Claudio Sanchez, most known as the big-haired founding member of Coheed and Cambria, has long enjoyed dabbling in synths and acoustic guitars on the side, under the moniker The Prize Fighter Inferno.His introspective, experimental ten-track LP, The City Introvert is out today via Evil Ink Records. This marks Prize Fighter’s first full-length effort since 2006, and first physical offering in a decade.Ahead of the release, Sanchez has been dropping songs throughout the pandemic, including recent singles “Sweet Talker” and “Rock Bottom,” giving fans a taste of the collection, filled with touching messages and instrumentation like modular synthesizers, vintage drum machines, and layered, manipulated vocals.
In addition to releasing across all digital music platforms, The City Introvert is also available on opaque bone vinyl over vinyl over at evilink.com.
Brooklyn Vegan, who premiered the NYC-set, black-and-white official video for “Rock Bottom” (directed by Jenny He, starring Edward Brence), described the second single as “a devastating song,” where “Claudio conveys its message with an intimate, auto-tune-fueled delivery in the vein of Bon Iver’s ‘Woods.'”
Captivating first single, “Sweet Talker” was praised by Consequence of Sound who wrote, “Pulsing with layers of synthesizer that sound like Sanchez plundered an entire ’80s music shop, ‘Sweet Talker’ feels like the very moment of epiphany. It builds and buzzes, pushing towards a universal truth it entreats the listener to hold onto: Make the most of what little time we have.”
It was in March 2020 when Sanchez’s grandfather fell ill and simultaneously, his wife began battling an auto-immune disease. This meant that any potential exposure to the coronavirus could have deadly consequences at home, making a brief goodbye to his ailing grandfather unlikely. Sanchez found himself coping with the darkness and uncertainty the only way he knew how—writing. The result is reviving a rare, introspective solo project with 10-track LP, The City Introvert.
The City Introvert Track listing:
1. More Than Love
2. Death Rattle
3. Crazy For You
4. Stray Bullets
5. Rock Bottom
6. Holiday Fool
7. Sweet Talker
8. Roll For Initiative
9. She’s The Brains, My Sweetheart
10. Stay Where You Are
“I needed an outlet to move through everything I was facing at the time,” Sanchez explains. “Like a lot of people, I felt this tug of war between who I was before the pandemic and who I had to become because of the circumstances I’d been thrust into.” The unique circumstances that shaped 2020––like the isolation COVID-19 threw us all into––gave the musician the needed space to return to the unassisted venture. “I have had this project sitting around for a while, and the only time I ever really release stuff is when it doesn’t affect Coheed and Cambria,” Sanchez told SPIN last May.
In July 2020, Sanchez shared five tracks from The City Introvert as the Stray Bullets EP. Alongside the titular track, “Death Rattle,” “Crazy For You,” “Stand by Me,” and “More Than Love” provided fans with a prologue to Prize Fighter’s latest.