June 29, 2013
Both halves of Massachusetts may be stealing the New England independent music scene's spotlight these days, but further south lies the seaport village of Mystic, Connecticut, a historic artisan community that's been known to draw in as many vagabond painters and sculpters as it does tourists and maritime junkies. On the other side of this lifestyle is the village's art kid crowd, which in all likeliness I imagine being a group of alternative thinkers who've grown tired of passing by an incessant flow of pastels and oil-based paintings of ships and docks on a day to day basis, and are producing a counter-culture solution to the norm in their own uninhabited quarters. Slander are the scene's most outright example of rising talent, an indie pop-rock collective who sound more NYC and London than the small-spaced seaside feels that define their surroundings. Co-founders in vocalist Julia Farrar and drummer Rich Freitas started the project after meeting at the Mystic indie record shop it-spot the Mystic Disc, and soon assembled a cast of equally fashionable players in guitarists Luke Hunter (who also doubles on vox) and Grayson Connelly, alongside bassist Chris Wimpfheimer. In 2012, the collective released their first EP, the three-track World As Museum, which introduced areas beyond Connecticut state lines to a band who projects as much minimalist post-punk labyrinth as Mission of Burma or dark new wave moonlighting of Echo & the Bunnymen, but with Farrar's sultry snarl being the X factor in giving Slander a knife-edge spunk astute for both DIY spaces or opening for the likes of across-the-pond art kids and BUZZSound alumni, Fear of Men. The band's latest single, "Device" b / w "Flood", arrived this week and pushes the angstier qualities of their sound to the forefront, but not without abandoning the black and white aesthetic of their early material and favoring the glossy, vibrant hues they call their sleepy seascape haunt.
Directed by: Serena Reynolds