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Mini Mansions is the dark psych-pop project of Los Angeles-based vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Michael Shuman (also of Wires on Fire and bassist for Queens of the Stone Age), vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Zach Dawes, and vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Tyler Parkford. Shuman had known Dawes since childhood, and Dawes met Parkford when they went to school in Santa Cruz, CA. Dawes sent Shuman some of Parkford's songs in 2005, and when Parkford returned to Los Angeles in 2008, they made plans to make music together. The trio officially became Mini Mansions in 2009 after Queens of the Stone Age finished touring in support of Era Vulgaris. Shuman and Tyler picked the best of the songs they had already written and made those into a self-released EP they released later in 2009. Mini Mansions continued recording, with QOTSA frontman Josh Homme mixing some tracks, and readied their self-titled debut album. The single Monk, which featured a slow-motion cover of Blondie's “Heart of Glass,” arrived in June 2010 on Psychedelic Judaism, and Mini Mansions was released by Ipecac Records and Homme's Rekords Rekords imprint that November. The band spent two and a half years writing its second album, and recorded it at L.A.'s Vox Recording Studios with special guests including the Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner and Brian Wilson (Dawes also played bass on a session for Wilson's 2015 album No Pier Pressure). T Bone Burnett's Electromagnetic imprint released The Great Pretenders in March 2015.