Band To Watch: Slander


Band To Watch: Slander


From the historic maritime village of Mystic, CT comes Slander, a five-piece rock band born from the hub that is Mystic Disc, local record store and art-kid nexus point. Singer Julia Farrar linked with Disc employee and rock-band lifer/drummer Rich Freitas there, with Echo & The Bunnymen as an initial reference for a new band. The sound on their promising single “Ghosts” b/w “Magnets” certainly honors guitars and, at times, the post-punk era, though the music’s substantive emotionality is more direct and coiled, less bombastic and arty — a combination of sweeping ’70s guitar rock sound with a more gnarled punk spirit. “Ghosts” attaches its bedroom diary lyrics about being unmoored in the face of change to that ’70s guitar rock directness to pretty effect; “Magnets” ties into Slits snot and riot grrl guitar successfully. The single was recorded by Daniel Schlett, whose credits include DIIV’s Oshin and Friends’ Manifest, with the latter being particularly telling in style and spirit. (Friends’ Samantha Urbani is yet another “Mystic kid.”) Grab both sides of the single here. I asked Slander to put together and annotate a “primer mixtape” to their sound, and that’s below, too:

Slander – “Ghosts”


Slander – “Magnets”

Slander is Grayson Connelly (guitar), Luke Hunter (guitar, vocals), Julia Farrar (vocals), Chris Wimpfheimer (bass), and Rich Freitas (drums). Keep up with them, and hear their previous EP world as museum, at portfire.

A primer to Slander:

01 Echo & The Bunnymen – “Ripeness” (from the Porcupine LP)

“When Julia first approached me to play drums in her new band, she sent me a link to an Echo & The Bunnymen song as an initial direction for the new music. That was the clincher, as Pete Defreitas was my defacto inspiration as a young drummer. Sincerely, Rich Freitas.”

02 Bill Withers – “Use Me” (from the Live At Carnegie Hall LP)
“As with most musicians, the band members were influenced by the radio they heard in the car as kids with their parents. A shared denominator was the soul and R&B of the ’60s and ’70s. Bassist Chris Wimpfheimer’s father was the original bassist in classic R&B combo Roomful of Blues.”

03 PJ Harvey – “Dress” (from the Dry LP)
“We learned a bunch of covers in the earliest days. “Dress” is the one we still play, and the only cover we have played live.”

04 Fleetwood Mac – “Green Manalishi” (UK single)
“There is an undercurrent within the guitar players of the band, a delicious overlap that encompasses the great guitar bands of the ’70s. Unabashedly.”

05 Jefferson Airplane – “Last Wall Of The Castle” (from the After Bathing At Baxter’s LP)
“When we had all gotten together for the first time to discuss what we wanted to do with the band, I had one simple idea – a band with multiple songwriters and vocalists. And my inspiration was the construct, but not necessarily the sounds, of bands like jefferson airplane, fleetwood mac, and sonic youth.”

[Photo by Michelle Gemma]

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