Forth Wanderers

Forth Wanderers

Half Waif, Brittle Brian

Thu, January 12, 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

Great Scott

Allston, MA

$10 advance / $12 day of show

This event is 18 and over

Forth Wanderers
Forth Wanderers
Forth Wanderers are five friends from Montclair, New Jersey. Together they make some of the most powerfully intimate and emotive indie-rock music you’re likely to hear. Comprised of singer Ava Trilling, guitarists Ben Guterl and Duke Greene, bassist Noah Schifrin and drummer Zach Lorelli, despite all being under the age of 21, the group have been prolifically forging musical creations from the bedrooms of their Garden State township since 2013.

“In winter of my junior year of high school I was trying to find a way to talk to Ava, who was a freshman at the time and I kind of had a crush on,” recalls guitarist and songwriter Ben of the band’s formation. “I had no intention of starting a band, but I thought sending her a demo would be a great excuse to hang out because I knew she sung from middle school. I sent it to her and nothing came of it. We never got together and I forgot about the song, until eventually I received a demo back from her with vocals on and I just thought ‘wow’”. It’s the kind of story that great songs are written about. But such is the perfect narrative that preempted the band’s debut EP Mahogany, as the songwriting partnership was completed by Ben’s three best classroom friends, followed swiftly by long-player Tough Love in 2014.

With their burgeoning discography it’s hard to believe that Ava only just graduated high school this June, and the rest of the band are in their junior college year. But it’s fair to say that with EP ’Slop’ the band are truly arriving on the international scene. Over just four tracks the band manage to create an intense impact with the effortless, earnest melody of Ava’s talismanic vocals soaring above the untempered churns of Ben’s haunting, raw guitars.

“I love too much, to hurt this bad,” Ava mourns amidst the climactic closing moments of the EP’s title track and lead single in one especially lovelorn refrain. “It seemed fitting to how I was feeling at the time,” Ava recalls of the song’s creation. “When Ben showed me the guitar parts he had written I immediately fell in love with it. Writing the lyrics and melody came super naturally.”

Forth Wanderers have been building a loyal fanbase plucked from disparate scenes, drawing comparisons from everyone from Built To Spill and Pavement to Mac Demarco and Weezer. But the urgency and immediacy of what they do feels almost unparalleled amongst the current wave of breaking indie music. The EP is as euphoric as it is lamenting, with ‘Know Better’ opening proceedings with driving, strident guitar swirls and some real earworm hooks. ’Nerves’ bursts forth from fizzing, lo-fi shackles to give some of one the band’s most head-nodding moments. Before seismic closer ‘Unfold’ bring things to a heart-wrenching finale “I’ve been tired of hearing fake speeches, needless to say I’m in love with you…” Ava croons amidst its epic closing bars.

“I was going through a weird time,” she remembers. “But these songs felt great to write. With every song Ben sent me, lyrics would ultimately pour out." The cathartic reward that Ava speaks of is impossible to escape when listening to the Slop EP, the empathy from laying bare everyday life’s rawest moments. It’s this powerful sense of kinship that will likely see the band continue rising as one of the most eagerly followed new acts around.
Half Waif
Half Waif
Nandi Rose Plunkett writes, records and performs under the name Half Waif. Her music is deeply personal and engaging, reflecting her lifelong endeavor to reconcile a sense of place. Raised in the bucolic cultural hub of Williamstown, Massachusetts, Nandi was the daughter of an Indian refugee mother and an American father of Irish/Swiss descent. She was one of Williamstown’s only non-white residents. As a kid, she listened to a wide mix of music that included everything from Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos, to Celtic songstress Loreena McKennitt and traditional Indian bhajans. In college, she studied classical singing and became enamored with the works of Olivier Messiaen and Claude Debussy. Her output as Half Waif reflects these varying influences, resulting in a richly layered collage of blinking electronic soundscapes, echoes of Celtic melodies and the sad chord changes of 19th-century art music.

Next to her touring schedule as a member of Pinegrove, Half Waif has already self-released two EPs and two albums – a split 7" with Deerhoof, the Future Joys EP in 2013, and then albums KOTEKAN (produced by Devin Greenwood) in 2014, and Probable Depths (produced by Zubin Hensler) last May. It was with Probable Depths that Half Waif caught the attention of the worldwide music media, with NPR singling out track ‘Turn Me Around’ and Pitchfork awarding it their coveted Best New Track distinction. It was also during this time that Half Waif’s relationship with Cascine began.

Half Waif’s latest work is newly complete. The form/a EP is a collection of tracks that expand on her exploration of home. She explains, “there’s an inherent restlessness in the way that I write and think about sound. I’m the daughter of a refugee, and somewhere in me is this innate story of searching for a home. As a result, I have many – a collection of places that I latch onto, that inspire me, that fuse themselves to me. I’m sentimental, nostalgic – yet constantly seeking what’s next, excavating the sound of my past and coloring it to make the sound of my future. I’m a child of divorce, fiercely loved but forced into independence at a young age; I rocket into relationships with the desire to find roots, commonality, to create stillness in the midst of public noise. In this way, my songs are like the notes of a large scavenger hunt, clues pinned to trees I have known, or tucked under rocks on my path, urging the listener to keep looking a little deeper, because maybe they will find something special in the end.”

form/a was released as a limited-edition 12” in February 2017 on Half Waif’s new label home, Cascine. Half Waif is comprised of Nandi Rose Plunkett, Zack Levine and Adan Carlo.
Brittle Brian
Brittle Brian
I live in Boston and believe in saying what you mean and owning mostly useful things
Venue Information:
Great Scott
1222 Commonwealth Avenue
Allston, MA, 02134
http://www.greatscottboston.com/