For Hits and Gigs © 2018

  • Jake G

Featured Artist: Forth Wanderers

Being a college student is hard. Being a college student in a band is hard. So being a college student in a band on the cusp of mainstream success while your bandmates are spread out across the Northeast is difficult to say the least. But that is exactly what the members of New Jersey-based band Forth Wanderers have been doing.

And their hard work has paid off. With a shoutout from Lorde and over 75,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Forth Wanderers have cemented themselves as an up-and-coming band to watch.

Forth Wanderers is comprised of 5 college students who met while they were all in high school together and formed a band after Ben Guterl sent some demos to Ava Trilling as a method of flirting. The band is spread out with vocalist Trilling at the New School, guitarist Guterl at Oberlin, bassist Noah Schifrin at Tufts, and guitarist Duke Greene and drummer Zach Lorelli at Rutgers. Having already performed at SXSW, released EPs and LPs, and toured around the country, the band recently released a new album, the self-titled ‘Forth Wanderers’ on Sub Pop Records after releasing previous work on Father/Daughter Records. Recorded during summer vacations and school breaks, the album received critical acclaim in publications like Pitchfork and NME.

The music of Forth Wanderers speaks and sounds like a very specific time in one’s life. For me, their music sounds like the long nights of the waning days of high school. Their guitar riffs and Trilling’s soothing voice perfectly match the feeling of being out in a suburban street late at night. The following two songs off of their most recent album are perfect examples of this.

“New Face” acts as a focused and driven song. Like most of their songs, “New Face” is a song of the self. Vocalist Ava Trilling sings of personal change and growth as time moves on and as the world around her changes. The guitar riff powers the song through lyrics about changing yourself to meet expectations in a coherent and well-rounded song.

“Saunter”, on the other hand, sounds like the word implies. The mellowed out yet focused song is the perfect soundtrack for the summer. The chords pair perfectly with bright sunlight and careless youth. I think this is my favorite song from them by far simply because of the change of pace and how different it is. Most of the album is a driving force, this song gives the band and us the chance to slow down and reflect a bit.

Forth Wanderers’ songs are often reflective of the band’s snapshot in time. As college students, they are all at major turning points in their lives. For someone who is about the same age as all of the band members, their music is representative of my own experiences. The calmed angst comes through in every song and gives their songs identity.

Forth Wanderers is on a nationwide tour this summer with Illuminati Hotties and are playing the Made in America festival in September.

UPDATE: due to unforeseen mental health issues, Forth Wanderers tour has been cancelled.


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