An aural kaleidoscope spinning rock, pop, jazz, ambient and psychedelia making for a daring joyride fueled by “real” instruments and chimerical synths, Fovea’s pencil me in is as prickly as it is pleasing. The band members—drawn to each other despite sonic backgrounds and influences as far-flung as hip-hop to opera—began developing their impossible-to-pin-down sound while at Skidmore College in 2014. From the start and to this day, their approach has been collaborative. “Someone comes in with an inkling, and we’ll workshop it through improvisation or discussion,” Max Weigel (guitar, vocals) explains. “We all like to toy and tinker with structure, groove and lyrics,” adds Steve Shaw (bass). “Our aim is to retexture familiar sounds in a way that opens ears to new applications and permutations of ‘traditional’ pop music.”
If that makes for a certain complexity, so be it. “Our stuff is pretty involved, often with multiple changes and parts within a song,” says Jake DeNicola (drums), admitting, “We definitely don’t make it easy for listeners. We want to challenge you a bit.”
Don’t expect to be spoon-fed literal lyrics either. “We have no intention for how our words should be received,” says Halley Furlong, who with Wiegel pens the lion’s share of Fovea’s abstract poetry. “We’d rather encourage interpretation and connection than impose anything specific.” Yet Weigel allows: “We do a lot of social- and self-examination—the band is a musical means to explore ourselves and our surroundings—so it would be cool to inspire our listeners to do the same.”
Glide is proud to premiere “Cost Of” off pencil me in, a track that is as woozy and lush as it is hummable and direct. Fovea nails their mix of musical layers with a profound maturity, that reflects years beyond their tenure.
“‘Cost Of’ started as an ambient techno track, and eventually sampled Brazilian goddess Gal Costa. I wrote the lyrics as I was gradually moving to New York, trying to balance my personal versus financial ambitions,” says Wiegel.