Album Release | Odd Folks - Alumni
This week marks the release of Alumni, the third album from Dallas-based band, Odd Folks. A few weeks ago, the guys sat down to talk with Wavelength's Will Latham to discuss the making of their new album and some of the thoughtfully woven themes in their lyrics.
Will Latham | 2 November 2018
Artist: Odd Folks
Release date: 31 October 2018
Starting a band is easy. Keeping a band together firing on all cylinders is another thing entirely. Dallas based hardcore/pop punk band, Odd Folks is doing just that with the release of their third studio album, Alumni. Teaming up with expert musician and producer Nathan Hussey of All Get Out, Odd Folks is making something of a departure from previous records as Alumni hits heavy and draws upon dark themes such as grief, depression, and loss. “I just want people to know It’s ok to feel grief and it’s ok to feel sadness. It’s ok to feel these feelings,” lead singer Marco Pisterzi states. These themes arise in the very first track “I’ve Always Known Your Name," a powerful song that details the loss of a close friend to the band and the difficulty they’ve had in talking about it with other people.
“It’s been a hard thing to cope with,” says Marco. Those feelings of confusion and being out of place continue in the second track “Whatever Keeps You" as Pisterzi sings, "I’m stuck in the middle of feeling manic and feeling safe," and climax with the final track "Lovely, Dark and Deep" as he sings, “We want so badly to believe that love is worth all of the memories." “It’s all very personal,” he says in reference to the album. Every track on the record is brimming with weighty, beautifully melded guitar layers that would make even the most timid listener bust out their air guitar. The guitars on this record are “primarily just overblown Fender amps,” says the band. “We learned you don’t need 30 guitars to make a big guitar sound… you need one right ear and one left ear… a lot of fender amps cranked was the name of the game." This wall of sound is evident on stand out tracks "What Holds Us Together" and "In Hopes That You Forget." Alumni doesn’t rely on flashy guitar solos or overly drawn out breakdowns, but rather finds its strength in candid songwriting and well-developed musicianship. “The biggest difference is how intentional everything was,” says bassist Jacob Pavel. “It’s definitely more mature,” adds both guitarists, Alex Knoll and Nic Shields.
Along with the album, Odd Folks has released an official music video for their single, “In Hopes That You Forget” as well as a 4-part video series by John Patrick Hughes documenting the making of Alumni. Inspired by watching documentaries on how bands like Blink 182 recorded their self-titled album, as well as studio footage of Yellowcard and Sum 41, the band really wanted fans to be able to connect with every step of the process.
Each video in the series combines studio footage and interviews with the band to allow the viewer to see through the eyes of each band member during the entire process with the first part focusing on pre-production, the second part looking at the rhythm section, the third part centering around guitar tracking, and then finally a break down of the vocals. The only record they’ve released while all living in the same city, Alumni is a commanding album that opens with a wave of energetic, emotional energy that doesn’t let the listener go until the final track concludes. It speaks to their dedication to the process. “We have this whole operation broken down very much like a business… we try to keep everything well-oiled,” says Marco. Everyone in the band has a job outside of playing music ranging from managing social media, mapping out tours, to leading weekly team building games of Dungeons & Dragons. Odd Folks is already working on the next record as well as a Southwest tour in early 2019.
You can follow them at the links below to keep track of upcoming shows and to stream Alumni as well as the Making of Alumni video series.
Connect With Odd Folks
Will Latham is a musician from Dallas, Texas. He plays bass for Ottoman Turks and Justin Tipton in addition to his solo work, Billy Law. He enjoys sitting on porch couches, wearing pearl snap shirts, and talking about Twin Peaks. Will is the co-founder and creative director of Wavelength Magazine.
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