With members now spread out between Chicago and along the San Francisco Peninsula, DAMPER both sonically and geographically bridges the gap between Bay Area indie and Midwest emo. Fans of Dads, Leer and EEIWALE will resonate with the quiet moments of introspection as well as the cathartic refrains heard throughout each of their songs. SLOW DISCO, on the other hand, is an emo/math rock band formed and based in Portland, OR. What began as a solo singer-songwriter project soon blossomed into a full band for fans of Algernon Cadawallader, Snowing, EEIWALE, Alaska, and Duck Little Brother Duck. Today, we have teamed up with Sean Coates of SLOW DISCO for a special feature about the founding of the band, a brief overview of the influences for the two new tracks, and an explanation of the lyrical content of the tracks!
Speaking about their songs, DAMPER, comments: “”What Are These Dreams That I’ve Been Having Lately?” is both the title and first lyric of the song that kicks off the split, highlighting the band’s love of crafting songs with many unpredictable twists and turns. “Showed Up Too Late for the Emo Revival” is a tongue-in-cheek reverie on the fraught but therapeutic effect of continuing to play music after 2020.
Speaking about their side of the split, SLOW DISCO explains: “Wokefest” is existential angst lightly flirting with absurdism, wailing about the oddity of change and personhood, all accompanied by blast beats and grind. “An Ode to Bucciarati” channels a similar discomfort brought about by the 2020 socio-political miasma America experienced: a mix of troubled feelings, from sad, to angry, to tired, and back again.
Slow Disco started as a solo singer-songwriter project in the summer of 2018. It got it’s namesake from the name of the house I lived in at the time, named by one of my good friends, Anthony. I wanted to name the band after it because moving to Portland from Southern California was a big move for me, a big deal — it marked the beginning of massive change in my life toward real, creative pursuits.
I put out a simple, bare-bones EP early the next year, and started playing house shows and various other gigs. But the real vision was to have Slow Disco be a full band, so I started putting feelers out, and that’s when I met Nico.
Nico was a friend of my best friend and was preparing to move to Portland from Las Vegas. I reached out, hearing we had similar musical interests, and we hit it off right away. Soon after we met up in Portland and started jamming together and the connection was very much there so I asked him to join the band. We started writing material immediately, focusing on adding to songs we had already written ourselves. And that’s where Super Slow Disco came from. The first three tracks were Nico’s songs, and the last two were mine.
We found Andy on Craigslist and we jammed and decided to ask him to join the band shortly after. His mix of styles in pop-punk and metal really suited us.
We played our first show that summer in 2019 as an almost full band, on me and Nico’s birthday (we share the same birthday, July 18th).
After that one show we wanted to focus on recording the EP, so we were looking for a bassist and someone to track us, and we got very lucky finding Maeve who could do both! We posted a video of us playing live on her Facebook page Odd Times and Atmospheres and she reached out, expressing interest in getting involved with the EP. She tagged along to one of our rehearsals and asked if she could play bass for us, and with her talent we immediately agreed.
And so that’s how Slow Disco formed.
“Wokefest” and “An Ode to Bucciarati” are a slight evolution of the styles in Super Slow Disco. They are faster, heavier, and bigger. “Bucciarati” is probably our noodliest song yet. Major inspirations for these songs stem from Duck. Little Brother, Duck!, Snowing, and Alaska.
Lyrically, “Wokefest” is about change and personal growth, and how in a way the version of you from five years ago or even yesterday is dead and gone. Who you are is constantly in a state of death and rebirth.
“An Ode to Bucciarati” is specifically about the craziness of 2020, how that year and especially election time was crazy, scary, and turbulent. I mean, it felt like we were on the verge of a Civil War in the middle of a pandemic. With that came a whole host of feelings that went all over the place on the negative side of the spectrum.