Lose the pants, and say hello to Donovan Wolfington.
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic and melodramatic, "Quitting," the standout track from Donovan Wolfington's new Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark EP, is the best song we've ever heard! OK, that's probably a bit much. (Best song of the week, anyway.) But, given the style of music that the New Orleans band plays -- a mix between visceral, razor-edged, shouty emo and organ-fueled pop-punk -- overstatement seems appropriate.
"And you take yourself so serious/ And you hate yourself so much," Neil Berthier and Savannah Saxton sing as the song careens wildly out of control before coming to an abrupt halt. Been there.
While "Keef Ripper" features some more throat-shredding, it's not all straight-ahead emotional spitfire on the five-song set. There are touches of dream-pop shoegaze throughout, particularly on "Alone," where Saxton's sweetly spun vocals come more to the center of the feedback swirl.
"The idea behind the EP was to make a really badass 5-song 7-inch that flowed but was still bangers all the way through," Berthier told us, saying "Keef Ripper" and "Sleeping" were his two favorites.
What is a "Keef Ripper," you might be wondering?
"The name came from us recording the drums with our drummer, Mike, and he needed a track name for the file. There were a lot of people over, and everyone was smoking weed. For some reason, 'Keef Ripper' was the first thing that came to mind. I have no idea why -- it just sounded like the most ridiculous thing a hippie or one of our friends in the room would say. Maybe that's just me, and I'm silly."
The title of the EP has a more concrete origin coming from the classic frightening children's book of the same name. "That book was rad, and the title fit the EP well because each song is like a short story,"Berthier said. "But mainly that book is just really awesome."
The EP was recorded at the bandmates' houses in New Orleans with Chaz Sexton, and mixed and mastered by drummer Mike Saladis. (Guitarist/vocalist Matthew Seferian rounds out the lineup). That's how the group did things their first time around, but there's been a noticeable learning curve that paid off, he says.
"Everyone just got better at their instruments as well as craft. Now, Mike and our bassist Chris work at a legit studio, so we'll do some of our next record there. The DIY recording aspect can bring a really unique sound to a band. A lot of our favorite records were recorded in houses. It's all about being practical and helping out friends. As weird and hippyish as it sounds, you can feel the room that these were recorded in when you listen to it, or at least I can."
+ Listen to Donovan Wolfington's Scary Stories You Tell In The Dark.
Photo credit: Topshelf Records