On Friday (December 2nd), White Lung will make their anticipated return with Premonition. It’s the punk act’s first album since 2016’s Paradise, but the new material comes with bittersweet news for fans: Premonition will be the end of White Lung.
Premonition’s journey to see the light of day and the decision for it to be the band’s swan song are years in the making. The writing and recording process started back in 2017, not long after Paradise. But life unfolded, and the original 2020 release date proved to be, we’ll say, less than ideal, resulting in the project getting pushed. The elongated period of time between the album’s conception and its unveiling eventually cemented what the band had already begun to suspect; this is White Lung’s goodbye.
“When all this happened with the pandemic and everything, it kind of caused this unintentional hiatus that just felt organic and right for this to be goodbye,” vocalist Mish Barber-Way tells Consequence. “You know, sometimes you have to listen to the universe and what it’s giving you.”
And the universe was indeed sending its messages loud and clear, starting with Barber-Way learning of her first pregnancy during the initial days of recording.
“That’s a huge thing to find out in the middle of recording,” she says. “I literally found out in the studio with our producer Jesse [Gander], he was the first one to know. I took the test in the bathroom upstairs, you know, about to go sing.”
The news, expectedly, drastically changed the direction of Premonition and subsequently the band as a whole. What started out as a heavy, “borderline metal” set of songs, according to guitarist Keneth William, slowly embraced a more palpable sense of optimism and hope. Barber-Way pivoted from her usual tactics of writing angry lyrics she’d record with a bottle of whiskey in her hand to musing on her coming motherhood and tracking her vocals sober for the first time in her career.