Performance Date: Sunday July 23
Stage: Vera Stage
Set Time: TBA
Like a lot of bands, Sloucher started off as a relatively unambitious project. After writing a batch of songs on acoustic guitar to sate his downtime as drummer in a couple of revered West Coast bands―Cayucas and Hibou―Jay Clancy decided to better harness the melodic thrusts bouncing around his head, eventually recruiting guitarist Kyle Musselwhite (The Globes), bassist Lance Umble (Bod, Telekinesis), and drummer Jack Hamrick to solidify Sloucher as a quartet. The band later released Certainty, their debut EP, on July 15th via Swoon Records to immediate fanfare. Seattle’s alt-weekly newspaper The Stranger raved, “Some records, you know within a minute or two of pressing play that you're in the presence of an extraordinary talent.”
“The record really started as me testing myself to see if I could actually complete an entire record of my own songs,” explains Clancy, who recorded most of the EP himself. “I had written a batch of songs that were all basically little snapshots of my life from the past few years, and wanted to get involved in a recording project.”
Certainty, the resultant collection of seven songs, deals in the kind of melodic interplay typically found in the more voluminous aural panoramas of Elliott Smith and similarly alchemic songwriters. Clancy’s heart-wrenching diatribes include the moody haze of “Dreams,” a tune resplendent in subtle time changes and plodding pocket-rhythms while Clancy’s voice assumes an apparition’s timbre to fit the vibe of the moony tune.
Perhaps in defiance of the band’s slacker-y moniker (I have questionable posture,” jokes Clancy), songs like “Certainty” excel in the pop-perfect guitar rock of forebearers like Evan Dando and Jeff Tweedy, with Clancy’s thinly veiled affinity for twangy country riffs rearing its pretty head. The symbiosis of the band's talents is most evident here, with Musselwhite’s lead giving wings to a saccharine-sweet love song bursting with mildly distorted guitars, providing a fitting Northwest attitude even when the sentiment is a tad gooey.