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Warming up: Maps & Atlases releases album, heads out on summer tour

It’s been warming up in Chicago, and Dave Davison is embracing the weather change.

“I hope I have time to go swimming before the tour starts,” he says in a recent phone interview. “It’s been a really long winter. At least our tour will take us to warmer places.”

Davison is a member of the Chicago-based rock band Maps & Atlases, which formed in the early 2000s.

The band is rounded out by Shiraz Dada and Chris Hainey.

Maps & Atlases released its latest album, “Lightlessness Is Nothing New,” on June 1.

“The story of this album is much more interesting than any other album we’ve made before,” Davison says.

The idea for the album began as a solo project, unfolding over six years, during which Davison was struggling with anxiety.

Writing music became therapeutic, allowing Davison to identify and contemplate his obsessive tendencies while tracking a growing awareness of himself as a musician, a partner, a friend and a person.

After cementing the structure of “Lightlessness” with longtime producer Jason Cupp, the band joined with Scott Solter.

The veteran producer of acts such as Okkervil River and The Mountain Goats, Solter has a reputation for pushing artists out of their musical comfort zones.

It wasn’t until Davison enlisted the help of longtime friend and drummer Chris Hainey and bassist Shiraz Dada that the album transformed from a solo endeavor into a Maps & Atlases album and the motivations and desires began to reveal themselves.

“I wanted to let the album take shape on its own, but it needed some direction,” he says. “Some of the songs, I didn’t know if they would end up being on a Maps & Atlases record. They were these songs that were alive and didn’t have a place. After a little, they all sounded great together.”

Davison is intrigued to see how the new tracks will be accepted by the fans.

He’s also ready to shift back into touring mode.

“I have a routine, and I want to establish a routine while traveling,” he says.

Davison is also ready to return to Albuquerque for a show at Sister.

“I really like Albuquerque, and last time I was there I went on a hike in the Sandia Mountains,” he says. “We saw tarantulas, and it was one of the coolest hikes I went on.”

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