Earlier this month, i wrote about Richmond, VA-based quintet Avers. Comprised of four singer/songwriters Adrian Olsen, Alexandra Spalding, James Mason and JL Hodges, along with multi-instrumentalist Charlie Glenn, the indie rock quintet first caught national attention with the 2014 release of their debut effort, Empty Light, an album that had them opening for the likes of Foo Fighters and J. Roddy Walston and The Business, as well as a SXSW that was praised by a number of major outlets including Esquire and The Daily Beast.
Building upon the buzz they’ve received, the Virginia-based quintet’s anticipated sophomore effort Omega/Whatever was written, recorded and self-produced at their unofficial headquarters Montrose Recording — and the album, which is slated for a July 29, 2016 release through Egghunt Records reportedly focuses on struggling through life in the modern world; in fact, the material covers divorce, how technology influences our lives, changing societal norms, corrupt politicians and more. Interestingly, the material also manages to continue the creative process that the band established for the sessions that comprised their debut effort — each songwriter brought in sketches and ideas with the entire group then pitching in to flesh out the idea into a song and quickly recording the material that same day, whenever possible. And with “Insects,” the result was a song that at times felt hushed and improvise but paired with a rousingly anthemic wall of sound-channeling hook while lyrically the song captured a sense of powerlessness over the things you can’t control, essentially saying “Well, that’s life sometimes. Get on with it to the best of your abilities.”
Omega/Whatever‘s latest single “Vampire” much like the album’s previous single is deeply indebted to 90s alt rock –in particular, I’m reminded of Vs. and Vitalogy-era Pearl Jam but with a wry sense of humor, as the song’s narrator is desperately pleaded for an easy-going, less stressful life to a propulsive, anthemic hook that pairs ethereal synths with twangy and crunchy guitars fed through effects pedals.
The recently released video follows the adventures of a motorcycle helmet wearing, jorts wearing protagonist, who brings a goofy amount of joy to all that crosses his path; but the video manages to evoke a bitter irony at its core — the sort of easy-going life the narrator is pleading for may not be possible; and in fact, the joy that the protagonist brings to everyone, has him passing out exhausted and alone.