For a band to successfully operate with more than one songwriter, each member has to be on the same page. Chemistry, mutual respect, and friendships that extend beyond the limits of the band are all important factors in the longevity of a songwriting partnership. Perhaps most importantly, egos must be set aside: the band is the sum of the parts, doomed if one writer decides that their contributions are more important. Ted Joyner and Grant Wimer of Generationals have been friends and writing partners since grade school, and have held these ideals down over the course of 3 albums. Together, they make up the band Generationals, and will release their fourth album Alix on September 16th.
Alix is best represented by its first single, “Gold Silver Diamond”. A loose, boom-bap beat is juxtaposed by a faux steel synthesizer hook. On the surface, it’s cheerful and uplifting, but occasional turns in the melody hint at an underlying sadness. In an interview with Esquire, Joyner descriped the song as written “on one of the coldest days of the year in New Orleans…a feel good party track that is about emptiness, despair, and the meaningless futility of life”. These contradicting ideas sum up Alix, which is (to borrow from a phrase from L.I.E.S.) party music for shut-ins.
Generationals have made it past the 5 year mark as a group, warranting their press release’s statement that they are “natural songwriting partners”. Despite this, the duo feared that their process had reached a point of becoming too familiar, and began the search for a producer who could provide an unbiased critique of their latest recordings. Enter Richard Swift, who is best known for his prolific solo career, and as producer/touring musician for groups like The Shins and Black Keys. When Joyner and Widmer sent their demo recordings to Swift, he decided to keep the record in its current state. Swift says that he looked at them “objectively, and just helped organize the sounds into something that was sonically cohesive…(feeeling) no need to drastically change them”.
Thanks to Swift’s behind-the-scenes help and their never-ending search for the perfect hook, Generationals have released their best work to date.