Beverly Tender – What Have You Done To My Water?

If the welcoming news that Beverly Tender were set to return with a new album this fall wasn’t enough, they also came armed with an advance track, Theme From Beverly Tender to bowl us over and raise our already high expectations. The duo of Molly Hastings and Tristan Brooks began what we have now come to know as Beverly Tender while attending Wesleyan University. Since then the duo have released their debut EP, and set up camp in both Philadelphia and Raleigh, before settling in to the vibrant and burgeoning Providence music scene. With the new set, What Have You Done To My Water? Beverly Tender have teamed up regional indie taste makers, Disposable America for the follow up to 2015’s aforementioned self-released debut EP, Lord Mayor Makes 1,000 Speeches.

Throughout the new set Beverly Tender deliver an alluring collection of skewed guitar pop while combining elements of noise, twee, and slo-core. Often there’s a certain merit that gets awarded to albums that take time sink in, a grower if you will. But, once in  a while an album comes along and grabs you by the collar and you fall for it instantly. Such is the case with What Have You Done To My Water?, it’s immediate an infectious record from start to finish.Over the past few weeks  I have found myself revisiting this release often and each time I seem find  a new favorite song, which goes to the strength of this material. On tracks like Doggie Dog World and Whose Taxidermy Horse, Beverly Tender displays their uncanny ability to push their sound to the point of collapse only to pull back and find beauty in the decay, much to the credit of Hastings’ honest and endearing wordplay which floats atop her angular guitar lines and Brooks’ adept and propulsive percussion.  Although Beverly Tender occupy similar terrain as contemporaries such as Speedy Ortiz, Palehound as well as indie architects, Helium they manage to carve out their own space with delicate atmospherics, jagged distortion, coupled with earnest and wistful vocals. It’s on the opening track, Theme From Beverly Tender where Hastings asks the questions, Will I be like this my whole life? Will I regret this my whole life? Perhaps it’s some kind of an ode to the struggle of the human spirit or a moment of personal reflection, but either way it’s a beautiful and intricate rocks song that sets the tone for a remarkable album that delivers on the promise of the bands previous recordings. What Have You Done To My Water? Is filled with cathartic and relatable material distilled with a glorious clamor throughout its brisk 24 minutes.

Equal Parts Hopeful And Hopeless: A Conversation With Infinity Girl On The Eve Of Their Final Show

Today marks the release of Somewhere Nice, Someday the final full-length recording from beloved east coast shoegaze concern, Infinity Girl. After forming in Boston in 2012 and releasing their spectacular debut, Stop Being On My Side as well as it’s short playing accomplice Just Like Lovers EP the band relocated to Brooklyn for their extraordinary sophomore release, Harm. From the early basement shows which were equal parts sweat and clamor to the tuneful and inspired pop hooks of the bands recorded output Infinity Girl always seem to hint at something deeper. On the new album it’s even more evident that there is considerable substance at the foundation of these tracks. Like the material that proceeded it, the songs that occupy Somewhere Nice, Someday offer something exhilarating, engaging and wholly unique which is a testament to the band’s prowess for distilling intelligent and affecting rocks songs, enveloped in fuzz.

In a final act of celebration and requiem, Infinity Girl have embarked on a small string of Live dates which fittingly will bring them back to Cambridge for their final performance tomorrow afternoon for a matinee show at The Middle East. We recently had the pleasure of speaking Infinity Girl’s frontman, Nolan Eley to discuss the band’s just released new album, belonging to two scenes, and putting Infinity Girl to rest.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: Let’s begin with obvious, why has the band decided to put an end to Infinity Girl while coinciding with a new LP, Somewhere Nice, Someday?

Nolan Eley: It was a gradual shifting of priorities in all our lives. It was simply becoming more difficult for us to give the band the time it needed for make it worthwhile so as we were finishing up this album, we decided it would be our last.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What was the process for creating the new LP?

Nolan Eley: We wrote most of the songs in the Fall/Winter of 2015 then recorded basics in the Summer of 2016. The following months were spent editing and recording overdubs and vocals. Then the early part of this year was mostly mixing and mastering.

The AGP: There is a theme present in the new material of hesitation towards the maturation process. Can you tell what the catalyst was to take on that subject?

Nolan: Yeah, a lot of the songs on this album deal with that. Not really hesitancy so much as just coming to terms with being an adult. I think it’s a natural outcome of being at this point in your life. I’m sure we could’ve written songs about other things but they would not have been as sincere or honest.

The AGP: The new LP’s title Somewhere Nice, Someday has a ring of hope to it. What was the motivation behind that title?

Nolan: I think it’s equal parts hopeful and hopeless. We were looking for a title that reflected the longing and uncertainty that comes at this time in a lot of people’s lives–that of a young adult, unsure and questioning.

The AGP: You have once again teamed with Dustin Joshua Smith Watson and his Disposable America label for the release of the new album. How did that partnership come about?

Nolan: We’ve been following his label for years, ever since we were in Boston ourselves and really love his attitude toward what he does. He’s definitely in it for the right reasons and puts out a lot of great music. He reached out to us as we were putting out our last album, Harm, about printing tapes which was awesome. As we were formulating release plans for this album Disposable America was pretty much the only label we wanted to reach out to. Thankfully, Dustin was on board even though we’re breaking up.

The AGP: How has the band evolved over its six year existence?

