Posts Tagged ‘Montclair’

When you’ve got riffs like these and a voice like hers, you’re pretty much golden. The riffs in question are the spindly, expansive, geometrically unusual building blocks of Forth Wanderers’ sound, arching guitar architecture that turns the band’s big Sub Pop spotlight moment into a monument. The voice belongs to Ava Trilling, who applies her deadpan soprano to lyrics like, “He says he likes my taste/ But I bite his tongue, you know, just in case.” Consider them Built To Spill built for 2018 indie rock, trading awestruck twee visions for frank ruminations on the politics of collegiate social life.

Forth Wanderers employ a tin-can-telephone style of composition which they use even when living in the same area code. Since first collaborating in 2013 as Montclair, New Jersey high schoolers, guitarist and songwriter Ben Guterl and vocalist Ava Trilling have passed songs back and forth like pen pals. Guterl will devise an instrumental skeleton before sending it to vocalist Ava Trilling who pens the lyrics based off the melody. The duo then gather alongside guitarist Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin, and drummer Zach Lorelli to expand upon the demo. It’s a patient and practiced writing system that has carried the quintet through two EPs (2013’s Mahogany and 2016’s Slop) and one LP (2014’s Tough Love). Forth Wanderers, the group’s sophomore record and Sub Pop Records debut, is the group’s most comprehensive and assured statement yet.

Now living in Ohio and New York respectively, Guterl and Trilling have evolved their separate but collaborative writing process. “The only way I can really write is by myself in my room with a notebook, listening to the song over and over again,” Trilling says. “I’ve never sat down to write a story, I write the song as it unfolds.” Since her lyrics are often embedded with intimate truths from her life, the private writing experience often leads to intense self-reflection.

On Forth Wanderers these introspections include meditations on relationships, discovery, and finding oneself adrift. Despite the inherent heaviness of those themes, Forth Wanderers feels joyous, a rock record bursting with heart. Take “Not for Me,” a romping track about “the ambivalence of love.” Trilling’s confession of “I can’t feel the earth beneath my feet/Flowers bloom but not for me” resists feeling like a dreary, pitying complaint; instead, as her bandmates bolster her melancholy with interlocking harmonic intricacies, she soars with self-actualization. Opener “Nevermine,” is a surge of confidence inspired by an ex-lover who is still captivated by her image. “I don’t think I know who you are anymore/And I think I knew who I was before,” she jabs with relish. On “Ages Ago” Trilling paints the image of a constantly-shifting enigmatic lover. “I wasn’t sure who they were, they changed constantly (hence the metaphor describing the “grey coat” and cutting their hair just to “stay afloat”),” she says. “I wasn’t going to wait any longer to find out.”

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Recorded over five days by friend and audio engineer Cameron Konner at his Philadelphia home studio, Forth Wanderers amplifies the heartfelt sentiments of their earlier works into massive anthems. Guterl and Greene’s guitars have never sounded sharper, Schifrin and Lorelli’s terse rhythm section is restless, and Trilling sounds more self-assured than ever. These are exuberant, profound songs driven by tightly bound melodies and a loving attention to detail.

Released April 27th, 2018

Forth Wanderers know how to open an album. The band’s latest album begins with vocalist Ava Trilling boldly declaring, “I am the one you think of when you’re with her”, on their previous album, 2014’s Tough Love, the first words she hums, over solemn guitar harmonics, are “I want to be known as the girl who’s stone cold.”

“I’m still not known as that—it’s still a desire,” she says along with band members Forth Wanderers guitarists Duke Greene and Ben Guterl, the latter of whom is the band’s primary instrumental songwriter. They headlined recently at famous venue Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn there shortly after releasing Slop via Father/Daughter Records, and they’ve opened there for their mutual high school idol, (Sandy) Alex G (later, when Trilling shows me a video of her eight-month-old German Shepherd , “Proud” is playing in the background). It was back in high school that shared musical passions and live music brought Forth Wanderers together; after high school, the band recorded Tough Love just before all its members except Trilling, the youngest, left for college.

One might have expected the physical separation that college can cause—not to mention the emotional maturing it usually brings—to take a toll on the band’s first full-length, written across this distance. Instead, it’s made them tighter. As Trilling tells it, the process of writing Forth Wanderers “was the exact same thing” as with all their previous releases. If anything, the separation only enhanced the band’s charms: Trilling’s featherlight, melancholy singing and radically open-hearted lyrics; Guterl’s gradually unfurling guitar lines, which notably focus more on piercing single notes than on chords; guitarist Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin, and drummer Zach Lorelli’s magical ability to transform Guterl and Trilling’s foundation into mid-tempo rock songs equal parts muscular and downtrodden.

