by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
New Hampshire's Footings walk the line between folk, Americana, and indie rock, blending together warm arrangements, earnest countrified melodies, and dynamic instrumentation. Lead by Eric Gagne, the band combine acoustic and electric elements to create lush atmospheres as deep as the New Hampshire woods that Gagne calls home. Following the release of last year's Alienation LP (Sophomore Lounge/Sexual Decade), the band are back and headed out on the road (see dates below) in support of their upcoming Spring Tape EP, a collection of new songs and one very gorgeous Fugazi cover.
Footings' tape opens with the fragile "Pajo," a moving ballad of lilting harmonies, vibrantly plucked viola, and fuzzy electric guitar melodies. Dedicated to the one and only, David Pajo (Slint, Papa M, Tortoise), the song was inspired by his performance at The Thing In The Spring, a festival curated by Gagne. As he sings "when I had nothing, you sang me a song / who knew that you could do no wrong" you can feel the raw artistic admiration that derives from an intimate performance with a legendary musician. It's a beautiful sentiment for a beautiful soul. "Circle" keeps a glimmering balance of beautiful sorrow and scuzzy lo-fi, built on Elisabeth Fuchsia's sweeping drags of viola and Gagne's vocal twang. Reminding us "it's all a circle after all" the song is brisk and hopeful, ending with Footings' reminder to us all "I could barely walk, but look at me now".
Which brings to us that aforementioned Fugazi cover, a stunning take on "I'm So Tired," the post-punk staple's classic Instrument soundtrack piano ballad. It's not easy to cover Fugazi, a band that did it all on their own terms and left little room for improvement, but a great song is a great song. Footings replace the piano with close mic'ed acoustic guitars and viola that will have your heart fluttering all the same. It may not be possible to improve on Fugazi's original, but it's a welcome reinterpretation. Spring Tape is full of subtle hope in a time when optimism is challenged, but as they say "hope springs eternal".
3/2 - Milford, NH @ Union Coffee w/ Mail The Horse
3/3 - TBA (Philadelphia/New York)
3/4 - Hudson, NY @ Spotty Dog w/ Pigeons
3/5 - Somerville, MA @ Kitchen Sessions (matinee)
3/5 - Northampton, MA @ King Street Manor w/ Emily Dix Thomas & Emerson Stevens