Against the Current Premieres Bold, Electro-Tinged Sophomore LP 'Past Lives': Exclusive First Listen
Also, we've got a Q&A with vocalist Chrissy Costanza about the new music.
Against the Current will follow their standout 2016 debut In Our Bones with their second LP for the Fueled By Ramen on Friday (Sept. 28). And it's safe to say, Chrissy Costanza, Dan Gow, and Will Ferri have done some serious growing in that time.
Once a pop-rock band with pop-punk inclinations, the new LP, Past Lives, finds the the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-bred trio diving full-on into their debut's electronic underbelly. Fortunately, the euphoric hooks haven't gone anywhere and they've done a convincing job of using guitar, drums, and samples to capture the heartbeat and veneer of modern EDM-pop with their familiar rock band band set-up. Their collaborators, producers Tommy English and Andrew Goldstein, remain the same, but the sonic worlds they're taking on are quite different. Then again, ATC is a band that built much of its early fanbase with slick, well-chosen cover songs, so donning a second skin has always been second nature.
Below, you can listen to the whole album a day ahead of its release date (If you're still yearning for their rock side, give "Voices" an extra listen). You can order Past Lives and find Against the Current's upcoming tour dates here. And below the SoundCloud player, find our recent conversation with Costanza about the new music.
What did you learn from promoting and touring behind In Our Bones that influenced this album?
Initially we thought we had to be going 100% at all times, that everything had to be full-on constantly: high energy on stage the whole show, big parts in every song. Now we realize how crucial dynamic is. The ability to pull back and finesse is that much more valuable because of how difficult it can be to restrain yourself. We wanted to really push ourselves on Past Lives to actually hold back sometimes, sing in falsetto, let the music open up and take its space.
What sort of headspace were you in while crafting these songs, and how did it shape how they came out?
Each song takes a different path through a different headspace. For me personally, it felt like I had cataloged all of these different moments in my head over the years and was waiting to revisit them. Opening them up was like being transported back into that moment. It was so vivid it was terrifying.
What influenced you to move away from your pop-punk tendencies to embrace more electronic and pop vibes on this album?
We’re all big fans of pop music; this is definitely the direction we’ve always wanted to head in. On this record, we were finally fearless and shed our skin. We wanted to create music that reflected our personalities now and also who we wanted to be.
What did producers Andrew Goldstein and Tommy English allow you to tap into on this album that you hadn’t explored before?
We love working with Tommy because he really understands us as people after doing a full record and EP with us before, so we can say less and he’ll still understand us. With Andrew, he had such a fresh workflow that we hadn’t utilized before. He has spent a lot of time working with a diverse range of artists and we were actually really inspired by tapping into some of those creative vibes that we wouldn’t have explored previously, such as structuring a full band song like an EDM track.
What was it like opening some recent shows with Fall Out Boy?
The opportunity to open for Fall Out Boy was incredible. We’re so inspired by them especially because they made that jump from a band deep in the scene to really storming the pop world, while somehow maintaining their identity so well. We felt like we fit in really well on their tour for that reason, as we’re making our own transition currently.
What are you most looking forward to with this album cycle coming up?
It’s exciting to start a new cycle because you don’t know who you’ll be at the end of it. I’m really looking forward to what we’ll learn from this album, from the people we meet in the next couple of years and from the places we visit. All of those things will come to life in the next round.