“We wanted to open up and find our unique sound. And now we’re going to places in songs we never thought we could go.”
So says Steve Shimchick, one-third of rising musical force Cold Weather Company. On Find Light (out 1/25/19) the third album from the New Jersey-based trio of Shimchick, Brian Curry and Jeff Petescia, the group expands mightily on their core of two guitars and a piano. Here, they’ve roped in a number of friends and contemporaries on percussion, bass, cello, violin, trumpet, flute, sax and clarinet, creating a soundtrack that moves far beyond the band’s lean sounds of 2015’s Somewhere New and 2016’s A Folded Letter.
“We’re really proud of the first two albums, which we recorded ourselves, but we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to fill these new songs out with additional instrumentation,” says Petescia, one of the group’s two guitarists. “We wanted to give each song the sound it deserved.”
Recording with producer Pat Noon (River City Extension, The Front Bottoms, Brick + Mortar) and Grammy-winning engineer Alan Douches (Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Grizzly Bear), Find Light still features a more minimal, singer-songwriter style on tracks like “Circles” and “Birds on a String” — but also a decidedly robust production on standouts like “Brothers,” “Do No Harm” and “Reclamation,” which find Zach Jones (A Great Big World, Sting) behind the drums.
“We were still writing as a trio, and we realized the extra instrumentation didn’t dictate our sound — instead it allowed us to explore the full potential of our music” says Curry. “While I always loved purely acoustic music, I started hearing all of my favorite artists experimenting with new approaches and growing their sound — I realized there are no rules — no ‘purity.’ Music is music, and sonic growth and exploration is essential to artists.” (Ask for influences, and the group casts a wide net, citing James Blake, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, the Decemberists, Dave Matthews Band, The National and Iron & Wine, among others.)
With the new record, it’s made the group impressively hard to classify. “Part of that is that we all write, we all sing, and we all have different styles,” says Shimchick. “Brian is a bit folkier and singer-songwriter focused. Jeff is more into jam bands and can come up with really rockin’ riffs. And I come from a classical background, but I really love a lot of indie rock. We all sneak in different styles where we can.”
Petescia, meanwhile, gives Shimchick his own due: “I would say he’s the light when Brian and I are dark.”
With the exciting news of Find Light on its way for release, Glide is proud to premiere the crisp art pop of the first single “Brothers” (below). With their spot on songwriting and boisterous melodies, Cold Weather Company is set to follow in the alt-folk leaning sounds of Avett Brothers, Ben Howard George Ezra. Petescia goes on to describe in detail more about the composition below the song player…
“‘Brothers’ came to me last winter when I was not having the best day. I stopped at a coffee shop located on Route 22 East, You Need Coffee”… right on the side of the dismal looking stretch of highway, especially dismal in winter,” describes Petescia about the track. “It’s also a smoke shop, so a couple times in the song when I reference “on the other side,” it is actually a double meaning: “other side” in the darker sense, and “other side” in the literal sense because of the two sides of the shop. While waiting for the coffee, the barista started to strike up a conversation, which made me feel a bit more positive… and in that exact moment of feeling a little bit in a better mood, he cuts himself off mid-sentence and points outside as two birds were in the middle of the road about to get hit by a car. Sure enough, we watch as a car hits and kills one, but the other got away. So, the song is mostly about that strange sort of ironic event, how in an instant you can start feeling a bit better, but also in that exact instant, something awful can happen somewhere else that makes you shrug and go… man, life is weird. The ‘brothers’ aspect refers to the employees because I thought the barista I was speaking to and this other worker I normally see were brothers since they look alike, but it could also refer to the two birds. There’s other elements to the song too about wasting your days, finding yourself feeling negative, etc… but overall it’s sort of just a journal entry of a weird day that’s message is actually a positive one saying to keep going.”