Poverty Hollow run an eclectic sonic gamut on their self-released EP that moves at breakneck speed from catchy post-punk to churning metal riffs to meandering, gentle melodies. The sound is a new one for the Connecticut band, led by Will Rutledge, who recently changed their name from Suns after solidifying their line-up and taking their music in a different direction.
The band released the song “Rocks” on Impose earlier this month who said of it, “at the pace of manic mood swings, guitars move from trailing echos, a beginning felicitous progression is brought to an audio boil built on the tension”. It’s an appropriate description of the track and impressive considering it’s the first song Poverty Hollow wrote after deciding upon their name change.
The band is set to embark on a series of tour dates around the Northeast this July (below) including with fellow Connecticut DIY staples Ovlov. Catch them on tour this month, stream the EP, and learn more below.
Ghettoblaster caught up with Rutledge to discuss the EP, and he said this about it…
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?
We wrote the EP between July of last summer and March of this past fall.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
There’s this song on the EP called “Reverie” that I felt was pretty difficult from the get go, which is funny because it’s one of the simplest song we’ve done together. I wrote that song in the fall of 2012, and even while I was still writing it by myself, I kept going back and forth on whether it should be complexly arranged or have a really straight forward structure. That combined with some indecision on a couple of recording decisions, I do think it lost some of its initial candor in the recording process. I’ll always think of it slightly as a failed experiment, but I’m pretty alright with that because you need those to keep motivated and creating.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
The first song “Concrete” for sure. For a while it was this gentle and kinda dissonant acoustic song I would play to myself, but then one day this past winter I was playing my electric guitar and started really getting loud with it. It felt so good, and I knew it needed to be the first song for the EP.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Unfortunately not. Before we were Poverty Hollow our name was Suns. It’s the same people, just a different name. On almost all the recordings we did under the name Suns, with the exception of our full length The Engine Room, there were some guest musicians. It’s always so fun having other people interpret the song and then add their own color.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
A god amongst men by the name of David Groener Jr. produced the EP. We recorded the guitars, drums, and bass live at his house. One way he changed the face of the record was by mixing it beautifully! He has spent a lot of time in the past two years in and out of studios in NYC and working as an engineer at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, CT with producer Peter Katis. Listening to our past records and then this, it is remarkable they were recorded in the same space.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Not really. We wanted to make a little collection of strong songs rather than a thematic piece. Our last two
releases as Suns were definitely conceptual to a degree, but it’s more fitting to say they were just thematically heavy and had a lot of lyrical and musical motifs. None of the songs on this EP really sound alike and none are really connected to an overarching concept or idea. Not going down that route was absolutely necessary for us because now that we’ve played with so many different styles, and started writing songs where we are really changing and creating, changing and creating, we have a good idea of what we want the full length to sound like.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We just went on tour with our townie neighbors in ovlov, and that was the first time we really started playing these songs. Interestingly enough, the song “reverie” has been getting a lot of attention which surprises me. But as far as live reactions probably “rocks”. It’s just got that bounce I guess.
(Catch the band at one of these dates:
7/13 – Springfield, MA @ BRAMBLE JAM II
7/20 – Boston, MA @ JP Drive-In
7/22 – Montclair, NJ @ The Meatlocker
7/23- Brooklyn, NY @ Big Snow Buffalo Lodge
7/24 – New Haven, CT @ Fort Flesh*
* = w/ Ovlov)