|Studio album by The Rentals|
|Released||June 26, 2020|
|Recorded||Alphaville Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Battle Born Studios, Las Vegas, NV|
|Producer(s)||Matt Sharp & The Rentals|
|The Rentals chronology|
|Singles from Q36|
Q36 is the fourth studio album by the Rentals. The album's release stretched from November 5, 2019 to June 26, 2020, as its tracks were released one-by-one at a pace of roughly two each month. Matt Sharp wrote the album and receives a producing credit. He worked with a core band consisting of Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, mixer/engineer Dave Fridmann, and drummer Ronnie Vannucci of The Killers. The lyrics on Q36 incorporate science fiction themes, including the lead single "Elon Musk is Making Me Sad," which, as of June 2023, is the band's second-most streamed on Spotify behind "Friends of P." "Elon Musk is Making Me Sad" makes reference to a "Q score", which may be the origin of the album's title.
The Rentals' fourth album was announced alongside the release of the single "Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad" on October 4, 2017. Rentals frontman Matt Sharp tweeted about the album's production at various points throughout 2018, indicating that the album would be engineered by Dave Fridmann, who had previously engineered Weezer's Pinkerton. On December 20 of 2018, Sharp tweeted that the mastering had been finished at Sterling Sound in Nashville, Tennessee. 
In an interview with The Interplanetary Podcast, Sharp explained that he started forming the album by starting with 50 song ideas. Sharp said that his one rule for these new songs was that nothing could be autobiographical, explaining that he had grown bored of writing about his own lived experiences and perspective. Sharp also mentioned that he first became acquainted with guitarist Nick Zinner at a New Years party shortly after Zinner's band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had performed a live cover of the Rentals song "The Love I'm Searching For" in 2006. Years later, Sharp contacted Zinner again and convinced him to work on the album. Sharp and Zinner worked on the songs independently in their own respective home studios. According to Sharp, engineer Dave Fridmann agreed to work on the album immediately after Sharp pitched the idea of a space-themed album featuring Zinner.
The album's title was formally unveiled on November 5, 2019 alongside the new single "Spaceships", with pre-orders made available via the band's Bandcamp page. The next single, "Forgotten Astronaut", was unveiled on November 20, 2019, with each subsequent "single" released every other week with an accompanying limited-run clothing/merchandise item designed by illustrator and print designer Ivan Minsloff. On March 24, 2020, the album's physical release and eleventh single were postponed due to the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19).
During the course of the album's release cycle, the band created challenges for fans in conjunction with the collaborative media platform HitRecord.
Track listingAll songs written and composed by Matt Sharp.
|1.||"Shake Your Diamonds"||4:17|
|4.||"Teen Beat Cosmonaut"||3:12|
|5.||"Above This Broken World"||5:11|
|8.||"Breaking and Breaking and Breaking"||3:04|
|9.||"Great Big Blue"||3:25|
|10.||"Information (and the Island in the Sky)"||4:31|
|16.||"Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad"||6:56|
- Matt Sharp - vocals, production
- Nick Zinner - guitar
- Ronnie Vannucci - drums
- The Gentle Assassins Choir - vocals
- Jeffrey Adams (Track 16)
- Ayo Awosika
- Laura Burhenn
- Alejandra Deheza
- Arlene Deradoorian
- Lizzy Ellison
- Bridget Galanis
- Zachary Galanis (Track 16)
- Jose Galvez
- Gotch (Track 12)
- Ted Gowans (Track 16)
- Jamie Jackson (Track 16)
- Andrew James
- Keith Murray
- Colleen Police (Track 16)
- Ryen Slegr
- Shon Sullivan
- Nedelle Torrisi (Track 16)
- Sydney Wayser
- Tim Wheeler
- The Section Quartet - strings
- Dave Fridmann - mixing engineer
- Adam Brook - engineer (choir)
- Robert Root - engineer (drums)
- Paul DuGre - engineer (strings)
- Ryan Smith - mastering
- Andrew Wilkinson - cover art
On January 7, 2020, Matt Sharp announced via social media that he would be remixing a series of songs from Q36 and releasing them under the title Z36, beginning with the track "Invasion Night". Said Sharp, "The remixes have a more atmospheric approach that focus primarily on Nick Zinner’s guitars and my synthesizers."
- "Invasion Night"
- "Great Big Blue"
- "Another World"
- "Forgotten Astronaut"
- "Information (and the Island in the Sky)"
- "Shake Your Diamonds"
- The Rentals. Tumblr. 4 October 2017. Archived by Wayback Machine 17 May 2019. https://web.archive.org/web/20190517053613/https://therentalsmusic.tumblr.com/
- @_mattsharp "true story: fridmann’s mixing console has been searching for signs of extraterrestrial life, the entire time we’ve been working on @therentals new album ®️📡✨" Twitter. 1 October 2018. https://twitter.com/_mattsharp/status/1046791338455441414
- @_mattsharp "the final frontier, last day @sterlingsound" Twitter. 20 December 2018. https://twitter.com/_mattsharp/status/1075820765260472320
- Russell, Matt. "#167 - Matt Sharp - Q36" The Interplanetary Podcast. 9 January 2020. https://www.interplanetary.org.uk/post/167-matt-sharp-q36
- @_mattsharp "Good People, a quick update: To give a little extra space and breathing room, during these crazy times, to our partners that make @therentals Q36 possible, we are moving everything back two weeks. ®️ next single will come out on April 7 and the vinyl shipping date is now June 16." Twitter. 24 March 2020. https://twitter.com/_mattsharp/status/1242491986218606593
- "Q36 - The Rentals" HITRECORD. https://hitrecord.org/productions/4013371
- @_mattsharp "I’m remixing a series of songs from @therentals Q36 album. The remixes have a more atmospheric approach that focus primarily on Nick Zinner’s guitars and my synthesizers. I’m filing them all under the title “Z36.” Here’s the Z36 ®️EMIX for INVASION NIGHT:" Twitter 7 January 2020. https://twitter.com/_mattsharp/status/1214572663382757376
| Studio LPs: Return of the Rentals | Seven More Minutes | Lost in Alphaville | Q36 |
EPs: The Last Little Life EP | Forgotten Astronaut Extended Play Multimedia projects: Songs About Time
Compilations: Live in Japan | Excellent Stocking Stuffer | For the Ladies | Little Russell Street Soundtracks: The Midnight Society Soundtrack
Matt Sharp solo work: Puckett's Versus the Country Boy | Matt Sharp | Matt Sharp / Rivers Cuomo album (Unreleased/unfinished)
Other: Resilience | List of Matt Sharp songs | List of Rentals concerts | Lost Out in the Machinery - Songs of the Rentals