me to work hard as to not see the Smith Westerns as an end but as a point along a bigger trajectory.

Inspired by Top 40 tunes heard during his day job at a medical supply company where he’d spend his time cleaning stretchers and wheelchairs, New Misery is a collection of nostalgic tracks with just the right amount of glam. Anxiety driven with a smattering of self-deprecation, covered in pop glitter. Give it a chance and it’ll sink under you skin before you know it. The album title reflects on success and it’s complexities. As Omori stated…

No matter what you get you’re going to want more, you’re going to want something different. That’s the catch.

New Misery is out now on Sub Pop. Grab a copy of the pretty vinyl, cute cassette, CD or digital download here. You can also stream the entire thing via Sub Pop’s YouTube below.

You can also catch Cullen Omori live on his “Sad Guy No More” tour. Check out the dates below…

Tour Dates
Apr. 18 – Washington, DC – DC9*
Apr. 19 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle*
Apr. 21 – Allston, MA – Great Scott*
Apr. 22 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom*
Apr. 23 – Montreal, QC – Le Divan Orange*
Apr. 24 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern*
*w/ Living Hour

You can follow Cullen Omori on Twitter and Instagram & like him on Facebook.

On The Rise is our spotlight series on new and emerging artists. We last featured Bibi Bourelly. Stay tuned for next week’s On The Rise artist!