The Penske File “Bad Dreams”
3 male band members standing in front of a brock wall

The Penske File “Bad Dreams”

The Penske File have just released their latest long-player Half Glow on Stomp Records (July 21st) with an accompanying video for the album’s focus track “Bad Dreams.”

The band carries on with their tradition for belting out undeniably catchy tunes with big hooks and anthemic refrains with this new single. Guitarist/vocalist Travis Miles explains how the video (Directed by Victor Wiercioch) and single “Bad Dreams” came to fruition, “This song existed in many iterations before the final version. I had the riff and chord structure kicking around for months, maybe years. At one point all of the lyrics to the tune were completely different. What really unlocked this song was a moment backstage, somewhere on tour in Germany. There was an acoustic guitar and a fully stocked fridge. Me and Alex were swapping some new song ideas and he played a version of the first verse that hit me in a special way. It seemed to sum up what I was trying to say with this song and a lot of the other tunes on the album. Months later, at home, I put that verse into the chord and melody structure of the tune and re-wrote much of the lyrics surrounding that sentiment. In essence, the song is about clawing for optimism amidst an overwhelming fear of the self and the modern world.”

The Penske File dig into the interstitial dichotomies that mirror our world on their new album Half Glow; it is equal parts light and dark, joy and sadness, color and shade, party and hangover. 

Half Glow, an album that guitarist and vocalist Travis Miles describes as an “exploration of love, loss and coming of age in a world that often feels like it is crumbling to bits around you.” The album was recorded at Drive Studios in Toronto and is a culmination of over half a lifetime of musical collaboration between James Hall, Travis Miles and Alexander Standen, the childhood friends that make up the band.

Just like the dualistic reality it portrays, the album’s creation wasn’t without its own hardships: robberies, burn outs, pandemics and many things stood in the way of its completion. Reflecting on the background to the new album Miles had to say, “We went through a lot of hardships during the time of these songs’ creation, working too hard at squeezing out a living as a small band on the road. When COVID ripped off the wheels it became increasingly clear that it was a welcome pause. We took time to chill, reflect, and just do things together as friends and not bandmates. We never lost sight of the dream, but the shape of our dream changed. Eventually, with new eyes on our creations we got back into the studio and finished off the tracks. In many ways Half Glow is an album about growing up, and we did a lot of that from the time of its inception to its completion.” 

Sometimes though, love wins out and it shows on the anthemic introspection expelled on each of the 12 tracks on Half Glow. It’s reminiscent of bands such as The Gaslight Anthem, PUP, Against Me!, The Menzingers, and Hot Water Music.

The Penske File do it for the love of the damn thing. Friendship, rock ’n’ roll, creativity, movement, catharsis. They pull the highs from the lows and scream into the expanse because it is what feels right.

Their live shows are celebrations: celebrations of everything loud, spontaneous and beautiful about life. The Penske File spent the better part of the decade leading into the album’s release on tour, playing festival stages and D.I.Y spaces alike from Vancouver to Hamburg to Gainesville and everywhere in between. They have been hand selected to perform with many of punk rock’s greatest acts, and shared bills with the likes of Bad Religion, The Menzingers, Anti- Flag and The Hold Steady, to name a few.

In many ways, since their last release, Salvation, the band has grown up; still, in many ways, they never will. One thing is for certain though, The Penske File are back with an impressive new album, new eyes, a thirst for celebration, and frankly, they have never sounded better.

-Official bio

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