The songs of Drawing Boards’ self-titled release started as a bedroom project. Singer-guitarist Aaron Pfannebecker was living at Death By Audio when Dirty On Purpose, singer-drummer Doug Marvin’s band at the time, began practicing there. After many hangouts around the now-iconic underground arts space, a plan was hatched to record music inspired by their shared influences: R.E.M., Joan Didion, Marquee Moon, Jenny Offill. “We speak the same language,” Pfannebecker says.

Throughout the record, shimmering synths, booming head kicks, strummed six-strings, and contorted noise inspire a photo album’s worth of emotions. Pfannebecker’s suburban memories inform nostalgic lyrics and evocative, melancholy tones, while Marvin explores the sometimes inscrutable feelings triggered by scent and self-inflicted absences that time on the road has brought on, reflecting on the minutes and the years just passed.

Six years and several lifetimes have been lived since those mural-painted Brooklyn walls housed the young duo. On this first Drawing Boards record, notice is posted (“Shine Clues”), Duran Duran is resurrected (“Grass Grows Backwards”), and black candy is noticed (“Post-Halloween”). There’s a sadness throughout the album, even though the songs are also suited to rock house floor-shaking and hip-bumping. Opener “Poison Darts” lifts off with an airy swing, but channels some lost reckoning with its talk of “we could change, and we could know.” What can be proven thanks to this document is that the past ultimately leads to a brighter now. Problems change or fade, eventually, and communion is found. The past can be squared away, registered for deconstruction, and demolished.

Drawing Boards
out March 2, 2018
on Gentle Reminder Records

1. Poison Darts
2. Western Shores
3. The Punchline Is a Gun
4. Halve the Time
5. Something on Me
6. Ocean
7. Bee into the Wave
8. Grass Grows Backwards
9. Today is Tomorrow
10. Shine Clues
11. Post-Halloween
12. Getting Use to it