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 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 debut, is the groups’ 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. 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 don’t think I knew I was before” she jabs with relish. On “Ages Ago” Trilling paints the image of a constantly-shifting enigmatic lover.

Despite the pluralized nom de guerre, illuminati hotties is the creative outlet of Sarah Tudzin - a producer, engineer, and burrito aficionado hailing from the sprawl of Los Angeles. Armed with bright white shortveralls and a rotating line-up of Sarah's bffs, illuminati hotties has been lighting up stages across SoCal since Fall 2016 with playfully interweaving guitar lines, relentless rhythmic momentum, and strikingly self-aware vocals. Lauded as local "tenderpunk pioneers," illuminati hotties has perfected the blend of sweetness and erocity, of celebration and despondency, in their debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies, soon to be released on Tiny Engines.

At first listen, illuminati hotties is a sun-drenched, irreverent volley with the onset of adulthood, but as the listener dives deeper, they will find an earnest consideration of musical phrasing and deliberately crafted wordplay regarding the complexity of love, loss, and skateboarding. Illuminati hotties' live show challenges audiences to bring their deepest feels and fiercest moves to the floor, and has elicited comparisons to Best Coast, Angel Olsen, Courtney Barnett, and Alvvays.

Illuminati hotties latest singles have received recognition from various online music sources including NPR Music, The FADER, and Stereogum. Previously, their lead single and music video "(You're Better) Than Ever" was featured on Spotify's Fresh Finds playlist and Indie Shuffle's Best New Music. illuminati hotties is looking forward to touring this summer in support of their new LP and sharing their best Los Angeles taco spot recommendations with the world.

Club Night has been a project about coming together. Whether at the shows of each other's bands or biking around with backpacks full of cheap beer, Club Night is the logical conclusion of the Oakland DIY scene to which its members belong. Each member of Club Night brings to the band their own diverse set of musical experiences. So when Josh Bertram brought together the members of Club Night in a room to see what would happen, music quickly exploded from this convergence of musical influences and styles. Rather than producing a disjointed tug-o-war of tastes, Club Night gets it strength from the cooperation and passion of its members to create an homage to the people who have nurtured them, and an abandoning of coloring within the lines.
On their debut release for the Tiny Engines label, Hell Ya, Club Night balances frenetic riffs and soaring musical moments. Punchy rhythms, pop-oriented synths, and guitars which teeter between technical and noisy are the backdrop against which singer, Bertram, conjures up an emotive and dynamic vocal performance. In many ways Club Night’s sound is a mosaic of it’s member’s past and present projects which include Meat Market, Lofter, Our Brother the Native, CARE, Twin Steps, Pinkslime, Radiator Hospital, and UNITY. Stereogum called them one of the 40 best new bands of 2017, and they continue to grow as they prepare for a full length release in late 2018.

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