San Francisco-based City Tribe is prepping to release their debut album Undertow on July 29. Glide Magazine is proud to premiere the new single and title track from the project.
“Undertow” opens with a hypnotic, relentless line in a minor key, signaling something ominous, something foreboding – a warning call, which is then joined by a haunting vocal line drenched in reverb. But after a minute of this intense buildup, the wall of sound, propelled by a warm bass-line, crashes into major key and all of a sudden it’s as if the sun has appeared behind a thick screen of clouds.
City Tribe’s four members all hail from California, which is readily apparent in these songs. That laid-back, cheerful vibe infuses their debut album with buoyant confidence; however, what makes a song like “Undertow” so compelling is their interest in playing traditional California beach music against the moody, alt/indie sounds of the 90s and 2000s. It’s this tension and aesthetic unison that gives these tracks such depth, and demonstrate the band’s already well-honed hand at songwriting.
“Undertow is an important song to us,” writes singer/guitarist Duncan Neilsen. “I think it paints the clearest portrait of the band and the new record. It’s a metaphor for surrendering to a larger force, and how that can be a frightening but liberating experience. We really focused on giving it an ebb-and-flow feel to accentuate tension and release and the fear of uncertainty. It’s the last track on the record because it’s the final plunge, the final surrender to that feeling of being underwater.”