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Standout Track: A song from Chevy Chase bedroom-pop artist Andrew Aylward’s as-yet-untitled debut release, “Self Destruct” is a hazy, lo-fi nugget that could have easily been written by Kurt Vile. Like Vile’s standout 2011 record Smoke Ring for My Halo, it’s as lethargic and repetitious as a Monday-morning routine. “So I’ll take you where the tall grass grows,” Aylward sings, his voice barely rising above a sleepy whisper amid the sweet twang of an electric guitar. “Self Destruct” doesn’t evolve much beyond this fundamental juxtaposition. Instead, it lingers like a drowsy cloud of alarm clock-induced melancholy.
Musical Motivation: While staying in Bar Harbor, Maine, for an extended period of time, Aylward would take long walks by the water or through the forest, the likes of which helped inspire “Self Destruct.” “Being outside all the time in Bar Harbor, it’s really pretty,” says Aylward, who’s a radio news producer by day. “I think the song is a reflection on nature or the absence of nature, being from D.C. and then living in Maine.”
Dead Head: Though Aylward’s recorded material exists within the realm of sparse, quiet indie-pop, his live setup, which currently includes a four-piece band, can get jammy and experimental. The reason? Aylward is a self-professed Grateful Dead lover. “The Dead opened me up to improvisation,” he says. “Every single moment every member of the band is improvising from the bass player to the drummer. And I’d like to think that [style] is having a bit of a renaissance within the fold of indie rock.”
Listen to “Self Destruct” after the jump.