Robert Don ’15 writes in about an album he recently wrote and recorded with his band, Since 1902, from St. Louis. (Since 1902 is the band name.) (St. Louis is the geographic qualifier.) (It’s also the name of the best song on the album, which is downloadable for free.) (That’s Since 1902 above, performing at LouFest this past August.) (LouFest is an indie music festival in St. Louis, which Since 1902 performed at, with Das Racist among others, after winning a battle of the bands.)
The album’s called No Excuses Wednesdays, and it’s an unquestionably fantastic addition to the Wesleyan music scene, even if only one band member (Don) actually goes to Wesleyan. (The rest are high school friends from St. Louis.) (St. Louis is where this band is from.) “They’ve been described as irish pirate rockabilly, but still don’t know what that means,” says the Bandcamp. So I’ll try to translate: think Radiohead at its jazziest (so… “Knives Out,” cuz singer Robert Don is pulling some serious Yorkeisms at the end of “St. Louis”), or think ’70s fusion updated for the MGMT set, or think of Ishmael, because if Ishmael’s show last week taught us anything, it’s that lengthy, jammy interplay isn’t such a bad thing if you’ve got the chops. And Since 1902 has the chops. The album is professionally recorded, but the instrumental passages (syncopated jazz rhythms [“Lonely Bird”], folk guitar licks [“Caj 22”], and all [more gratuitous parenthetical additions]) are clearly the sound of a band playing together live.
The album costs $5 on Bandcamp, but you can hear the whole thing for free. Click past the jump for more linkage, MP3 embeds, and a very brief interview with Since 1902’s Robert Don ’15.
Who are the other members of Since 1902?
The other members of the band are Justin Enoch (guitar/vocals/drums), Pete Holohan (drums/guitar), and Nathaniel Endicott (Bass). I went to high school with all of them.
Have you been involved with the Wes music scene in any capacity thus far?
I’ve yet to be able to put musical projects together at Wes, but I’m definitely searching; I’m always writing and looking to play out with people.
What was it like playing at a festival with Das Racist?
LouFest was incredible. We didn’t interact much with Das Racist, but to be able to play an outdoor indie rock festival (let alone one with some big names) was a dream. We had a lot of fun with it.
How would you describe the album to an outsider?
We tried to make it relatively personal and organic. It’s a self-produced album that draws from influences such as Broken Social Scene, Radiohead, and classic/folk rock.
Anything else worth mentioning?
The single (“St. Louis”) is free! (As are our previously released EPs.)
Since 1902-related linkage: