Portland-based rock group Summer Cannibals have been through a lot in the past year. After completing work on their fourth album, lead singer Jessica Boudreaux decided to scrap the entire project and start fresh. Can’t Tell Me No, released last June, is the result: a blistering set of songs about power and resilience, the band’s first LP in three years. They return to home turf September 28 to play a show at Mississippi Studios.
After ending a relationship with a co-writer on their now-discarded album, Boudreaux decided to untangle her work from that person entirely. “Everyone in the band was on board,” she says, “And we just got right to it and started making a new album.”
The band often worked 14 hour days to deliver the record in time to their new label Tiny Engines. It’s their most honest work to date, filled with lyrics that address a decidedly rocky few months.
In “False Anthem,” Boudreaux “see[s] right through” an adversary; title track “Can’t Tell Me No” sees her calling someone “a mosquito buzzing in [her] ear.” “It’s the most straightforward record that we’ve put out in terms of it being blunt about the situation that I found myself in the past couple of years,” says Boudreaux.
After a profusely creative period where the band put out three albums in three years while touring heavily, the band took a hiatus. At one point, Boudreaux considered dissolving it altogether.
“Things weren’t working and I was feeling burnt out. I knew that [the band] needed restructuring, and that is when Devon and I found Cassi [Blum] and Ethan [Butman], who play guitar and bass,” she says. “We got new life and energy and I don’t think we would have found that if we didn’t take a little bit of time off.”
Now the band is back on their heavy tour schedule. “We haven’t really said no to anything in the past year,” Boudreaux says. We are going to take a break from touring starting November 10 and, in that time, we’ll start working on the next record. I’m excited to keep moving forward and keep evolving.”
7 p.m. Sat, Sept 28, Mississippi Studios, $15