What's the best thing you've heard recently? Me? Easy. Ending People. Hands down. Best thing I've heard in a while. In fact, I'm harboring a pretty unhealthy obsession with this band right now. The new record, Fill Your Lungs, is painfully-short at just six songs. I've been listening to it on endless repeat for the past few days, and every time it ends, I find myself longing for more. Considering the lineup, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it hit such an immediate chord, as I've been a fan of all the members respective bands in the past. But this is something else. Ending People is its own thing and it's completely compelling.
Ending People's bass and guitar lines, particularly on cuts like "Beat of My Heart" and "Tiny Little Army," have an unmistakable groove that recalls National Skyline, an outfit whom I absolutely just love, love, love. And coupled with the synths and Erin Roberts voice -- man, it just sounds sooo incredibly good. Roberts sounds so assured, it seems fairly effortless. The whole thing feels like that, actually. And from the sounds of it, the project kind of came together just as casually.
According to Jeff Davenport, Ending People came together when Roberts moved back to Colorado from Eugene, Oregon, where she had completed grad school. With a few new Porlolo songs under her belt, Roberts reached out to Davenport, her longtime collaborator and former bandmate, and Tim Husmann from Dust on the Breakers in hopes they'd produce some tracks. As it happened, those two had already been writing together, and when they convened with Roberts, next thing they knew all three of them were penning entirely new songs. Just like that.
"From that point it seemed fun to just start a new group," says Davenport. The freshly minted outfit was complete with the addition of Justin Croft (Nathan & Stephen, Mouthful of Thunder). "After we bonded on our obsessions with analog synthesizers," Davenport recalls, "and we all started writing and bring ideas to the table -- things just started flowing and it was a great excuse to hang out and drink together."
Before long the band had enough tunes to record, and so they headed over to Colin Bricker's studio, Mighty Fine Productions, and rolled tape. "Colin's has always been home base for all our previous bands," notes Davenport. "We tracked live over there then did the rest of tracking at Tim's which was our home studio. We mixed the record with Colin, and Cash Cow Production, our label, had it mastered with Bob Weston in Chicago.
"Greg from Cash Cow caught our very first 'show,' which was a surprise set of three songs at UMS in 2011," Davenport adds. "We had barely learned them, but Greg and his wife Tonia loved it and offered to put out the record. We were pretty lucky."
Sounds like Greg and Tonia are the lucky ones.
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