Release Date: Apr 27, 2018
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
Pen pals are going out of fashion. In the age of social media, WhatsApp and the like, the thought of crafting a long thoughtful message - one that only your closest confidant will read - sounds archaic, really. But n ot for Forth Wanderers. The making of the New Jersey band's second album, their first on cult indie label Sub Pop, was crafted via meticulous communications between lead singer Ava Trilling and guitarist Ben Guterl - who actually lived in the same zip code at the time.
After forming in New Jersey in 2013, indie rockers Forth Wanderers make their Sub Pop debut five years later with Forth Wanderers. It's not their first LP, but given that singer Ava Trilling and guitarist Ben Guterl were still in high school when they started the group, and it's their first record with an outside producer (Cameron Konner), it offers their boldest and most consistent sound to date. Call it a best foot forward warranting an eponymous title.
New Jersey's Forth Wanderers might borrow their moniker from a Scottish non-league football club of the same name, but on the evidence of their self-titled debut album, its clear this lot are shooting for the premiership of American indie instead. In fact, their rise since their excellent 'Slop' Ep has been so rapid that their ball-kicking counterparts have amended their Twitter bio in the months since to avoid confusion: "that’s the Scottish Fitba club not the American Indie band. " Despite living within the same zip code, vocalist Ava Trilling and bandmate Ben Guterl concocted the bones 'Forth Wanderers' in the fashion of two pen pals from an era long past, swapping melody lines and lyrics.
At a Montclair, New Jersey high school, guitarist Ben Guterl had a crush on a girl. So he sent a demo of instrumental sketches to that girl, vocalist Ava Trilling, who in kind returned them adorned with her own lyrics. Soon after, she became the frontwoman for his band of childhood friends. If this charming prologue sounds like a spec script for an indie teen movie, believe that Forth Wanderers are kind of like the feel-good movie version of a suburban rock band.
New Jersey five piece Forth Wanderers have just released their self-titled album (their Sub Pop debut). It´s the type of record that makes you want to separate all the layers, just to enjoy each instrumental and vocal arrangement individually, then put it back together and bask in the way it all comes together. Melodic guitar riffs intertwine with deadpan vocals in lazily idyllic, slacker rock glory, until disturbed by thudding drum beats and angsty riffs, which enter almost menacingly to enforce the narrative peaks of each song.