Foyer Red share “Pocket” video, tell us about the influences behind their debut LP
Brooklyn band Foyer Red release their debut album, Yarn The Hours Away, on May 19 via Carpark, and here's another song from it. "Pocket" is a blast of manic pop -- a skronky, catchy whirlwind that shifts gears a few times over the course of three and a half minutes. "This song was by all means a wild card for the album," says the band's Elana Riordan. "We’d played around with pieces of the song for a while and would sometimes wordlessly revert to them during practices, but we had put the pieces aside until very organically finishing the instrumentation about a week before we went into the studio. I had no words for the song, just an idea about the main part’s melody and the vocals. As we were tracking our songs in the first few days of recording, I was glued to my notebook, thinking aloud with the rest of the band, and then later spilling out silly phrases about time travel, capitalism and our existence/evolution as a species." Watch the stop-motion animated video below.
We asked Foyer Red to tell us more about the album and they sent us a list of 10 influences behind it, which include music (Cibo Matto, Cate Le Bon, Bernard Purdie, more), movies, and more. Read their list and commentary below.
Foyer Red will celebrate the album's release at Brooklyn's Union Pool on May 26 with Dan English on the bill. Then they'll head out with Chicago's Deeper for a short tour of the Southeast. All dates are listed below.
FOYER RED - INFLUENCES FOR 'YARN THE HOURS AWAY'
“Rock Pool” - Cate Le Bon (Kristina)
Ok, at this point even I am sick of how much I talk about Cate Le Bon, but Marco showed me this EP after I thought I’d heard it all from her and I think I listened to it almost every day in 2022. Tones, textures, and general groove were all things I connected with. Additionally, I feel like all of the instruments are in conversation, and everything is taking its turn to speak while also sort of interrupting others or stepping on the toes of another sound, so to speak. I think about myself in conversation with my bandmates and their instruments a lot, especially considering Elana’s melody or responding to whatever Mitch is riffing. I used this EP so much as a metric for what I loved to hear, as a listener.
The Purdie Shuffle: (Marco)
My friend Cameron showed me this video after we nerded out about Aja by Steely Dan for the 1000th time together. Bernard Purdie has recorded on over 4000 albums and is often referred to as the most recorded drummer. I spent days, probably even weeks, perfecting the Purdie shuffle, which can be found all over Bernard’s recordings. This really opened up my style of playing before writing & recording Yarn the Hours Away, and although you won’t find many shuffles on the record, it helped me a lot with getting complex rhythms under my hands. I would prop my phone up to record myself in slow motion while I practiced to help teach myself the shuffle in 2020. It’s all about the ghost notes & back beat. The way he speaks drums is so beautiful.
Cibo Matto - Viva! La Woman (Elana)
In the months leading up to recording the album, I was listening to this album on repeat. The songs are so funky, spooky, punk–silly and sincere at the same time. It’s like a hip-hop collage driven by super mesmerizing and raw vocals. I love the woodwinds and brass being these cool inquisitive characters in the background. The samples cutting in and out can be kind of glitchy too.
Ought - "The Weather Song" (Eric)
It's hard to pick just one song from Ought's catalog, but I always come back to this song from their first release. I love how wiry and serpentine the bass feels on this track while locking into their signature rhythmic groove. There's a lot of movement during the verses yet the playing style is still so concise.
During the writing of our album, I was journaling almost every day. I would try to recount as many details as I could from a day. Intentional mindfulness made me more in touch with my thoughts and feelings, which spilled over into my creative process, massaging the flow state of idea generation, whether it was words or melodic phrases.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Elana)
I watch Nausicaa at least once a year to ground myself and therefore it influences everything I make. It’s my absolute comfort film. Beyond Nausicaa, I am super fond of Miyazaki films but especially fond of Joe Hisaishi’s scores. I’ve been playing clarinet since I was little but while writing the album I started learning the flute. I played this one song from Howl’s Moving Castle obsessively for months, and by the time we were recording the album I was ready to throw some flute on it!
Futurism & ‘the industrial city’ (Elana)
While writing lyrics I often find creative anchors in visual media: mostly paintings but also imagined fantastical scenes. There was one song we were working on that made me think of kaleidoscopic Italian futurist paintings. Often depicting symbols of ‘the industrial city’, they are semi-representational works in super fragmented and fractured sections. I was writing about desire and gratification while staring at swaths of high key color in triangular forms, conveying immediacy and dynamism. Futurism continued to influence a few of my vocal parts on later songs. At another point, I was looking at old defunct bridges in New York and thinking about the dark cityscape aesthetics of the film Metropolis; I imagined a scene of stormy-colored skyscrapers with cartoon faces bouncing in discordance as they pumped out smoke, exhaling. This brought me to write from the perspective of the personified city, drawing from all of these things combined plus Michel de Certeau’s “Walking in the City”.
Walking around (Kristina)
Walking as much as I do to and from places in this city is hugely influential to me. Like you’re immersed in this constant world of sound, atonal cacophonies, accidental harmony between some train screech and someone’s laugh, the Doppler effect on music in a passing car, etc. I feel like I pocket those things subconsciously and try to find them again when we are writing and I’m slamming some random notes on the guitar.
I too (Mitch) feel super inspired by my walks. I love walking around for hours when demoing a song to hash out vocals.
While writing and recording Yarn the Hours Away I was collecting and selling vintage and modern furniture for a living. Formica was both my salvation and my undoing, folks loved buying all of the vintage furniture that was wrapped in Formica but every piece of Formica would break and crack so easily. Elana and I have a Subaru Forester which rules and I’d never trade it for the world, but when you put the seats down there is this really annoying bump over the crack of the seats that results from having a larger trunk. I loved sourcing furniture that was too big for me to move on my own, and while trying to take it out of the car I’d constantly snag it on said bump, crack the Formica, and have to piece it back together with superglue. I think I still have like four super glue bottles in my car.
Daudi Kabaka (Mitch)
I’ve loved Daudi Kabaka’s music for years. I’m inspired by how much variation he got out of the major scale in his songs. His rhythms bounce with unexpected twists and turns. His wordy guitar riffs glisten so brightly. It’s music that you can't help but feel happy while you’re listening to. During the writing process for Yarn the Hours Away I would often reference Daudi Kabaka.
Foyer Red - 2023 Tour Dates
05/26/23 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool - record release show w/ @ and Dan English
05/29/23 - Atlanta, GA - 529 #
05/30/23 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar #
05/31/23 - Miami, FL - Gramps #
06/01/23 - Gainesville, FL - Lucy’s
06/02/23 - Orlando, FL - Will's Pub #
06/03/23 - Savannah, GA - Dog Days Fest
06/04/23 - Asheville, NC - Static Age Records #
# = With Deeper