Song Premiere: Refund Division, “Recycled Leather”

Tulsa, OK indie stalwarts Refund Division are set to release their forthcoming LP In The Altogether in June and today have released the single “Recycled Leather.”  Heavy on post-alternative and indie rock, “Recycled Leather” offers up vocal harmonies that conjure up those feelings of bearing witness to the classic rock bands from the early 90’s grunge days.  “Recycled Leather” pushes you to listen to it with the volume dial ripped off because you couldn’t turn it up anymore.

“This song has a darker feel than the rest of the album because it was written around the time we lost someone dear to us in a tragic accident,” lead singer Eric Arndt said in regard to the blistering single. “Musically and sonically pulling from some of the raw emotions that were felt within our friend group upon hearing the news and grieving together. It was together that we stormed bad weather. The words “recycled leather” kept coming out while I was writing the chorus but I didn’t know what that meant until I saw her best girlfriends sharing her leather jacket that was gifted to them in her memory. It was beautiful to see her jacket on some of those that loved her most.”

Refund Division was born out of the dissolution of local Tulsa legends The Hero Factor. Arndt and bandmate Nathan Price decided to keep making music together, and the If And Only If EP was their debut. It was released only via custom USB flash drives, which included album art, liner notes, a music video, and a short film. Longtime friend Ben King joined the duo for performances at Norman Music Fest, SXSW, D Fest, and Free Tulsa. 

In The Altogether was written in Tulsa while Arndt was experimenting with a custom distortion pedal and his baritone guitar. “The sounds were so deep and lush,” says Arndt. “I knew these song ideas needed to be fleshed out sonically with a rhythm section”. Soon enough he was meeting weekly with King (bass) and Price (drums) at their creative warehouse, dubbed Brinka, on the east side of downtown. Over the next eighteen months, they shined their compositions to a high polish.

Once they had the songs dialed in, they headed Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock, AR. They tracked the record live as a trio, then added a second guitar overdub. Engineer Jason Weinheimer opened his arms and ears to the band and has much to do with why this album exists. Vocals, synth, and space echo-drenched piano were tracked at Bedrock in Los Angeles. The album was mixed by Jarod Evans (BRONCHO, Sports) at Blackwatch Studios in Norman, OK, and mastered at Elysian Mastering in Los Angeles by Dave Cooley.

“This album was written and rehearsed in a warehouse, born of the thirst and drive to push things through,” tells Arndt. “That idea turned to action – showing up, over and over again, and making some noise even when circumstances are telling you to quit. In The Altogether is a love letter to the feeling and energy of playing in a band together.” 

Photo Courtesy: Kelly Kerr

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