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Emotional post hardcore band ERAI overcomes nostalgia in the newest excellent EP “Only Future”

A little over a year sine our last special feature and record premiere for Berlin based emotive post hardcore band ERAI, we’re super stoked to give you their newest EP “Only Future“, along with a new music video for the track “Life Among The Savages”, and a special write-up from the band’s guitarist Peter Nowak, looking at the past and translating it to the background of this tasteful, intelligent, refined and appealing offering.

Coming out today digitally and physical formats to be released around November 20th: 12″ vinyl via lifeisafunnything and tapes via strictly no capital letters, the new record comprises 4 relatively long songs with a playtime of 24 minutes.

With most of the band members being in their 40s, the band itself considers their music a nod to 90s emotive hardcore and 90s diy attitude, embracing open-mindedness, positivity, communal spirit and fun.

After a rather melancholic and regretful look at what’s now over (“Before We Were Wise And Unhappy”), the new EP centers around the idea of allowing oneself an undimmed look towards all that has not yet happened.

Recorded in August 2020 at Tonmeisterei Oldenburg with Roland Wiegner in the most intense heat (middle-European speaking here), the songs draw minor influence from mid90s bands on Gravity Records, Indian Summer, Policy of 3, Chino Horde and add some more recent post-hardcore vibes (aka guitar delay).

The last song “Version” is a long ambient track involving some postrock and a short spoken word section by Hannah Graves.

“The will to live becomes the will to pursue the will to live.” (Tim Kinsella)

Words by Peter:

ERAI

Flashback to 1998

I was about to finish school, working once or twice a week in a video rental. I was still living with my parents, so most of the money I made went towards records. All that money I carefully put aside came back to me once or twice a month in the shape of a cardboard box filled with precious fuel to tend the fire that kept burning inside myself. Whenever I was expecting something in the mail I would pedal home from school like a madman, running up the stairs, eagerly meeting the eyes of my mother, who would sometimes hide the parcel so I would eat patiently, wrongly assuming that I’d have to wait another 24 hours before kneeling in front of my record player for hours.

All records received were listenend to at least once from start to finish before I decided which ones were good enough to end up on a specific pile. That pile I would take that evening to a friend, playing the songs to her. We would immerse ourselves in lengthy talks about what we liked about the music, sitting next to each other browsing the booklets, words, inlays, images like they had been sent by the only god we could possibly take for granted.

Needless to say those were incredibly happy moments.

πΏπ‘œπ‘œπ‘˜π‘–π‘›π‘” π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘˜, 𝐼 π‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘β„Ž π‘šπ‘¦π‘ π‘’π‘™π‘“ 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 π‘Žπ‘‘π‘šπ‘–π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘œπ‘› π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘›, 𝑏𝑒𝑑 π‘Žπ‘™π‘ π‘œ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘–π‘’π‘›π‘π‘’ 𝑀𝑒 β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘“π‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘’π‘Žπ‘β„Ž π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘šπ‘  𝑀𝑒 π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘ π‘’π‘‘

Sometimes without even knowing what to expect: I remember I had ordered the Nothing Left To Grasp 7″ just because the band’s name sounded desperate enough for my late teenage melancholy.

The merry moments spent with records are still there, of course they are, but the sensations described above have become pauperized. For me listening to records generally is the background noise making desk work bearable. New music usually first materializes in the shape of a play button on my laptop screen, and before I go through the hassle of ordering a record it is, on average, given a chance of 3-4 minutes to impress me. Some of my DJing friends are even worse! When I observe them record shopping, they put down the needle 3 times on one 12″ side, listening for no more than 10 seconds each time before they discard the record or consider it entertaining enough to play it to people.

Staying alert and reflective of one’s own reception of music has been a recurring theme in the band. So it’s no wonder we’ve often asked ourselves whether we’ve managed to express ourselves in a way that translates comprehensibly into the auditory signals we recorded and what it is that would make our outlet valuable to others. On one hand, this is a very vain thought that probably lives inside many bands and artists, while on the other it’s the fear of entering consumerist throw-away society.

Because making a record is not only the emotional and musical outlet carved into binary code or vinyl. It’s meaningful discussions, not catching the subway on time, stupid-ass jokes, un-objective talks and hurt feelings, changing strings, chipped wood under the snare drum, take 1, take 2, take 3, take 19, is there any beer left?, can we take a break no let’s play that again, damn it’s hot in here, can you play that with an octave so it sounds more like Indian Summer – not Joe Satriani?, text message: somebody broke the chain of lights please get a new one, HA HA HA, rent for the practice room is overdue, should that be red or risomarine red?, wow that’s fun to play.

𝐴𝑠 π‘Ž π‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘, 𝑀𝑒 π‘€π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘‘π‘œ 𝑏𝑒 β„Žπ‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘‘.

One of the greatest tricks the devil [sic] has ever played was the invention of the aforementioned play button on streaming services (just saying, in case you wrongly assumed it was capitalism, Donald Trump or liquorice) to make all of this even more unavailable than it was before when a band had the chance of making the experience behind the record visible through illustrations and write-ups (those that would be devoured by me and my friend). The transmission between the idea, the manufacturing and the reception has become increasingly fragile.

So it’s with great joy but also immense anxiety to announce that our new EP “Only Future” manifests itself today on Bandcamp.

ERAI

π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ π‘“π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘ π‘œπ‘›π‘”π‘  π‘π‘’π‘™π‘’π‘π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘œπ‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘œπ‘“ π‘›π‘œπ‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘”π‘–π‘Ž.

Nostalgia is one of the most Janus-faced emotions, carefully reminding us of the world we have once created for ourselves, but also painfully infusing regret and wishfulness into the current world in front of us.

Between the two of these, the first can only serve as an anchor, not an architect.

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