Get To Know... Slow Fiction

Neu Get To Know… Slow Fiction

The impressively assured five-piece are the latest outfit stepping up to the plate to bat for New York garage-rock.

Hello and welcome back to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… which aims to get you a little bit closer to the buzziest acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.

It’s no secret that there seems to be something in the water of the Big Apple that breeds inspired guitar bands, and NYC’s Slow Fiction is by no means an exception to the rule. Having recently signed to taste-making label So Young Records, the quintet’s five-track EP ‘Crush’ - which lands at the end of the month - takes in the raw edges of Parquet Courts, the melodic knack of The Lemon Twigs, and the timeless hooks of their city’s ’00s forebears, all whilst making a striking case for Slow Fiction’s own distinct sound (thanks in no small part to vocalist Julia Vassalo’s impassioned, arresting delivery). Ahead of the arrival of ‘Crush’, we catch up with the band - completed by guitarists Paul Knepple and Joe Skimmons, bassist Ryan Duffin, and drummer Akiva Henig - to find out more about their  inspirations and intentions for the project.

Describe your music to us in the form of a dating app bio.

If you love cold beer and long walks to the subway at night, you might like us.

What were the first songs you developed obsessions for?

Julia: A really early one is 'I’m A Little Airplane', by Jonathan Richman. My dad used to put the song on for me and my older brother and we would spin around and pretend we were flying. My mom also used to play 'Blue Light' by Mazzy Star for me to fall asleep at night when I was young. Both hold really special places for me.

Ryan: When I was about 10 years old, my older sister got me a couple of U2 CDs for Christmas because she thought I was a huge fan of the band. I’d never heard a single song of theirs. So I started listening and learning more about them, and a lot of other '80s music history, just to keep up the ruse that I was a superfan. So much of my music taste and knowledge now can be traced back to that.

You’re based in New York, which obviously has quite the reputation for a specific ‘sound’. But what’s the scene like there at the moment? What are some of the city’s best/most under-rated venues?

The cool thing about living in New York is that there is a home for you, music-wise, whatever the sound you're looking for on a particular night. Mercury Lounge is a favorite of ours for shows, Baby’s All Right is always a fun time, and TV Eye is great too.

Who were some artists that inspired you when you were just starting out (and why)?

A few that come to mind are Television, Sonic Youth, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We appreciated the energy and honesty of all these groups in their songwriting and performances.

The title of your upcoming EP, ‘Crush’, is evocative yet deliberately ambiguous, bringing to mind notions of unrequited affection as well as strength or violence. What do you want this project to communicate about you as a band?

We want to communicate that this is a snapshot of our lives, a series of moments in time. The vignettes laid out in these songs are meant to evoke a reaction from a listener or audience, but it can be different depending on how you’re feeling. It means whatever you need it to mean.

What are your ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ for festival season 2024?

Ins: Drinking water; being kind; taking care of your friends.

Outs: Anything you’re gonna get too sweaty wearing; tight wristbands.

Finally, DIY are coming round for dinner - what are you making?

When we were on the road, we mastered chicken and rice with a nice side salad. Ryan has famous hash browns, because he has famously never made them for us.

'Crush' is out on 24th May via So Young Records.

Tags: Slow Fiction, Neu, Get to Know

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