Two very good emo bands, Montreal's Gulfer and Michigan's Charmer, have just released a new split on Topshelf, No Sleep, and Royal Mountain. According to the announcement, the bands never met in real life, but became fans of each other over the internet, and came up with the idea to do this split during the pandemic.

"When the pandemic hit we started to write a lot of songs – what else were we going to do?," Gulfer guitarist/vocalist Joey Therriault tells us. "We made a spreadsheet of demos we had sent each other, and Vince added 'Look' to the list, which was a song written shortly after we recorded Dog Bless that I had forgotten about. 'Look' is a special song to me because it serves as a bridge between styles that have been important to us for a long time, while also allowing new influences to bleed into our songwriting. The original version of 'Look' was an attempt to write a 'Vincent Ford banger.' It has those elements – a shiny chord progression, punchy-tappy riffs, high energy. But the song’s second half, which we wrote more recently, brings in new sounds, instruments and production choices that are becoming a bigger part of our songwriting."

Gulfer bassist David Mitchell adds, "I fell in love with [Charmer's album] Ivy when it came out around the start of the pandemic. It hit me at a time where I was really into other pop-punk influenced emo bands like Free Throw and Hot Mulligan, and it was my go-to upbeat record for that confusing, bleak period of time. I started tweeting at Charmer a bunch about how much I liked the record and a few months later Dave from Charmer DM'd us asking if we had any b-sides from our S/T record. We didn't, but we were so excited about the prospect of a split that we started tracking for 'Look' a few weeks later!"

"I first found out about Gulfer in 2016 when I listened to a split they did with Del Paxton and I absolutely fell in love with their writing style," Charmer guitarist/vocalist David Daignault adds. "We had an extra song from Ivy that needed a home and we didn’t want to just put it out as a single. I discovered so many great bands back in the day from split CDs and vinyl and thought it would be cool to try and recreate that vibe in the digital era. So, we reached out to Gulfer (more as a fan than anything) to see if they wanted to do a split with us, and it worked out great."

The split is great; the songs share some similar elements, but both bands approached those sounds differently. As Joey said, Gulfer's "Look" start out in the punchy-tappy '90s emo vein, but it eventually evolves into something much more soaring and atmospheric. Charmer's "Diamond (Sprinkler)" also has a noodly side and a hazy side, but in its own unique way.

Listen to both songs below...


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