The painfully good record from THE Brooklyn post-punk trio makes me miss live music (even) more than I thought was possible
I’ve been wishing live music was back at least once a day (often more) since mid-March, but perhaps never more desperately than this week, when I listened to Fair Visions‘ debut EP for the first (and second… and third) time.
A Way Out is officially out tomorrow (August 14th), and the band’s Soundcloud page still, whether nostalgically or inadvertently, advertises their single release show on February 15th—simultaneously mocking those of us (myself included) who missed the opportunity to see the trio live when we had the chance and serving up some very specific instructions should any of us happen to stumble upon a time machine at some point in the foreseeable future.
Either way, I’m in love. And I just found out FOMO can, in fact, be a retroactive phenomenon.
The gig in February went down within the walls of Elsewhere Zone One, but listen to the EP once (or twice… or three times) and it’s not difficult to imagine the band acquiring the fan base to pack out the expansive house of The Hall and to visualize all 675 bodies—the pre-COVID capacity—sweatily smashed together, everyone dancing their faces off while drunk on various combinations of spirits, substances and pure sonic pleasure.
Fair Visions songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Work + double-the- synths // double-the-fun duo John Miller and Leah Lavigne (the latter also on vocals) are, of course, to credit for Fair Visions’ delicious take on New York New Wave. But the credits on this record run deep. Take a look at the rest of the roster responsible for A Way Out—co-producer Abe Seiferth (LCD Soundsystem, Car Seat Headrest) and mastering engineer Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, The National, Sharon Van Etten)—and it suddenly makes even more sense why it’s so easy to envision Fair Visions’ name emblazoned on posters in big festival font and the band one day selling out not just the Elsewheres but the Brooklyn Steeles of the world.
This week, leading up to the premiere, Ryan offered us some info via email on the band’s origin story and influences, how this EP dream team came to be and what it feels like to look back at the songs he wrote two years ago:
“The songs on A Way Out were written mid-2018, around that time Fair Visions was taking shape with creative inspirations pushing towards sequencers, drum machines and synthesizers rather than guitars and drum sets. A lot for us stems from a show with Kid le Chat, Ryan Egan and Nation of Language at Berlin in the Lower East Side in March of ’18. That night we met Abe, our now mixer/producer. And Kid, Egan and Nation have all been substantial inspirations to our sound and growth as musicians, all of whom I’m happy to call my friends.
Through that show we had the opportunity to work alongside Abe to produce what you hear now on A Way Out. As far as the process in the studio, Abe helped us hone in an identity and really fleshed out our home-demos—we moved from writing to shaping and conveying ideas…
There is a lot of desperation when I listen back, uncertainty, and many small discoveries made along the way.”
As for a sonic description, Ryan referred us to one hell of a take from his friend Miles Hewitt, saying he “described it in a broader and more refined way than I’m able”:
“The songs on A Way Out were written in the years following Work’s move to New York, when his discovery of the city’s eternal four-on-the-floor rhythms coincided with a period of soul-searching. Evoking Bowie and New Order with its oscillating moods and lush instrumentation, A Way Out finds its place in the heady dance lineage of New York New Wave.”
Damn. And there you have it.
A Way Out is way out in the world TOMORROW and I’m SO incredibly happy to premiere it above. Listen, love and stay tuned for the hopefully-not-too-distant night in the future when we inevitably find ourselves next to each other in a crowd, dancing it out and sweating it out at a sold-out Fair Visions show—
I’ll be the one double-fisting gin and sodas and, in between songs, probably (definitely) saying I TOLD YOU SO!
Photo (provided by the band): Rita Iovine