Photo Credit: Patrik Skoglöw

SEPTEMBER 22, 2023 – 2x GRAMMY-nominated band Rival Sons have unleashed a brand new single entitled “Mercy” – available on all streaming platforms now. It heralds the impending arrival of their much-anticipated new album, LIGHTBRINGER, on October 20th. It notably marks the group’s second full-length offering to be unveiled in 2023, following June’s critically acclaimed companion album DARKFIGHTER. LIGHTBRINGER is available for pre-order / pre-save now [album art / tracklisting below]. The pre-order includes two vinyl variants – Lemonade & Black – as well as a CD version.

As an album standout, “Mercy” illuminates the group’s uncanny knack for dynamics. Howling vocals toss and turn over a hulking guitar riff. Lyrically, it confronts pain passed down from one generation to the next as vocalist Jay Buchanan bemoans, “You know that anger moves like electricity.”

Regarding “Mercy,” Jay elaborated, ““It’s so conductive, the way trauma moves from person to person. Anger moves like electricity in a similar way, once it gets inside you it immediately seeks transmission to latch onto someone or something else. The verses have this cyclical friction to them and it brought this to mind; inherited trauma and its vicious, silent grip. Breaking these cycles begins with recognition and I wanted to sing about that. Try a little mercy, mercy never lets you down.”

Guitarist Scott Holiday shared, “It’s time to reveal yet another track (the last before release day!) from Lightbringer! This round, we are sharing the song entitled: “Mercy.” A song that deals with internal struggle and trying to connect with our ‘higher’ selves… to turn that energy within the struggle into something better. Musically this was a song I started very early in the writing process… Working with a similar tone that I used on the track “Mirrors” from Darkfighter. Yet, we didn’t complete this song until the end of recording all the others. Like so many of the riffs I write, I hear the drums / groove immediately, and it’s equally important / integral to the riff. Miley delivers a pretty deadly and infectious groove to accompany my guitar. One of the coolest drum / riff moments of both records in my opinion. I love the minimalism Jay attacks the song with. Really drives the message home for me. Also an inspired guitar solo, which I cut at home in my own studio. Please enjoy “Mercy.”

Moreover, it lands in the wake of the upbeat and undeniable “Sweet Life” – available on all streaming platforms. Right out of the gate, it gathered over 376K Spotify streams and counting. Beyond plugs from Consequence of SoundClassic Rock Magazine, and many more, American Songwriter praised, “The heavy subject matter at the heart of Lightbringer is temporarily lifted on their latest single, “Sweet Life,” adding “the groovy cut offers an energizing escape from every day worries,” and Guitar Player spoke to Scott extensively for an in-depth profile.

About LIGHTBRINGER, Scott said, “When you do two albums back-to-back like this, there are a lot of things to think about. The first record has to pack enough of a punch and tell enough of a story for the second half to have an even bigger impact. We balanced them out with energy and meaning, but the follow-up always needed to deliver a bigger blow. I think LIGHTBRINGER provides this.”

Jay added, “DARKFIGHTER is a new Rival Sons, and LIGHTBRINGER is the clear definition of what we are now. We broke ground on DARKFIGHTER, but LIGHTBRINGER is a step beyond the personal innovation and exploration. It goes a little further. We really took everything into our own hands and pushed to see how far we could go. It was a self-exploration to see who we were and who we’ll be now. We had more friction and compromise than ever, because we isolated the bare essence of where we needed to go—and then we went there.”

Rival Sons crafted DARKFIGHTER and LIGHTBRINGER during the same sessions over the course of 2021. Once again, they recorded with creative confidant and longtime producer Dave Cobb behind the board. The band initially dropped DARKFIGHTER to unanimous tastemaker praise earlier this summer. Classic Rock attested, “DARKFIGHTER might just be Rival Sons’ masterpiece,” and GLIDE Magazine enthused, “DARKFIGHTER is a lean hard rock album that condenses what Rival Sons does well into a brief attack.” At the same time, they have piled up millions of streams across the likes of “Nobody Wants To Die,” “Bird in the Hand,” “Rapture,” and more.

