On Netflix's Stranger Things, Joe Keery has spent two seasons evolving his character, Steve Harrington, from misguided bully to dreamy boyfriend to benevolent protector — all the while sporting the best lettuce in Hawkins, Indiana. But as the man behind the character, Keery's also spent plenty of time honing his abilities as a musician in the band Post Animal, where he sings and plays guitar.
The group — in which Keery plays psychedelic-inspired garage rock alongside five of his Chicago pals — recently signed to Polyvinyl Record Co., and on Tuesday (February 20), the first taste of their debut album, When I Think of You in a Castle, arrived via the swirling, panoramic new single "Ralphie."
Keery, who shares lead vocals on the track with bassist Dalton Allison, joined the band in 2015 and contributed to the new album, which was recorded at an apparently haunted house in Michigan and at home in Chicago; partly because of his blossoming acting career, Keery will no longer tour with the band, according to a press release:
It comes as no surprise that our incredibly talented Joe has found success in other artistic endeavors, and for that reason he is no longer an active touring member of Post Animal. We plan to create more magic with him in the future as our fondness for musical collaboration remains strong.
Keery's Stranger Things costars Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo have their hands in the music game as well, in the bands Calpurnia and Work in Progress, respectively. They all sound different, of course, but Calpurnia's got its own Chicago connection, as the members worked on a debut EP with Cadien Lake James of local band Twin Peaks.
I know everything is a meme now, but it's worth saying that Post Animal's very fun song "Ralphie" shares some DNA with another great song that encapsulates the general sentiment I'm trying to convey here: the one about the boys being, in fact, back in town.
When I Think of You in a Castle is out April 20. You can pre-order it right here.