MP3 The Warm Fuzzies - The Bubblegum - EP
Original, delicious powerpop
6 MP3 Songs in this album (18:46) !
Related styles: ROCK: Rock & Roll, POP: Power Pop
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Like those girls Cyndi Lauper sang about, the Warm Fuzzies just want to have fun.
Fueled by a mutual admiration of bands that played catchy pop songs with fuzzy guitars and analog synthesizers, Athens, GA-based singer/songwriter Jason Harwell and former Heros Severum drummer Davey Staton set out to use this combination as a template to create their own hybrid fuzzy pop songs. Throughout 2007, the two convened at Davey''s house, each with scribbled papers strewn about and guitars in hand. "We had a pretty simple mantra: If it''s not fun, don''t do it," says Harwell of the writing process. "And that''s what we did. Davey had written all this really catchy, upbeat music and given the tunes ridiculous titles, and we would then try to write ridiculous songs to fit those titles." In fairly short order, the boys wrote a cohesive batch of tunes about robots, eyewear, close-talkers, and pen-pals from Eastern Europe, among others.
And on the next day, they rested. But on the next day, Staton and Harwell looked back at what they had written, and they saw that it was good. And having seen that it was good, the two decided they might like to hear these songs in stereo with a full band complement. Taking the logical next step, Harwell called his friend Paul Reeves in Atlanta to see if they might record some drums at his DOMUS studio. Reeves said, "Sure." Making quick work of the drums a few days later, Staton and Harwell continued to flesh out the recordings, tracking guitar, bass, and synth parts themselves. Says Harwell, "When I heard the synth parts that Davey had recorded, I was overwhelmed by the urge to play these songs live." Staton, a graphic designer by trade and clairvoyant by nature, had foreseen this development and had already enlisted his brother Jonathan to play the bass guitar. Over the summer of 2008, Harwell and the Brothers Staton began working through these songs for the first time as a band, rehearsing in the spare room over Davey''s garage. It was loud, fuzzy, and in keeping with the theme, loads of fun.
Still, something was missing. Remembering Staton''s analog melodies on the recorded tracks, Harwell was dispatched to find a synth player to join the group. Stopping in to make some copies at a local copy shop located in downtown Athens, Harwell ran into his cousin, Laura Calvert, who rang up the sale. Realizing an opportunity when he saw one, Harwell seized the moment and asked Calvert if she would like to play synth in a fuzzy powerpop band. "Absolutely." said Calvert, "Your total comes to $15.87. Will that be cash or credit?"
Soon after Harwell paid for those copies, the band moved rehearsals into a new practice space near Athens'' bustling downtown arts community. Inspired by the new surroundings and bolstered by Calvert''s presence on the synthesizer, the Warm Fuzzies became a real band and prepped songs for the day they would get to share their ridiculous songs with the people. After all, the Warm Fuzzies were having fun, and they wanted others to have fun, too.
Realizing the people may actually have more fun if the band had a second guitar player, Harwell invited his friend Mattox Shuler to move his gear into the practice space and become the fifth Fuzzy. Fortunately, Shuler wasn''t busy that afternoon with classes at UGA or gaming online, so he joined the band for a practice. After a blistering run-through in the sweltering late-summer Georgia humidity that resulted in high-fiving from four of the band members, Shuler cooly stated, "Yeah, that was pretty fun." He then extended his hand for a subtle low-five, and the Warm Fuzzies lineup was completed.
With its sonic icebox fully stocked, the Warm Fuzzies dedicated themselves to finishing the recording Staton and Harwell had begun nearly a year earlier. With the foundations of eleven tracks recorded, the band decided to pick the best six songs, and set about to tracking final vocals and any guitar bits and synth parts that remained. The finished tracks were then packaged with care and sent to Jason Martin (Starflyer 59) in the California desert for mixing and mastering. The appropriately-titled recording, The Bubblegum EP (packaged in an eco-friendly cardboard folder with comic strip liner notes and a scratch and sniff disc that smells like bubblegum), is crunchy powerpop served up with a serious sugarbuzz-saw of fuzz guitar and syrupy sweet synthesizer melodies and should probably come with a dose of fluoride to avoid the expense of dental work.
On December 2, 2008, the Warm Fuzzies will officially release The Bubblegum EP with a performance at Athens'' Caledonia Lounge, capping off a fall season that saw the band performing shows locally with some of Athens'' finest, including Allison Weiss, the Empties, Leaving Araby, and Part Bear. "We have no idea where we''ll go from here," says Harwell, "but wherever we end up, we''ll have fun getting there."