Relations, the musical brain trust that is Michael Sanders, Terence Murren and Matthew Chokshi, has roots in a Modern Lovers cover band that Michael and Terence formed in high school in the 90's. Though the two remained close, each went their separate ways writing and performing music in various incarnations around New York and Boston (Officer May - Ace Fu Records, Abigail Warchild). Two years back, they began writing and rehearsing songs that would ultimately compromise their first, EP, "Relations", released in 2012 on 100m Records. The EP was described by the Deli as:
"Only steps away from the explosive 1980s wave of up-tempo self-loathing, old-time friends Terence Murren and Michael Sanders build - upon head-bopping offbeat rhythms and rolling bass lines - a fast-paced narrative, tinted with nostalgia and that effervescent angst of young love."
In the friends-as-family spirit that is Relations, Sanders and Murren collaborated with fellow Brooklynite, Matthew Chokshi on the video for "A Savage Way to Live". Soon after Chokshi began to attend rehearsals and brought new ideas and his sequencer to the table. A few practices and several tall cans of beer later, they invited him to join the group and began work on new material. The result of the now trio's hard work is the first Relations album length release, "Songbirds."
Chokshi has resumed his director's role with a new video for "Goodbyes", taken from the forthcoming release. Exclaim described the video as a "summery, vintage-looking affair" when they premiered it with their announcement of the album:
Songbirds departs from synth/drum machine/guitar/bass textures of the EP. They have expanded their sound by adding layers of live drums, sequences, additional synthesizers and dance beats. The songwriting focuses on finding beauty in the everyday grind and loss that is life and living. There's always a keen sense of nostalgia, but with a taste of hope for what would/could/should/will be. The end product is a refined, though not polished LP, recorded and produced at Rad Studios in Brooklyn by Josh Ascalon.
On the LP their immediate influences are apparent; Blur, the Lemonheads, PIL, Souxie and the Banshees, Unwound, New Order and the Jam… as well as contemporaries as broad as Beach Fossils, Lemonade, Deerhunter, Kurt Vile, Future Islands, Health, MIA, Twin Sister, Small Black and Liars.
Singles and more videos to come. "Songbirds" is released April 1, 2014, on 100m Records.
- Indie Rock