Oakland, CA (November 19, 2021) – Oakland-based four-piece band Ultra Q have released their new EP Get Yourself A Friend today (via Royal Mountain Records). Fronted by Jakob Armstrong and featuring brothers Enzo and Chris Malaspina as well as Kevin Judd, the new EP was co-produced by Armstrong and Martin Cooke (Of Monsters And Men, Death Cab For Cutie, Destroy Boys) and features songwriting from Stefan Babcock, lead singer of PUP.
Click HERE to buy/stream Get Yourself A Friend
Click HERE to watch the video for “Get Yourself A Friend”
Ultra Q have also released the official music video for the title track today which was shot by Pennacky, the Japanese director behind all of the music videos for 88Rising’s soundtrack for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings. Upon meeting Armstrong and Pennacky immediately connected on their love of The Cure and a deep-cut video that inspired Pennacky to attach the camera to a rope for the new visual. Pennacky is also an avid fan of the Ultraman Sci-Fi series and drew from the original plot to shape the story of the video.
Opening double-shot “Pupkin” and “It’s Permanent” soar to the heights of Ultra Q’s powers in much different ways; the former a black-clad romp through a rainy graveyard, the former pushing straight to the clouds with its soaring chorus. “Straight Jacket” veers pleasantly close to the jangle-pop of the Go-Betweens. “Bowman” features guitars like cats getting into a scratch-fight while an astoundingly metronomic drumbeat is played live rather than punched out on a beat pad. Closing the EP is its title track, an affecting end credits anthem full of nostalgia and a twinge of regret. On the song, which Babcock helped to arrange, Armstrong shares, “I think this track sums up what this EP is supposed to be, a coming-of-age farewell to our youth. It’s about being young and in love. Being reckless, and overstimulated. Feeling like the tragedies in your life are permanent and without any direction. We’ve grown up, even if it’s ever so slight.”
As a whole, Get Yourself A Friend marks the synthesis of a songwriter’s vision and his band’s ability, forged through an invisible existential threat and an ever-changing world, eager to show what they’ve found while we were all inside.
Ultra Q’s previous EPs, In a Cave in a Video Game and We’re Starting To Get Along, saw the band gain praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, NME, and Vice, in addition to leading to tours with The Regrettes, Hockey Dad, and Bad Suns. Jakob Armstrong—youngest son of Green Day frontman Billie Joe—began playing guitar at seven years old and honed his craft privately until about sixteen, playing in bands in and around Oakland after meeting friends with like-minded tastes in music. Soon enough, with the memories of Ultraman action figures fighting in his mind, he and a group of friends he cultivated from those years playing around and pouring over records, formed Ultra Q. The band will play Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival in Spring 2022.