GENERATIONALS - NEW ALBUM ‘ALIX’
OUT SEPTEMBER 29TH (UK) ON POLYVINYL RECORD CO
New Orleans-based indie-rock duo Generationals are excited to announce their brand new full-length album titled Alix. Helmed by notable producer Richard Swift (The Shins, Tennis, Foxygen) Alix reveals itself as perhaps Generationals’ most confident record yet, full of history and as multiphase as members Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer’s long-standing friendship.
‘A feel-good party track that is about emptiness, despair, and the meaningless futility of life” - Esquire
Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, friends since high school and Generationals co-captains since 2008, have been in each other’s faces for most of this century. Natural songwriting partners, they made their first three records at home with the help of mutual friend Daniel Black, and in 2013 they launched straight into their fourth with surprising post-tour energy. But after years of creative brain-melding, the dyad had reached a point of ultra-familiarity and comfort in their work routine that, to them, threatened quicksand. They began to suspect their own productivity of being rut in disguise.
Determined to keep things fresh, they sought out a new producer in Richard Swift, the renowned singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who they felt would be able shake things up, surprise them and bring something new to the project. The Louisiana duo then made their way, yellow brick road-style, to Cottage Grove, Oregon, ready to give their tapes over to Swift’s cultishly venerated magic touch, but the collaboration was hardly the scrap-it-all, start-from-scratch, give-up-the-reins-and-let-the-guru-do-his-thing scenario Joyner and Widmer had expected—hoped for even—when they began their pilgrimage to the producer’s National Freedom studio in February. Swift deemed the demos album-worthy after all and the original versions were saved at his urging. With a little tightening rather than a vibe transplant, the songs solidified into a cohesive, finished record.
“I looked at the demos objectively and really just helped organize the sounds into something that was sonically cohesive,” Swift said. “I knew they spent a lot of time on their own, on their headphones creating these beats and bells and whistles and felt no need to drastically change them.”
Built up with layer upon layer of rhythmic lines, computer noises, RZA beats and poppy vocals that sometimes sound like a Janet Jackson/Prince face-off, Alix is everything Joyner and Widmer like about music–old and new, vinyl and YouTube, vocal chord and microKORG–gathered up from everywhere and arranged with great care into a good-smelling, subtly sexy, catchy-or-die mish-mosh of sensibilities and time-warp senselessness. It is an album lightly peppered with that signature Swiftian element but undeniably Generationals in taste. As Swift had decreed: ‘tis a good idea, to tear down and rebuild, but it’s not always necessary to start from scratch.
GENERATIONALS (POLYVINYL RECORDS) STREAM BRAND NEW TRACK, “PUT A LIGHT ON”, FROM UPCOMING ALBUM “HEZA”
Since releasing their debut full-length Con Law in 2009, Generationals have consistently delivered pop hooks shone through a melancholic prism. 2013′s Heza brings the band to Polyvinyl and along with the label change, comes a subtle but significant sonic shift.
Recorded in phases at Jim Eno’s Public Hifi in Austin, producer Daniel Black’s Bent Black studio in D.C., and the band’s hometown of New Orleans, Heza finds Generationals more satisfied in writing songs that breathe and grow over time. These songs show restraint, with hooks developing in the spaces between sounds. The attention to rhythms and textures reveals a more patient band — one willing to dig for deeper gems than in their previous work. Tracks like “You Got Me” and “Put a Light On” use minimalist electronic frameworks to match the intensity of more straightforward guitarwork on “Spinoza” and “I Never Know,” all of them paying more attention to layers and textures than to forcing the hook. On Heza, Generationals aren’t so much shedding their old skin as growing more comfortable in the one they’ve always inhabited.
Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer struck up a friendship as high school freshmen in New Orleans, LA. While attending Louisiana State in Baton Rouge, the two formed The Eames Era with three classmates in 2003. The dissolution of that group in 2007 led to a return to New Orleans where Joyner and Widmer started writing songs as Generationals. Baton Rouge-native and Eames Era producer Daniel Black (The Oranges Band) invited them to record their debut LP, Con Law, at his Washington, D.C. studio, Bent Black in 2008, where incessant coverage of the presidential campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain, and the issues dividing the candidates’ viewpoints, gave rise to the band’s name.
New Orleans-based label Park The Van (Dr. Dog, The Spinto Band) released Con Law in 2009. Its retro vibe clearly bore the influence of Phil Spector’s mid-century pop, but Generationals’ influences always ran the gamut, with pieces of Brit-pop, dance and electronic poking through the trumpet stabs and Abbey Road compression on their analog 24-track recordings.
The band maintained their obsession with tape recording on 2010′s Trust EP, produced in Austin, TX by freak- folk mastermind Bill Baird (Sunset, Sound Team). Trust saw the band drift away from the Brill Building origins of Con Law in favor of a new wave sound that owed more to The Sugarcubes and The Stone Roses than the Ronettes. 2011′s sophomore LP Actor-Caster revealed a band zeroing in on their strong suit: dynamic pop songwriting. All ten of its taut, bright songs found their way into the band’s setlists as they hit their stride with a live confidence earned by relentless touring.
The band’s latest endeavor, Heza, brought them to Polyvinyl Records, which will release the album on CD, LP, cassette, and mp3 in the UK on April 8th, 2013
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