Photo: Chris Cunningham

“God damn it! I love horror films,” proclaimed Scarves singer Niko Stathakopoulos in the opening seconds of the band’s debut album, Mall Goths. That was the siren call that first got The A.V. Club hooked on their sharp-edged, literate grooves last year—and now, we’ve got a premiere of their new single.

“Collapse,” the first track off upcoming sophomore album Dinner Dates For The End Of Days, is a gentler, more melodically oriented slice of heady three-piece pop than much of that first record, but it sets the mood nicely for the songs that follow. “Dinner Dates For The End Of Days is a pre-apocalyptic record about how despite the fact sinner and saint shall both be cleansed by nuclear hellfire, love is still a worthwhile pursuit,” Stathakopoulos explains. That’s an absurd-sounding quote, but an apropos one: There’s always been an element of warped absurdity laying just below the surface of the band’s jangly, stuttering college-rock smarts. That’s clear enough in “Collapse,” with its lyrics about trying to enjoy the fresh air amid locals’ tales of Bigfoot and all-too-real demons on the margins of memory.

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Recorded by The Thermals’ Blake Harris (mostly live to tape, mostly single takes), the album was captured in Portland under “a cloud of smoke and ash from British Columbia forest fires.” It’s a fittingly apocalyptic record for apocalyptic times. Dinner Dates For The End Of Days comes out September 28 on Good Eye Records, and is available to pre-order now.