6 songs that influenced Fairweather’s ‘Deluge’ EP
Richmond emo vets Fairweather returned last week with their first new release in eight years, the Deluge EP, and here's what we said about it in Notable Releases:
The last song on Fairweather's 2003 sophomore album Lusitania found the Virginia emo band offering up ten minutes of celestial post-rock, suggesting Fairweather were on a path towards something much grander than most of their early 2000s emo peers. Instead, they broke up that same year, and when they reunited and put out their 2014 self-titled album, they largely focused on a faster, punchier sound. Now, almost 20 years since Lusitania's release, Fairweather are back with a new EP, Deluge, and it picks up where that last song on Lusitania left off. They recruited a third guitarist (Nick Barkley, who played in Fairweather offshoot Olympia) to beefen up their sound, and the result is a collection of sludgy, atmospheric, post-rocky songs that are among the band's most stunning to date. It's just four songs, but they clock in at a total of 20 minutes, and Deluge feels like one of the band's most monumental releases. Fairweather were kind of always one of those perennially underrated emo bands that the world was never really ready for, and now that you can hear their ahead-of-its-time sound echoing in many of today's indie/art/post-rock leaning bands, the timing is perfect for one of their most ambitious releases yet.
To get more of an idea of what specifically influenced the direction of Deluge, each band member picked one song that influenced the album, with eclectic picks ranging from The Cure to Pallbearer to Link Wray. Read on to see what each member had to say...
SONGS THAT INFLUENCED FAIRWEATHER'S DELUGE
The Cure - "One Hundred Years"
picked by Ben Green (guitar)
This song holds a lot of themes in common with Deluge. While Disintegration's "Plainsong" might be more in line with the slower pacing we set on this record, One Hundred Years has the driving wail that some of our songs have, and is more focused on the fracturing state of the world. The guitar playing in this song, melodic but disjointed and expressive, is really akin to the stuff we do regularly, and you can find moments all over our record in this vein.
Lifetime - “25 Cent Giraffes”
picked by Jay Littleton (vocals)
If Jersey’s Best Dancers by Lifetime had never been released it’s safe to say Fairweather wouldn’t exist. I’m not sure there’s another record that ever connected with me so completely as this one did when I was 17. I was a fan of their previous record Hello Bastards but I found myself driving the long way home just to sing a few more songs at the top of my lungs in the car to this one. Ari’s high notes as he sings “waiting for me” at the end of "25 Cent Giraffes" are everything to me. I can still hear Lifetime in my singing all these years later. I consider it the foundation of my voice.
Scientist - "Your Teeth In My Neck"
picked by Nick Barkley (bass)
Playing in a band with three guitars, melodic vocals/harmonies, and added background instrumentation, means rhythmically making the most impact with the space remaining while still leaving room for the songs to breathe. I love creating heaviness with repetition and space. I really appreciate the subtlety of that on Scientist's take of this Michael Prophet tune. The heaviness he creates in the mix with subtle space, repetition and little effects elicit a feeling that is so smooth and heavy.
Link Wray - "The Swag"
picked by Ben Murphy (guitar)
I grew up in a musical household where soul, doo-wop, and early rock and roll was on blast every night. Needless to say I was exposed to Link Wray during this period but I didn't really come to fully appreciate him and his scrappy style until I started learning guitar years later as a teenager. There's something about the grit and, as the title indicates, swag in this song that transports me back to those nights as a kid with music gently shaking and piercing through the floor beneath me as I drifted off to sleep. When I was trying to figure out a way to come out of the quiet break halfway through "Untethered," Link's famous minor pentatonic walk down in his instrumental tune "Rumble" served as inspiration and helped me get there.
Pallbearer - "The Ghost I Used To Be"
picked by Peter Tsouras (guitar)
I've been borderline obsessed with Pallbearer since I came across them a decade or so ago. I was a hardcore kid in the early 90's, so I came up on abrassive, heavy music. But the older I got, the more I realized I needed the heaviness in music to be counterbalanced with melody and dynamics. Pallbearer delivers both and their record, Fountains Of Burden and the song "The Ghost I Used To Be" in particular are a perfect showcase of that duality. I remember working late one night listening to this song and thinking, "I think we could do something like this." When we started carving out the rough ideas for the songs that would ultimately become Deluge we really wanted to push as far as we could in two directions. We wanted to make this enormous soundscape of music that really had weight to it, but we also wanted to find a way to counterbalance that weight by having a thread running through each song made up of lush and beautiful vocals. In our case, with this new record, I think Pallbearer helped push the boat off the dock for me.
The Twilight Singers - “Esta Noche”
picked by Shane Johnson (drums)
Once the songs that became Deluge started to solidify we had clearer direction ahead of us, writing more expansive, lush, almost cinematic songs. The focus seemed to shift more from how the songs would move from part to part to how the songs would move within the individual parts themselves. We were sitting in ideas for much longer. Letting things crystallize a bit before moving on. Songs like “Esta Noche” were a good reference point for how you could let one feeling breathe and settle in without leaning on forward momentum like we had in the past; just getting to the next part before we got bored with what was already happening. This song holds onto a vibe for long stretches and just lets the song build on top. It builds a sturdy foundation to support all the layers of beauty and chaos heaped on top. You can find plenty of moments like this throughout Deluge.
Deluge is out now on Equal Vision. Stream it here: