Emerson Drive have released "Till the Summer's Gone," the debut single off of their recently released EP, Tilt a Whirl.

The EP is made up of six tracks and marks the band's first release of new tunes since 2012's Roll.

“We are very excited about this new collection,” lead singer Brad Mates says. “It feels like each year we move into new and fresh directions with our music. "Till The Summer’s Gone" is a terrific example of the energy and direction of us right now. We are playing loud and strong out there."

Emerson Drive started their music career together nearly 20 years ago, under the name 12 Gauge. Since their 1996 debut, Open Season, the group has released seven studio albums and one compilation disc. Over the past two decades, the quartet — made up of Mates, Danick Dupelle, Mike Melancon and Dale Wallace — has spent a lot of time developing a fan base on the road, sometimes playing 300 shows a year. All that time playing different venues together has been a big part of their success today.

“That’s how you learn to be a band,” Mates tells Medicine Hat News. “You travel in a van and trailer, starve for five years, you set up your own gear, you tore it down, you played the worst places you could think of across the country. That made you a group, because you could identify the sound after a while that was different from anybody else.”

For Tilt a Whirl, which was released on Big Star Recordings, the band took on most of the responsibility for and control over the album's production. The result has been a hit with fans, who have been buying the EP at Emerson Drive's shows rather than downloading it online.

“There was some excitement obviously when the music was done, and it was one of those times where we felt like we accomplished what we set out to do,” Mates says. “Nowadays, when people buy a physical album, I think it’s awesome. Because those days are almost gone.”

Tilt a Whirl is available for download via iTunes and Amazon. A list of upcoming tour dates, currently scheduled into September, can be found at EmersonDrive.com.

Listen to Emerson Drive, "Till the Summer's Gone":