October 30, 2011

The Sunday Session: indie rock from Backwords. Sound by Dominic Armstrong.


Backwords blends modern psychedelics with folk rock, '60s pop and a myriad other sonic surprises. Like a bluebird fluttering through the prairie, Backwords delivers gentle, lazy melodies that stick to the tongue and cannot be forgotten. And like a hawk nesting atop a New York skyscraper, there is a fury — a swooping darker underside that Backwords explores at the drop of a wooden nickel. It is and is not quite The Beach Boys meeting Daniel Johnston meeting The Velvet Underground meeting Wilco.

Based out of Brooklyn, Backwords is rooted in city grit but rides the concrete waves with a cowboy's heart. The band is a regular fixture of the New York City scene and has played countless gigs over the last three years at venues and spaces such as Mercury Lounge, Cake Shop, Glasslands, Sycamore, Cameo Gallery, The American Folk Art Museum, and more. They have played official showcases at 2009 and 2010's CMJ Festivals as well as 2010's Northside Festival and were recently named a "Top 10 Emerging Artist" in the "Alt-Folk" category by The Deli Magazine NYC.

Backwords has toured the United States extensively in the past few years from NYC to LA and has played with such bands as: These United States, Le Loup, Freelance Whales, Dinosaur Feathers, Darwin Deez, Warpaint, Pepi Ginsberg, Tiny Animals, Country Mice, The Beets, Shark?, The Old Ceremony, The Deep Dark Woods, Craft Spells, Hosannas, Spirit Family Reunion, Turbo Fruits, Pujol, Radical Dads.

On Quilt, the band's most recent release, the trio mixes the classic instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and keys with everything from toy flutes and banjos to accordions and clips of obscure field recordings. The heartfelt lead vocals offer a story-teller's tone of simple, honest warmth while the backing harmonies and good old-fashioned gang vox deeply layer the sound. Twelve tracks of solid gold tunes and unfussy production make it a record that goes great with an old turntable and a pair of bulky headphone. Enjoy!

The band is currently working on a fourth and oh-so-glorious new record -- to be completed early 2012.

Find more live performance recordings on our archive page.
Find more Sunday Sessions here.