Yukon-based indie rock band The Dark Fruits finally released their sophomore album this year, Warm Weather Starter Pack. Ten tracks of nostalgic, starry-eyed indie-rock with a do-wop vibe. It's the sense that, for me, best describes where the album is tonally. The band comprises of Tara Martin (drums, backing vocals), Jordy Walker (guitars, bass, synth, and production), and Jeff Wolosewich (lead vocals), who don't consider themselves rock stars so much as regular professionals who want to make good music. This is primarily because they're late starters in the rock career game.
I often hesitate to label a band's music as indie rock. It's generally applied as independent rock music that isn't co-written by major label sellouts. It's known now more for being a style of music or an unconventional alternative. Specifically, The Dark Fruits type of indie rock is born from its origins of the days of Pavement, Seaweed, or Blinker The Star (Jordon Zadorozny is a fellow Canadian.)
Making Indie Rock Band Comparisons In Songs
"California Beach" has the Beach Boys feel to it. "Marianna" is an example of that kind of do-wop sound I was talking about. It's also the track I love to sing along to. A further comparison of what this song feels like is to fellow Canadian band The Stills. The decisions made for that guitar strumming style where it holds back a bit is the indie music characteristics of swagger that I love. Listen to that interplay with whole notes on that guitar at 3:03. In a live performance, my "solo guitar" moment would be to strum upwards, a simple move but cool. After this, we get to the lead single, "Florida," which, when heard along with the album, lands with the feeling that this album is perfect three songs in.
Warm Weather Starter Pack still has the indie pop direction from their Authors of Affection debut. "Asymptomatic" reminds me of this when it starts like "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1" before it becomes its own song. Jeff set me straight with the do-wop mistake, although it was close only by a decade. Much of this album dwells somewhere among the sound of '60s-era baroque pop. "The Threat Is Real" has a little Weezer (opens up with the Matt Sharp bass a-la "Say It Ain't So" into The Rentals and The Pixies mixed in.
Sorry, The Dark Fruits Are Indie Rock Stars Now
When we get to "No Bars" and "No Blue," the songs become more challenging and in deep-cut territory, a likely passage to take to reach the dream pop realm with "Downtime." This is a particular favorite of mine. The album closes strong with "Serious Celebration."
I wondered if this album would close big because Warm Weather Starter Pack sounds like it should. They find a melody that holds that emotional, melancholic trance that transcends from "Downtime" and makes "Serious Celebration" grandiose. I forgot that I'm listening to a three-piece band.
Since I've already made a lot of comparisons of The Dark Fruits' tracks to other indie rock bands, and it's too late to turn back, I'll continue with them here. I'm reeling from the power of this album and this band. To start with how it closes, I would compare it to how some of the Cure's biggest albums end. Off the top of my head, their trilogy albums plus Wish. Other bands that are similar in tone are The Rosebuds, Doves, and Gleemer.
Personally, my favorite tracks are "Marianna," "Florida," "Asymptomatic," "Downtime," and Serious Celebration," but this entire album is a joy to hear on repeat. The Dark Fruits have achieved their goal of making great music, surpassed it, and have reached indie rock star status. Sorry, guys; you're indie rock stars now.
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Interview With Jeff Wolosewich
I had a great discussion with the lead vocalist about nostalgia, melancholia, and, of course, their music.