With the release of their impeccable six-song debut, The Neverglades, in 2010, the Dewars — identical twins Anthony and Zach Dewar of West Palm Beach — introduced their infectious stoner rock and bizarre sing-song narratives to South Florida. While on tour with WPB brethren Surfer Blood in October, the Dewars were tapped to record their very own Daytrotter session, joining the likes of indie darlings and/or legends No Age, Bob Mould, Beach House, Sunset Rubdown, Okkervil River, and Stephen Malkmus in laying down tracks at Daytrotter’s Horseshack Studio in Rock Island, Ill. As part of the customary Daytrotter package, the Dewars also got the Johnnie Cluney portrait treatment (hipster immortality!).
Thursday night, Anthony Dewar and I chatted via Facebook — cuz we’re cool like that — about the Daytrotter session and the Dewar’s upcoming EP, Pent Up Joy, a “tropical circus” due out in the next few weeks, says AD. You’re entering the at-times incoherent conversation right when I learn the Dewars recorded a Daytrotter session and nearly spill my gin.
No fuckin’ way. Congrats man! Did they contact ya’ll?
AD: Yeah. I thought it was a lost cause, but it was well worth the early drive to Nowheresville, so I’m stoked on it.
Was this in the Daytrotter studio?
AD: Yeah it was this abandoned attic of a warehouse of a studio in this tiny town that no one would expect.
Which town, city, state?
AD: It was Rock Island, Illinois, about 2 hours from Chicago.
Was [Daytrotter mastermind] Sean Moeller there?
AD: Indeed. I don’t know, it was all a daze ‘cause it was like 9 in the morning and our schedule was that of a nocturnal family of npossems or however you spell that.
Haha. npossems works just fine.
AD: Plus I wasn’t familiar with the blog [i.e. Daytrotter], but the air you could tell had been breathed by some great artists.
Elaborate on that — what was the studio like?
AD: It was like the basement of an uncle your conservative aunts had told you to be wary about, but when you go in you realize it was filled with amazing old instruments and amps and dust, fermented creativity that would only be dangerous to the folks of normality. The aunts of the picture perfect…well my point was more so that the studio had this old decaying wood, dusty feeling that reminded me of my relatives old harmonica in the sense that it had been blown many times before or wait ….something along those lines.
Haha, exactly as I thought. So let’s shift gears a bit to the album. This is the full-length follow up to Neverglades. How long have you guys been working on it?
AD: Actually no, this is a separate EP entirely. It’s called Pent Up Joy and it has some of the same songs [as Neverglades] but a completely different feel. Much more live-like, although not quite like it is live…but more lively in a way.
So for the folks who absorbed Neverglades, what should people be excited for on Pent Up Joy?
AD: Well Neverglades was a set of songs that we made at different times and with our own laptop and primitive technology, which was nice and underground, a reflection of how we lived.
Pent Up Joy is a tropical circus. Its character is louder and more abrasive but it has a mask per song. The recordings are done in a studio and much less underground in a way. I think it’s a step overground to go with the analogy and almost make it literal, ‘cause we have played more and more live and it almost feels like we’re stepping out of our hole. But because we want to preserve face, we have the “un-personal” songs or masks. We also have another instrumentalist on this record, whereas before it was just us for the most part.
Who else will appear on the new EP?
AD: Well we did and are doing “gang” vocals with some of Surfer Blood and we had a violinist from the Chain of Dreyfoos friends … and then we had our brother Brian doing keys and our band that we toured with on rhythm section and more too. I just forget the details at the moment. Oh, a trumpet too. Haha, sorry if that’s unwritable stuff. I’m a bit drunk…
It’s all good. I got my gin and tonic in hand as well.
So which songs from The Neverglades are being re-worked to appear on Pent Up Joy?
AD: “Noise Boys”, “Strange Change”, and “If the World was Gonna End Today”.
And which songs are Surfer Blood on?
AD: Well the gang vocals aren’t all done, but they’ll be on most of the songs. I believe all but “Strange Change” and mainly JP [John Paul Pitts] at the moment, but Kevin [Williams] and Thomas [Fekete] are on board for the rest.
When do you expect for the EP to be ready for our ears? And will there be a physical release? Also, what are you drinking tonight?
AD: Well I’m drinkin’ some Canadian whisky’ cause they had overpriced scotch, and yes I do foresee a physical release. I hope before SXSW, but it could be shopped to labels before anything physical.
Speaking of, are you guys talking to any labels?
AD: We were and will be talking to XL and others as soon as the album completes. We’ll see though as it’s never a sure thing until it is. So for now we’re just gettin in a van and we are gonna be nomadic tour machines.
Good men. What are the tour plans?
AD: This next one is on our way back from SXSW with Surfer Blood and Holiday Shores in the south and then were on our own and its gonna be a fun year in a van.
Click HERE to check out the Dewars’ Daytrotter recording session, featuring “Life is Like a Merry Go Round Until the Burial Ground”, “Noise Boys”, “Pedophile Pete”, “Bulls and Bears”, and “The Neverglades”.