SONG PREMIERE: The Upsides Bring Back the Fun with 70s-Inspired “Undercover Retro”

Photo credit: Colin Rogers

The Upsides are a relatively new act with the tight chemistry of a longtime jam band. Formed in 2021, they first released material from what would become their Patterns EP at a show at New York’s famed Mercury Lounge in September – but the four-piece band has a long history together.

The group is composed of brothers Matt Fullam (guitars and vocals) and Dan Fullam (drums) with longtime friends Matt DaSilva (bass) and Hart Mechlin (guitar). The quartet has been playing music together for years, and the tight ties in the group have led to a collaborative brand of indie rock that translates seamlessly both to the studio and to live environments.

“We really just want to impress each other with new ideas,” explains Dan Fullam. “That feeling of coming up with a little idea (whether it’s a full demo or just a quick guitar lick or melody) that the rest of the band latches onto and wants to explore further is something all of us thrive on.”

During the past few years of the pandemic, as New York City swung into and out of lockdown, the group was able to hone their guitar-driven sound and songwriting process. They ended up taking inspiration from throwback eras, leading outlets like V13 to declare that the group was “onto something big.”

“Over quarantine we found ourselves with a lot of time to figure out what type of music we wanted to start writing, or if we even had anything worth writing,” says Dan. “There were ups and downs in terms of when we felt creative, but this second EP was when we got an old-school record player and started listening to a lot of our parents’ old vinyls that they sent up to us (Matt and Dan live together). Those old Stones and Springsteen records invigorated us with a sense of why we started playing music together in the first place all those years ago.”

Today Glide is premiering “Undercover Retro,” the first single from The Upsides’ upcoming EP of the same name. True to its title, the song is a funky, 70s-inspired track that offers thoughtful, detail-oriented lyricism on past love while also being a full-out fun groove.

Over the course of a confident 3:51 runtime, the song struts to the steady beat of a bass drum and a funk bassline that’s played by Ken Rich. There’s an eccentric lead riff that pulses with vibrato, too; it sounds like something Gotye would’ve put on a record, and it’s balanced, as per usual for the band, by gold-bright guitars.

“We’ve tried to give as ‘live’ a feel as possible to the final result while still putting a modern sparkle on it production-wise,” Dan notes.

There’s definitely a sparkle to this song, and a shine to the group as a whole; they make the kind of music that makes you want to have a good time, and it seems they have fun doing it. If “Undercover Retro” is anything to go by, then listeners are in for more fun this summer as the band releases the rest of their upcoming EP.


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