Rival Sons recently concluded a tour with The Smashing Pumpkins and will be touring through the end of 2023 with select U.S. headline shows and festival appearances. Check out the full confirmed itinerary below.

In 2021, Rival Sons celebrated the 10th anniversary of their 2011 album, Pressure and Time, by performing the landmark long player live in its entirety on the Pressure and Time Tour for the first time. They also lit up Southern California with a two-night livestream event, Rival Sons – “PAIR OF ACES” – Live from the historic Catalina Casino on Santa Catalina Island. They performed their debut LP, Before the Fire [2009], in its entirety on the first night and their self-titled EP, Rival Sons [2010], on the second.


[album art / tracklisting / tour itinerary below]

1.      Darkfighter

2.      Mercy

3.      Redemption

4.      Sweet Life

5.      Before The Fire

6.      Mosaic



9/23     Clarkston, MI                                 Riff Fest^

9/24     Louisville, KY                                  Louder Than Life 2023^

10/13   London, UK                           The Roundhouse

10/14   Newcastle, UK                               NX

10/16   Glasgow, UK                                  Barrowland Ballroom

10/17   Birmingham, UK                            O2 Academy

10/18   Manchester, UK                             Manchester Academy

10/20  Cambridge, UK                              Cambridge Corn Exchange

10/21  O2 Academy                                  Bristol, UK (Sold Out)

10/22  Southampton, UK                         O2 Guildhall

10/24   Nantes, France                              La Carrière

10/25   Lyon, France                                  Le Radiant

10/27   Paris, France                                  Olympia [SOLD OUT]

10/28   Lausanne, Switzerland                 Les Docks

10/29   Milan, Italy                                     Alcatraz

10/31   Vienna, Austria                             Gasometer

11/1     Zurich, Switzerland                      X-TRA

11/2     Munich, Germany                        Theaterfabrik

11/4     Prague, Czech Republic               Lucerna Music Bar

11/5     Warsaw, Poland                            Klub Stodola

11/6     Poznan, Poland                             Music Club B17

11/8     Berlin, Germany                           Huxleys

11/9     Amsterdam, Netherlands           Melkweg Max (Sold Out)

11/10   Cologne, Germany                       Kantine (Sold Out)

11/12   Brussels, Belgium                         Ancienne Belgique (Sold Out)

11/13   Hamburg, Germany                     Grosse Freiheit 36

11/14   Copenhagen, Denmark               The Grey Hall

11/16   Bergen, Norway                            Forum Scene

11/17   Oslo, Norway                                Sentrum Scene (Sold Out)

11/18   Stockholm, Sweden                     B-K

11/20   House of Culture                          Helsinki, Finland

11/21   Tampere, Finland                          Tampere Hall


10/13 – 11/21 – European Headline Tour


^Festival Appearance


About Rival Sons:

Like a gang of tried-and-true mavericks, Rival Sons most definitely march to the beat of their own drum. Right when you think you’ve got them figured out, the Los Angeles quartet—Jay Buchanan [vocals, acoustic guitar], Scott Holiday [lead guitar], Mike Miley [drums], and Dave Beste [bass]—will flip the script and surprise you once more. Their very emergence is inexplicable in the best way. They never fit into any era or category, yet their uncompromising spirit might be more necessary today than ever. A sense of panache, a dash of mystery, and an unapologetic commitment to the craft of rock ‘n’ roll underscore their deep catalog highlighted by the likes of Pressure & Time [2011], Great Western Valkyrie [2014], and Feral Roots [2019], which garnered two GRAMMY® Award nominations in the categories of “Best Rock Album” and “Best Rock Performance” for the single “Too Bad.” Meanwhile, the Rock Radio #1 hit “Do Your Worst” has reeled in 70 million streams and counting. At the same time, they’ve held their own on stage with Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and Lenny Kravitz in addition to blowing the roof off television staples such as The Late Late Show with James Corden, Jools Holland and Jimmy Kimmel. In 2023, they continue to subvert expectations with two full-length LPs—DARKFIGHTER and LIGHTBRINGER [Low Country Sound / Atlantic Records]—and more to come.

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