Based in Brooklyn and consisting of members from Ireland and New Jersey, you’d be hard pressed to find a band with more hipster credentials than A Year And Change. Everything about these lads seems to be effortlessly cool; from their eye-catching artwork to their DIY aesthetics to their impressive beards. However, t would all mean nothing if the music didn’t live up to the look. Thankfully, the band’s debut offering ‘The Secret Winter Inside All Californians’ adds a good deal of substance to the overflowing levels of style.
Consisting of just three songs, opener Life, Wilson is the pick of the bunch. It’s an indie dance floor filler that has shades of LCD Soundsystem to it. Consisting of a beguiling mix of gang chorus vocals, fuzz tinged guitar breaks and a loose rhythm section, the results are sloppy and sparse but incredibly beguiling.
Slippedinsubliminally has a similar structure, once again built around a loose funky bassline. This one is a little more twisted and visceral though with the guitar breaks coming with added distortion. The band show they’re not afraid to experiment either, finishing the song with a weird feedback driven outro.
On the last song, Winters Hill, they veer even further left of field. The gang chorus vocals used on the first two songs are ditched and singer Steven Hunt does a very admiral Ian McKaye impression instead. The punk influences don’t stop there, there’s a very distinctive Sonic Youth vibe to the musical element of this song with the band making good use of their distortion pedals once again.
A Year And Change are by no means the finished article but this EP is a promising debut. If they play their cards right, you never know, Pitchfork could be fawning over them this time next year. For now, get ahead of the pack and listen to them before it was cool.