Nolan: It has evolved pretty naturally I think. We were never really concerned with how to brand ourselves or about going in a specific direction so any evolving we did was just a byproduct of changes in our circumstances. I’d like to think all our albums are pretty earnest and reflect candidly what our preoccupations were at the time of writing them.

The AGP: What will you miss most about being in Infinity Girl?
Nolan: Playing shows with really great bands.

The AGP: Which one’s come to mind when looking back at these shows?

Nolan: Mostly the bands of our best friends, like Big Eater, Kindling, Coaches, and Happy You, but also bands I’m unfamiliar with that then surprise me. A recent example is this band Marge from Philly that we played with a few months ago. I had never heard of them before the show but I loved them! Their latest record, Bruise Easy is probably my favorite of the year.

The AGP: What can we expect from the final performances which culminates with Saturday’s afternoon set at the Middle East?

Nolan: Hmmm.. Nothing special really. We’re trying to play some songs we haven’t played in a while. Let’s just hope I can remember them.

The AGP: What has it meant to belong to both the Boston and NYC music scenes ?

Nolan: It was great to be a part of both. It gave me a good perspective on what is special about both scenes. Boston’s community is much more supportive and tight-knit. New York, on the other hand, has a seemingly endless supply of amazing bands. Just when you think you know the scene pretty well you’ll catch a band you’ve never heard of and they’ll just blow your mind.

The AGP: Has the band put any thought into how Infinity Girl will be remembered?

Nolan: I’m not sure. Stuff like that never really seemed to be on our minds. We were just friends with a similar taste in music that liked making records. If people like listening, that’s great. I’d honestly be surprised if anyone is still listening in ten years.

The AGP: What’s next for you in terms of future musical endeavors?

Nolan: Some of the guys will continue playing in this band, Coaches. A few weeks ago I put out a solo record under Dotted 8th’s and I’ll probably continue making music like that but I have no plans to put together a band or play any shows.

Coaches & Sons + Allston Pudding + Clicky Clikcy Music Blog + Disposable America Present: “Somewhere Nice, Someday Record Release & Farewell
Infinity Girl~Kindling~Elizabeth Colour Wheel & Leaner
Saturday September 9th |1PM Matinee Show | The Middle East Cambridge, MA
Facebook Event
Advance Ticketing

Bryan Hamill|@theashgrayproc

Soft Fangs – Fractures | Review

It was sometime during the winter of 2014 when I happened upon the debut release from John Lutkevitch and his recording vehicle Soft Fangs. I remember a late afternoon snowfall and being mildly hung over from the previous evening, when the eureka moment hit. The 5 songs on that EP stopped me dead in my tracks, they seemed oddly familiar to me although I had never heard them before. Perhaps it was the sense of intimacy and nostalgia on those tracks or perhaps it was the honeyed hushed vocals and dark pop sensibilities that Lutkevitch’s exhibited on each of those songs. Either way I was all in on first listen. Last year Soft Fangs delivered their full length debut, The Light which found Soft Fangs expanding their sound beautifully, with fleshed out instrumentation while maintaining the lo-fi aesthetic and stark arrangements.

On the new set, Fractures issued last week via the estimable Disposable America imprint Soft Fangs return armed with an enticing and engaging new set. The LP was recorded last winter in Maine where Lutkevitch was holed up for a three day period where he “wore slippers & played until the cops came”. Fractures opens with the gently plucked guitar strums of Elephant Girl before giving way to cymbal crashes and an understated snare drum with John Lutkevitch delivering lyrical devastation in his usual whispered vocal, “Why do you try to impress me? I’m Nobody”. The track is a strong reminder of what Soft Fangs do best, dark folk pop laced with melancholy. Elsewhere the LP addresses the establishment on Cop, the despair of alienation on We Don’t Live Together Anymore, and an anti folk song, aptly titled Folk Guitar.  The track that seems to stick with me and has me returning to this LP for more is Honey Colony, an outstanding and gorgeous piece of songwriting that oozes with subtle pop hooks, an understated chord progression, and the albums strongest lyrical passage. A tale of the life of worker bee and one of unrequited love disguised in pop perfection. As whole Fractures manages to build on Lutkevich’s past work, while carving out some exciting new sonic territory and delivering the exemplary song-craft he hinted at on that snow covered afternoon in 2014.

Listen: Soft Fangs – Honey Colony

Soft Fangs play News Cafe in Pawtucket along with Night Nurses and Half Hearted Hero on September 22nd.

Hit The Post: Coaches & Psychic Dog

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Boston/Brooklyn noisegaze outfit, Coaches have made a triumphant and fuzz drenched return with their latest single Elizabeth Warren. The new track reads like an open letter to the Massachusetts senator and future presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren. The track was issued by the band in the last week and finds Brady Custis and Co. delivering a bracing and hook laden anthem. Coaches will release the forthcoming Shush, EP via local taste making imprint, Disposable America on December 4th. You can pre-order now.
Local oddball punk trio (yes,that’s a compliment), Psychic Dog arrived on our radar with the release of their impressive debut full length, Big and Lonely and their subsequent ragging performances at 2015′s Rock And Roll Rumble. So, it’s with pleasure that we point you to Psychic Dog’s new set, Adios Huevos which is being issued by Boston’s Ocelot Records. We are currently obsessing over the EP’s centerpiece and nearly seven minute sludge punk anthem, Tune Her. Psychic Dog will celebrate their new EP with a Halloween night release show tomorrow at Club Bohemia in Central Squares Cantab Lounge along with Idle Pilot, The Coward Flowers, Hambone Skinny and The Guilloteenagers.