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Stray Fossa – Photo Credit: Kris Williams
It’s safe to say newer bands that had just found their sea legs before the pandemic began have faced some of the tallest challenges among musicians in the COVID era. One of the greatest joys for a musician is discovering chemistry with like-minded artists, whether it be onstage or in the studio. One of the most devastating prospects is the inability to perform together in person.
Charlottesville, Virginia’s Stray Fossa, an indie-rock trio that typically makes music in an attic, is no exception. After three years of living and working together, the band members (two brothers and a childhood friend) found themselves in two continents at the start of 2021. It’s no great surprise, then, that many songs on their second album – Closer Than We’ll Ever Know, due June 3 on Born Losers Records – address the distance between the three musicians.
Some of the lo-fi tracks on the new LP address time as a measure of distance, reflected by a memory or longing for the past/future. Others feature a narrative centered more on what separates people physically or mentally – the negative space in which we navigate (or fail to navigate) our relationships with ourselves and others.
Of course, distance also shaped the writing and production process for Closer Than We’ll Ever Know. Instead of a shared house, lead vocalist/guitarist Nick Evans, drummer/percussionist Will Evans and bassist/vocalist Zach Blount used bedroom studios and living rooms in Hamburg and Munich, Germany – as well as Salem, Massachusetts – to carefully piece together the songs featured on the record.
With collaborative songwriting on scattered iPhone notes and shared project folders, the band managed to virtually re-create their attic studio. Fortunately, the trio managed to track some of the album in their home base of Charlottesville.
The result is a bold evolution, in terms of music and lyrical themes, from Stray Fossa’s self-released debut, 2021’s With You for Ever. If that first album, written and recorded while quarantined together in early 2020, struggles at times with the collective anxiety, isolation and confinement of that period, the band’s dancier, more expansive follow-up could be considered a re-emergence, a cautious shift toward anticipation.
Today, the Big Takeover is pleased to unveil the video for “Transpiring,” the first song from Stray Fossa’s sophomore release, Closer Than We’ll Ever Know. The band members recently told us that the song began as a jangly guitar tune, but the guitar was “ultimately swapped for wobbly synth.”
The song is “an attempt to capture a memory of an afternoon spent lying in a grape field morphed into a song about living stuck in the future/past,” they continued. “The string sample formed the basis for two other songs, fusing the opening 12 minutes of the LP into a flowing narrative. ”
Will Evans, who also produces all the releases by Stray Fossa, added: “We made a conscious effort to let the initial emotion become the final product. This often meant mixing in audio from the original demos, instead of re-recording anything.”
Check out Stray Fossa’s brand-new tune, “Transpiring,” right here:
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