ACCENTS came out of nowhere...and in a big way with an astonishingly mature debut that oozes with indie rock bliss. It's quite stunning how brilliantly Growth And Squalor is constructed...the combined result of the genuine, honest and often heartbreaking songwriting of TJ Foster matched with production wiz Benjamin Hemingway's (both founding members of The Cast Before The Break) keen knack for making the sweet sound even sweeter. "Alright With Me" and "The Fog" showcase the duo's ability to craft hooks that can't be denied. They take risks on up-tempo rockers like "Routine Movements" and "Divide," while also demonstrating they can piece together stripped-down, emotion-laden tunes like "Storms" and "The Low." When the angelic chorus enters the last verse of "Storms," you're left utterly shattered...a moment tender enough to bring tears to the toughest of men. But it is the last track on the record that truly dictates Accents are much more than a one-trick pony. "Sorrow" builds up with an epic arrangement of atmospherics, gang vocals and pounding rhythms that sends chills down your spine. The words make you keep coming back, continually revisiting the album as if it were a call to action for the disillusioned, the jaded and the hopeless. But you'll find comfort in these songs no matter how you feel because of the worn, almost surrendering authenticity to it all. Accents has a masterful ability to juxtapose themes of frustration and detachment so perfectly with hopefulness and encouragement, leaving you content in the peace that indeed...there is a love that will find us all.
“I wanted a change of tone on this record. The overall theme of a lot of these songs is how we take things for granted, especially time. We put things off. We rush. We rely on technology instead of human connection. In general, I guess I tried to focus on positive themes a lot more so than I have in the past, but regardless of the mood, this motif shows up in almost every song,” Foster says. The aforementioned “Sorrow” is a testament to this attempt at optimism; a gloomy song from the start turns into a choir chanting a plea to its listeners: 'Don’t wait for tomorrow, let’s turn this sorrow into steam/This time that we borrowed, it amounts to more than what we need.'
"This album was really a year in the life for TJ and I. We both worked so incredibly hard every week compiling everything until we felt every second of the album was perfect in its own way. And what made it even more challenging (and rewarding) was the fact that we were never in the same room during the process," Hemingway comments. "This album to me is the result of a lot of hard work, dedication and a boatload of heart."
PRAISE FOR GROWTH AND SQUALOR:
"Growth and Squalor is a warm, honest and insightful look into our world today. It is a message designed to reach as many people as it can. It's a gorgeous, atmospheric slice of indie-folk music. And in any case, this is one of the best albums of the year [9.5/10]." -- AbsolutePunk.net
"With Growth and Squalor, Accents have hit the nail on the indie-folk head. It's uplifting, atmospheric, punchy and, above all, catchy. It's brilliant... an overall indie-folk musical masterpiece." -- Hevy Petal
"Accents' full-length debut offers up some of the most refreshing indie and alternative rock I've heard for some time..." -- Bandcamp's Best
"The two-man project aims for the heart and does everything but kick you in the head with tender melodic passages, effortless transitions and a musical mindset that makes me think twice about labeling them as just indie rock. This is a band in full control of their commitments, expertly shaping each build and fall to their specific point. Accents raises the bar for indie musicians everywhere..." -- Infectious Magazine
"Artfully arranged songs have plenty of heart and hooks, expanding beyond a base of folk rock to craft a major (r)evolution of the emo sub-genre of indie pop. If one listens closely to the lyrics, the songs have an emotional tug of war that is not just of despair and melancholy, but is both hopeful and uplifting too. In my opinion, it is one of the best albums to come from the Capital District in 2012..." -- Times Union
"[Accents'] full-length debut is a lush record with crooning vocals. Despite being recorded (mostly) by a duo, this is a record complete with full band instrumentation giving the songs a depth that belies the size of the group." -- Oklahoma Lefty
"From the ballad 'Storms' to the most rocking of tracks, this is just what an overall solid album should sound like. Accents creates the new standard with Growth and Squalor and now I defy other bands to meet it." -- Raised By Gypsies