“We never had the relationship where we would sit down and make the song together,” Trilling says. Their songs have always been Internet-born; Forth Wanderers began when Guterl, as Trilling recalls it with a hearty laugh, “kinda slid into my DMs” with a guitar demo. Greene and Guterl laugh, too, suggesting this is a story they recount often. “I shot my shot,” Guterl adds to even more laughter. Trilling then recalls sending a vocal track back to him without his prompting. “I blew his mind,” she jokes, the whole group still cracking up.

It’s clear that, if anything, Forth Wanderers are a strong bunch of friends as bandmates. Trilling, Guterl, and Greene are elated to be, for once, in the same room (“We’re the only friends we have,” Guterl, certainly the most wry and excitable of the three, jokes). These days, their time together is limited: The band had to record Forth Wanderers in just five days, which they did in their close friend Cameron Konner’s Philadelphia home studio.

Not that the band needs much time to perfect its music (in fact, they’d originally reserved two days with Konner). A Forth Wanderers song comes together in many rooms, with no pressures regarding time. On Forth Wanderers, a particularly impressive result of this freeform approach is Trilling’s increasingly confident melodies and lyrics, which she writes at home, alone. “Taste,” her favorite of the new songs, is exceptionally vulnerable. As she describes it, the “narcissistic and petty” viewpoint of “Nevermine” is riveting. And she’s so assertive on “Saunter” that it’s impossible not to root for her.

“After I write [lyrics], it’s therapeutic,” she says, “because I look back and I’m like, ‘Oh shit, that’s how I’m feeling. I had no idea.’” Even across state lines, Forth Wanderers is a space for all its members to relieve their stresses. “Our relationships are all stronger now, because we have this goal that’s really unique,” Guterl says. “We’re like a family in every sense of the word. We fight and work shit out. It’s the good and bad parts of being in a family.”

Band Members:

Ava Trilling (vocals), Ben Guterl (guitar), Zach Lorelli (drums), Duke Greene (guitar), Noah Schifrin (bass)

Forth Wanderers

Forth Wanderers employ a tin-can-telephone style of composition which they use even when living in the same area code. Since first collaborating in 2013 as Montclair, New Jersey high schoolers, guitarist and songwriter Ben Guterl and vocalist Ava Trilling have passed songs back and forth like pen pals. Guterl will devise an instrumental skeleton before sending it to vocalist Ava Trilling who pens the lyrics based off the melody. The duo then gather alongside guitarist Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin, and drummer Zach Lorelli to expand upon their demo. It’s a patient and practiced writing system that has carried the quintet through two EPs (2013’s Mahogany and 2016’s Slop) and one LP (2014’s Tough Love). Forth Wanderers, the group’s sophomore record and Sub Pop Records debut, is the groups’ most comprehensive and assured statement yet. On Forth Wanderers these introspections include meditations on relationships, discovery, and finding oneself adrift. Despite the inherent heaviness of those themes, Forth Wanderers feels joyous, a rock record bursting with heart. Take Not for Me, a romping track about “the ambivalence of love. Opener Nevermine, is a surge of confidence inspired by an ex-lover who is still captivated by her image.

On Ages Ago Trilling paints the image of a constantly-shifting enigmatic lover. “I wasn’t sure who they were, they changed constantly (hence the metaphor describing the “grey coat” and cutting their hair just to “stay afloat”),” she says. “I wasn’t going to wait any longer to find out.” Recorded over five days by friend and audio engineer Cameron Konner at his Philadelphia home studio, Forth Wanderers amplifies the heartfelt sentiments of their earlier works into massive anthems. Guterl and Greene’s guitars have never sounded sharper, Schifrin and Lorelli’s terse rhythm section is restless, and Trilling sounds more self-assured than ever. These are exuberant, profound songs driven by tightly bound melodies and a loving attention to detail.

Forth Wanderers (Release Date: April 27, 2018) Sub Pop Records

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We’ve mentioned the Forth Wanderers before for the bands next move ever since their debut album last year  Today the Montclair, New Jersey band have announced that they have signed to Sub Pop, who will release the bands sophomore album (which is self-titled) on April 27th .

The band also shared the first single “Not For Me,” a track that expands on their previous rock palate and offering even more fuzz and production that only gives their sound an even bigger feeling than ever before. These guys are making the sorta of rock songs that resemble some of the best stuff released in the 90s. While there’s an immediacy to their sound, there’s also something about their songs that benefit from a few extra listens to let it all sink in and truly appreciate.

“Not For Me” the official video which features animation done by the band’s very own Benjamin Guterl.

Pinegrove are one of those bands with many talented songwriters in the mix, though Evan Stephens Hall is the one who gets the spotlight in that lineup. Thus, his bandmates channel their own inspiration into other projects. Nandi Rose Plunkett has impressed us with her project Half Waif, and now Sam Skinner is releasing his own debut EP. Danny Through Junior is a batch of drowsy, shambling indie rock tunes with intriguing arrangements and immense charm.

