There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Standout Track: A rerecording of “Grip,” in which polyrhythmic guitars and unexpected key changes fuel the track’s psychedelic tone in more exciting ways than its original recording, the first cut on last year’s Wyfe EP. Songwriter Britton Powell says the earlier version didn’t drive as hard as it should’ve, but the new version more clearly articulates the track’s rhythmic complexities. “I’ve been listening to pure energy music for the past few months—almost strictly James Brown and Queen,” says Powell. “I want the live experience of our music to be ecstatic.”
Snow Job: Culled from the band’s forthcoming Penumbra EP and included on Sockets Records’ recent spring mix, the song is a product of the Snowpocalypse. Powell and his bandmates recorded it and the EP’s four other songs at Inner Ear in February. “We locked ourselves in the studio for four days and worked 16 hours at a time,” Powell says (he did, however, take a break to perform a Björk cover on City Paper’s parking deck). Hays Holladay, half of D.C.’s Bluebrain, manned the boards during the session. He was “a real workhorse,” Powell says. “He could sustain energy for so long.”
Musical Motivation: “It’s about the act of possession,” Powell says of the song. “There are moments in time when I need something: a record, an instrument, a relationship.” Or perhaps, in the case of “Grip,” some balance. For the recording, Powell shared singing duties with drummer Wilson Kemp. “There’s a lot of vocal layering,” says Patton. “There was a lot of tension between Wilson and I, because Wilson likes to go for a softer, sensitive approach and I like to go for the jugular. Having him work on the song vocally let us incorporate both approaches, and it really helped relieve some of that tension.”