“I was working as a bartender in south Minneapolis a few blocks from 38th and Chicago [now renamed George Floyd Square] during the years we made this record, watching a fascist regime take hold. We scrubbed a fair bit of hate graffiti out of the bathrooms during those years,” recalls The Stress Of Her Regard vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Ciaran Daly. “What was weird was that almost no one seemed to be addressing this in music. The songs on this album are very much a response to what was going on at the time.”
Hunkered down inside the studio with iconic producer Ed Ackerson (The Jayhawks, The Wallflowers, The Replacements, Mason Jennings), who tragically passed away from pancreatic cancer during the making of the record, Ed and the indie-rock trio discussed the slow rolling environmental and political catastrophe in the world outside. The result is The Stress Of Her Regard’s self-titled album, due out November 19th via Pretty Kids Collective, a raw-ish indie-rock offering frothing over with pointed political commentary and playful literature references.
The Stress Of Her Regard pen sharp-hooked indie rock lavished with squealing guitar feedback, burly riffs, thick rubbery basslines, and crisply driving drums. The group counts the work of The Jesus & Mary Chain, the Dandy Warhols, Johnny Cash, and Jim Jarmusch as foundational influences. The trio also includes Ciaran’s brother, Criostoir Daly, on bass, and drummer and vocalist Eric Wilson. The band came together after the demise of the Daly brother’s former band, The Idle Hands. The pair found their drummer while Ciaran was complaining to Eric, a bar regular, about the duo’s drummer situation. Eric volunteered to play for them—he had learned to play drums for his solo record—and the pair found in him a gifted multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. Together, the band issued its debut EP, Sport Marriage, in 2015.
The guys pinched their band name from the historical fantasy novel The Stress Of Her Regard by Tim Powers. Fittingly, the trio’s musical world is rife with literate references and intriguing vocabulary.
For The Stress Of Her Regard, the band opted for a live-band-on-the-floor recording aesthetic with visceral punk rock song structures. “First day of recording Ed asked us how rough we wanted this to be, and we were vehemently in the camp of ‘as raw as possible,’ and then our natural tendencies took over a bit,” Ciaran says, trailing off with a chuckle.
Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of the new self-titled album. Blending indie slacker rock, punk and even a touch of pop here and there, the album hits in a similar vein to bands like Pavement, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Parquet Courts, and Surfer Blood. The band isn’t afraid to mix things up, contrasting big rocking anthems alongside hard-charging and even danceable tracks that make you want to bounce up and down. For a band that seems to enjoy leaning into the punk aesthetic, there is a surprisingly high level of musicianship on display that makes you eagerly anticipate each track. There is plenty of grit to enjoy, but the band is also remarkably tight. Tying it altogether are socially aware lyrics that lambast our current moment of American tragedy while also dropping the occasional literary reference. Though The Stress Of Her Regard are not a household name, this album should definitely put them on the radar.
Ciaran Daly describes the inspiration and process behind the album:
Making any art, but especially a record, in late stage capitalism is a fuck you to the encroaching darkness. Looking back, my own fears seem smaller than they should have been. Ed worked knowing time and the odds were against him. If the making of this record left us better as musicians or people he’s in no small part why. The shadows in the world are much longer now than when we talked about them over morning coffee in the studio. All we have against them are solidarity, community and love. And a good laugh. See you on the barricades.
Photo credit: Zoe Prinds