Seattle indie quartet Sloucher is a patchwork of players from former West Coast acts, made up of Jay Clancy (Makeup Monsters, Cayucas, Hibou), Jack Hamrick, Kyle Musselwhite (The Globes) and Lance Umble (Telekinesis, Cumulus, Bod). Their debut EP Certainty came out in 2016 and got them instantly heralded as descendants of Heatmiser/Elliott Smith, Pavement, Weezer, and Built To Spill.
The entire legacy of Pacific Northwest ’90s alt-rock is a lot to have hanging over your head as a new band. But the comparisons mostly just help to highlight the strength and steadiness of their melodic, emotive guitar rock, rather than outing them as derivative or setting an unreachably high bar. Today, Sloucher have debuted their latest single, “Up & Down” off their debut album Be True out November 16.
Drowsier than Sloucher’s more raucous recent singles, the song’s nimble, fluorescent guitars, slow tempo, and existential musings draped over superficially upbeat melodies gives plenty of Shins, Bright Eyes, and Death Cab, on top of the aforementioned influences. Clancy’s naturally wistful, vulnerable voice inescapably conjures Smith. That’s by no means an indictment: The familiarity simply adds an undeniable tinge of nostalgia on top of the melancholy.
It’s a pleasantly earnest song, with a wholesome twist to its emo angst. Clancy sings of the “ups and downs” of a quarter life crisis (“When I’m full of doubt/ I can’t figure out purpose in life/ I’m 20-something/ going through motions”) and the way music makes everything feel alright (“Then I write it down/ Turn it into sound/ Now it seems right”). He promises he’ll dig himself out of whatever hole he’s in: “I will do my best/ To fill this emptiness/ I want to know myself one day.”
Listen below via a video by Dan Fromhart and Lance Umble.
Sloucher have some hometown shows coming up in the next month:
11/15 Seattle, WA @ Sonic Boom Records @ 7:30PM
11/16 Seattle, WA @ Easy Street Records @ 7PM
11/23 Seattle, WA @ Barboza (record release show)
Be True is out 11/16 via Swoon Records. Pre-order it here.