Bryce Avary tells EW the collection is the "hardest" and "most ambitious" album he's ever made.

By Jessica Goodman
February 24, 2016 at 01:59 PM EST
Braverijah Gregg

The Rocket Summer

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Bryce Avary’s solo project The Rocket Summer returns with a sixth album Zoetic on Friday, and now EW is excited to premiere a first listen of the collection below.

Recorded in Avary’s Laurel Canyon apartment in Los Angeles, the album is the alt-rock outfit’s first since 2012’s Life Will Write The Words. “There was this feeling of surrender,” Avary, who wrote, produced, engineered, and played every instrument on the album, tells EW. “Without a doubt, this is the most ambitious record I’ve ever done.”

The collection houses a “common theme of tension within your soul, a war within yourself,” says Avary. To portray that, he relied on raucous guitars and darker keys, and fell into a heavier sound than he had used in his delicately produced breakout albums, 2003’s Calendar Days and 2005’s Hello, Good Friend. Avary also calls it the “hardest” album The Rocket Summer has put out. “There wasn’t much thought of, ‘Is this a Rocket Summer album?’ when I was making it. I pushed myself to do something I never would have done in the past.”

That includes recording “30 to 40 songs that didn’t make the album.” He jokes, “Maybe years later, I’ll come back and make Zoetic 2.”

But until then, The Rocket Summer will tour with the 11-track collection. The run kicks off March 11 in Houston and will go through April. See a full list of dates on The Rocket Summer’s website.

Hear Zoetic in full below.

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The Rocket Summer

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