All songs written, performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Sam, with additions from:
Evan Stephens Hall – vocals (tracks 1, 2), drums (tracks 1, 2, 4)
Natasha Jacobs – vocals (tracks 2, 4, 5)

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Danny Through Junior is out 1/27 on Soft Speak Records.

After a number of different releases and years of touring, Montclair, New Jersey’s Pinegrove have offered their finest work to date with their newest LP, Cardinal. The band’s captivating blend of indie rock, pop and country elements is more vivid, fine-tuned, and addictive than ever before. Vocalist/guitarist Evan Stephens Hall and drummer Zack Levine (drums) form a core that has been playing together since early childhood. Painting his emotions onto these songs with colorful and kinetic strokes, Hall moves through Cardinal’s eight songs with unforgettable energy and passion, with a vocal performance that is pleasantly reminiscent of Will Oldham and Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch. The band are playing a few UK shows , plus this  newly released track, it’s a new song from the new batch of tracks that we just recorded. we don’t have any more official info to give u on those recordings right now but we can tell u that they are finished & ready & we are really proud & as a celebration we are releasing one song. it’s called intrepid. one of the things these new songs explore is the emotional & creative experience of geometric space. this song in particular considers distance, the outer rim of the magnet’s pull. how the size of the world can bring our personal relationships into focus.

We’re offering Cardinal and the rest of our catalogue up for ‘pay what you want’ & donating all the proceeds to Southern Poverty Law Center. Please give what you can.

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Somewhere between the proto-emo of the likes of the Appleseed Cast and the backwoods folk of Whitney , lies New Jersey based outfit Pinegrove, a band who emerged from the depths of Bandcamp to appear on numerous end-of-year-lists with their album “Cardinal” released in 2016. Capitalising on that surprise success, Run for Cover Records have re-released this compilation of the band’s early work. Everything So Far does a nice job in charting the Pinegrove’s progression into the bookish and lovelorn brand of indie rock they later perfected on Cardinal, marked out by vocalist and main songwriter Evan Stephens Hall quavering tenor and perambulating and pleasingly funny guitar lines. As with such completist compilations there’s a fair chunk of filler here, and over time its 21 songs begin to congeal into each other a shade, but as an introduction to the band’s many charms, it’s solid enough.

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Each track on “Glint”, Stolen Jars’ EP, starts with an impossibly small sound – a keyboard briefly glimmering in warm light, a finger sliding down the neck of a guitar, a chord strummed with just enough space in between the strings that each note sounds alone.

These are the small spaces from which Cody Fitzgerald starts. Fitzgerald, the group’s songwriter and center of gravity, started writing as Stolen Jars in 2011, and in its evolution his small and intricate introductions have grown into full and powerful statements. glint finds beauty in brief moments of reflection, elongating them with deft chamber orchestration, sorrowfully penned lyrics, and vocal performances from Fitzgerald and collaborator Molly Grund that guide each track from tension to reconciliation and back again.

NPR’s Bob Boilen named Stolen Jars as one of his top ten bands to watch , Stereogum and Consequence of Sound premiered the album’s singles, and the Village Voice ran a feature on the the band’s songwriting practice – Fitzgerald sees glint as a lens for his collaborative process. A constellation of musicians orbits the band – vocalist Molly Grund, drummer Matt Marsico, guitarists Connor McGuigan and Peter Enriquez, and keyboard players Grant Meyer and Max Finkelstein make contributions to Stolen Jars and push the band’s energy to its outer edges during live shows.

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They’re from Philadelphia. They recently signed to Father Daughter Records, and all of them are still in high school. I think the lead singer just graduated, which is so weird to me because the lyrics are so mature. The way that that [singer Ava Trilling] expresses her experiences are so huge within themselves. Their debut EP was a lo-fi delight, but live shows are becoming polished and unmissable experiences  grungy alt rock from New Jersey

It’s very impressive that she can connect to a listener that way. Her voice is very captivating, it sounds like it’s just always on the point of breaking.

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The Band are :

Guitars – Ben Guterl
Vocals – Ava Trilling
Bass – Noah Schifrin
Drums – Zach Lorelli

‘Slop’ EP out November 11th on Father/Daughter (US) and House Anxiety / Marathon Artists (UK)

 

 

They’re from Philadelphia. They recently signed to Father/Daughter Records, and all of them are in high school. I think the lead singer just graduated, which is so weird to me because the lyrics are so mature. The way that that [singer Ava Trilling] expresses her experiences are so huge within themselves. Because, you know, young people know what love is, too. It’s very impressive that she can connect to a listener that way. Her voice is very captivating, it sounds like it’s just always on the point of breaking. Crying, kind of.

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Forth Wanderers are

Ben Guterl – guitar
Ava Trilling – vocals
Duke Greene – guitar
Noah Schifrin – bass
Zach Lorelli – drums