31 Webster Street
Hartford, CT 06114
Friday, June 28, 2019
6pm – $15~$17
SET IF OFF
Every day that you wake up, you have a choice. A choice of who you are, how you present yourself, and how you want to be remembered. And in the face of those daily choices – and ahead of the release of Upside Down – Set It Off has simply chosen to be more. More ambitious. More unified. More confident. More open-minded. More collaborative. And above all, more authentic.
“We’ve gotten stronger. We really have. As a whole. As a unit. We feel more together. When you go through struggle and you make it through, your bond strengthens. That’s what Upside Down is about. That’s the theme of this album. Going through struggle, and instead of taking it as defeat or a sign to give up – turning it into a positive and moving forward,” declares Set It Off frontman Cody Carson. “We go through a lot every year, we’re in the music industry, that’s gonna happen. So we decided to band together, and just push forward.”
The Tampa, FL-based band released Upside Down, their third full-length, on October 7th via Equal Vision Records. The album was recorded in Los Angeles, CA with producers Brandon Paddock (Panic! At The Disco, Avril Lavigne, Pentatonix), Erik Ron (Saosin, Panic! At The Disco) and Mike Green (5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low, Cassadee Pope). The release was noted as one of the “Most Anticipated Albums of 2016” by Alternative Press Magazine and follows the band’s sophomore album, Duality, which debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard Independent Chart, No. 81 on the Billboard Top Current Chart, and No. 86 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart; And the band’s debut full-length, Cinematics, that was released in September 2012, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard South Atlantic Heatseekers Regional Chart, No. 4 on Billboard Heatseekers Chart, No. 9 on Billboard Next Big Sound Chart, No. 38 Independent Chart, and even broke into the Billboard Top 200 chart at No. 174. Set It Off formed in 2008 and is comprised of Cody Carson (vocals), Dan Clermont (guitar), Zach DeWall (guitar) and Maxx Danziger (drums).
Upside Down sonically takes a brighter sound than previous releases and offers the band’s most pop-driven anthems to date. Bold electronic elements guide loud, driving rock instrumentations with guitar riffs as catchy as the choruses and an overall feel-good, dance-worthy vibe throughout. On Upside Down, Set It Off commands attention and brings authenticity back to pop music in a bold and unapologetic way.
“I felt like a change was needed for Upside Down, so we decided to go back to our roots. Instead of focusing on what we think everyone else should hear from us or how they should perceive us, we went back to the roots of writing songs for the sake of wanting to write a good song. Opening our minds up to doing more co-writes and to collaborating more and just doing whatever it takes to chase that perfect song,” he shares. “And I feel like once we got out of our darker, more theatrical Cinematics era, writing became easier because we weren’t inside of a box. So with Duality, the first time we started making the transition [to our roots], we started to open our minds to what Set It Off could become if we just didn’t put any boundaries on ourselves and just wrote whatever came out of our minds and our hearts at that moment.”
“Writing Duality really showed me that a vibe is everything in writing. If I’m excited and I’m getting into it, then I’m going to write better melodies. If I’m feeling confident, I’m going to write better melodies and have better ideas. I’ve always heard that songwriting and producing is 99% confidence – and it’s so true. Brandon [Paddock] brought out a writing side of us and a confidence that we’ve never had. And I immediately became a better writer from that,” notes Carson.
Duality was our learning process of getting better and Upside Down is us – our system is on point now.”
Discussing the band’s hardships with people they’ve worked with, how they’ve coped with current events going on in the world, and reflecting on past personal relationships of past and present, Upside Down covers a wide spectrum lyrically – creating a dynamic and distinctly human experience. “I feel like it’s important to be honest, to be yourself. To me, I like how genuine the album is, I love the guys in my band because of the people they are and how real they are, and how real we are with everyone else. That’s what I like with our connection with our fanbase too. And that’s what I want people to take away from all of this…people just seeing us as people. That realness is what is most important to me.”
No band wants to write the same album over and over again. And for Emarosa, that means turning the page and and introducing the world to the band’s newest chapter—the one that best represents where they’ve grown and where they’re going. “We’re at that point where we’ve realized that there’s no consequences for making whatever record we want to make,” frontman Bradley Walden explains. “We started writing, and it felt like the book was being thrown out the window. There are no rules.”
Out February 8 on Hopeless Records, Peach Club makes the most of Emarosa’s eclectic influences, marking their sixth studio effort as their most pop-laden and personal album to date. The 11-track record throws it back to the massive pop hits of the ‘80s and the powerhouse artists that ruled ‘90s R&B, which also happens to be where Walden looked to as he penned the album. “I think a lot of it was based on what we were raised listening to,” Walden says. “My mother raised me on female pop and R&B. It was Paula Abdul. It was Michael Jackson. It was Janet. It was even some Shania Twain.” These influences ring true with the opening track and first single, “Givin’ Up,” The 1975-vibing song which revels in glitter-soaked guitar and bursts with orchestral elements that introduces—and cements—the band’s standing in the alt-pop world.
The affecting and undeniably arresting “Don’t Cry” was the first song Emarosa wrote with producer Courtney Ballard (5 Seconds of Summer, Jessie J). Ballard, whose background is rooted in pop, helped guide the band as they united their alt-rock past with their pop-leaning present. “I knew after writing the first song that he’s the one that I wanted to do the record,” Walden says. “He understood where we wanted to go and and where we were ready to depart from.” His pop touch, combined with Walden’s powerhouse vocals and potent songwriting, result in anthem-ready hits that are expertly weaved throughout the record. “So Bad” bursts with boppy bass lines and dance-ready beats, and “Cautious” combines the band’s hooky take on rock and Fickle Friends’ exuberant synth pop.
Even more than the bold sonic shift, though, is the new lyrical perspective Emarosa embraces on Peach Club. While there’s no denying that tracks like “Comfortable” still have shades of heartbreak guised under beautiful melodies, Walden wanted to give this record a change in tone. “I was tired of writing sad records. That’s what I used as my way of dealing with things,” Walden says. “While this record is a lot of realizations and accepting faults, it’s also not all sad. You don’t have to be miserable.” The record’s light-hearted notes shine through with tracks like the stripped-down “xo,” the love song that taps into Walden’s stunning vocals, along with the record’s hidden gem “IW2DWY,” which takes a dreamy, lullaby-esque approach to experimental electro-pop.
As a body of work, Peach Club takes full advantage of Emarosa’s biggest strengths. The band’s familiar and fervent alt-rock energy flows through tracks like the riffy “Help You Out” and explosive “Hell Of It.” And the soul-bearing “Get Back Up” might just be one of the band’s most powerful tracks to date. “That’s my favorite song on the record,” Walden says. “I wrote that song for my mom. There was always something that took us down a peg. But if she hadn’t gotten back up every single time we got knocked down, I wouldn’t be where I am. And I wouldn’t be the person I am.” The track combats the sadness with a sonic message that lifts listeners up, invoking hope rather than sadness.
And that’s the beauty of Peach Club. At its core, the record represents more than just a sonic shift and sincere step forward. It represents the fact that Emarosa is exactly where they want to be, and it embodies the band’s growing family listeners. It’s a brave record that sees Emarosa showing their fans where they’re going and inviting them to join them on the journey.
Broadside is a pop punk band from Richmond, Virginia. They are signed to Victory Records, and were listed as one of the 100 Artists You Need To Know in 2015 by Alternative Press.
concerts in hartford ct hartford ct concerts