(photos: Rob Migrin)
Being that we cover so many local bands, that cliché dribble of "catch them while you can" or "hop on the bandwagon" shit can start to be like hot pokers stabbing into your ear drums - but at least in Ann Arbor quartet Farewell Republic's case, they may be something closer to that shooting-star moment where you might not see them scraping it out on the stage at the Blind Pig much longer. The catalyst for these four lives coming together, four completely-disconnected-from-Detroit lives meeting up, was the campus of the University of Michigan, where Sivan Jacobovitz- (guitar/vocals) coming from D.C. met Ryan Sloan-(bass/keys) who came from Philladelphia. to form a band.
Sloan, who brings more of the electro-leaning tastes, as well as a book of poetry that is often mined for lyrics, found Jacobovitz through a facebook search for a.) guitarists, who were b.)based in Michigan, and c.) dug Radiohead. Drummer Bobby Matson from Philly (who, "knows his shit in terms of jazz") joined through a search ad – while keyboardist Brian Trahan (from Chicago) is the newest addition and already has experimented in writing and additional vocals. All four attend U-M (juniors, 20 and 21-years-old), coalesced from different cities to form a gem of intricate atmospheric prog-rock (with inevitable dashes of pop-hooks) yet no stringent tethering to traditional songwriting practice. Jacobovitz often brings song ideas to the band and the ensemble tinkers from there. "When I write music, I'm not thinking about any other band (or influence), I just sort of write it and that's what comes out. We never think, 'we need a chorus and a bridge,' we just see where the song takes us..."
With no sturdy connections to any of the cliques here, they've already toured the east coast 3 times (with a 4th run coming up this Spring). Plus, they recorded their debut EP "Bridges" in New York at former-Smashing-Pumpkin James Iha's studio, with Grammy winner Gus Oberg. Basically, they're not tethered here in the scene - as much as the scene could benefit from their esoteric-and-atmospheric firey rock contributions.Farewell Republic unleash a daunting, invigorating, guitar-heavy prog-rock, mixing the atmospheric-obsessive tone-bending of Brian Eno with dashes of punk's raw throat-scratching give-all onslaught, Tortoise-style sideways-and-inside-out indie/jazz hybrids and Philip Glass' palatable neo-classicism."No one has really amalgamated what our generation grew up listening to into something cohesive and fresh," said Jacobovitz, "that's what we are working to accomplish." The band is currently on tour and preparing demos for a future single, as they try to find a label.
They launch their tour from the Magic Stick - Feb. 19th - with the JSB Squad and Satin Peaches