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Really From

by Really From

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PeterA
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PeterA Just inspiring combination of emo-jazz in its purest form. Lyrically it goes over interesting ideas of multiculturalism, parental issues and generational trauma in some of the best ways I've heard in a while. All of the instrumental sections are just beautiful and both singers are outstanding. My favorite moments are probably the almost-yelling section halfway through "I'm From Here" and the horn sections on "Quirk". Favorite track: I'm From Here.
shower
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shower A wonderful and sonorous take on emo that brings in elements from Talk Talk's instrumental pallet. Favorite track: I'm From Here.
Charles Westmark
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Charles Westmark I listen to a new record by a new artist everyday and this is my favorite find in three years. Everything about this album is so cohesive and the instrumental choices feel intelligent and deliberate- the horns are gorgeous, talk about incredible tone. Favorite track: Try Lingual.
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1.
Hang the tiny potted plants off the hook that you built into the wall shelf There may not be a lot of room, but it’s enough for both of you to put All your things down
2.
Quirk 04:12
My laugh’s made like yours Hearty at its core I will inherit more From you and what you leave with me Not all that I keep Will work out for me As you sow your seed I’ll reap from everything that stays How the world looks upside down As your feet shift beneath the ground You feel your skin start to thicken With the air as it sinks (It knows the water Your mother crossed over To give life to you) This is your inheritance This is the room your father lived Passed down from child to child to next From their first to last breath Your father knew this Your mother did too The fault’s not on them It’s never on The blame it runs deep In the cracks of your skin You don’t want to fight But you know it will win My laugh’s made like yours Callused at its core I will inherit your Idiosyncrasies that stay
3.
Yellow Fever 03:27
Spitting out blood From biting my tongue You’re calling my name Even though you can’t pronounce it You want those eyes, pale skin, black hair you called it Yellow fever I grit my teeth and freeze no words come out If you could, would you take back all the things you said If you could, would you take back all the things you said If I could, I would say all I left unsaid Please let me be unseen Why can I not correct you Don’t wanna say it’s true Why do I feel the need to protect you You see me in the ways you want me to be I see you, broke and sick, with a fucked up wet dream If you could, would you take back all the things you said If you could, would you take back all the things you said If you could, would you take back all the things you said If you could, would you take back all the things you said
4.
Try Lingual 03:18
I smile like I can understand But my mind reminds me I can’t My ears drop words like slippery hands Trying to hold on I listen hard to what you say And in my head I will translate I might respond the wrong way Forgive me, I’m still learning I panic ‘cause I missed a phrase Like you can see right through me I listen hard to what you say Each word begins to sound the same The sounds, the words, the goddamn shame Forgive me, I'm complaining I wonder where you put the blame Cause I always put it on me I smile like I can understand But my mind reminds me I can’t They taught me it’s not of this land Forgive me I’m unlearning the practice Of self-blaming habits
5.
It seems so quiet that you can’t Tell the difference Between the screaming, silence in the Way it’s so quiet As the quiet increases You think of the reason To make it through the feeling that you And everyone felt, it’s a feeling you’ll never get used to It seems so quiet that you can’t Tell the difference Between the screaming, silence In the Way it’s so quiet that you can Let go of the things you can’t understand
6.
7.
I was born with a cord around my head I was born with a mother almost dead I was born with a tied twisted tongue I was born with a father’s heart undone I was raised by the shoes left at the door I was raised like my mother was before I was raised by the fear of my own skin I was raised with it. I was born with it. I will live with it. I’ll still live with I come from a whole of different parts I’m from weary souls and broken hearts I come from a brown and ancient skin So let me in If you ask me where I’m from I’ll say the rage, the lights the sea I’ll say the pain passed down on me And when you say it’s not enough I will pretend it won’t get to me Won’t let it get to me I’m from here, I swear I’m really from here
8.
Move out west, fly up north By the coast, get a job Clock it in, clock it out Be a wife, stick it out Keep it up, have some kids Cook some rice, cheap enough Made enough, just enough Raise them up, raise them right Learn the tongue, just enough Teach the kids, let them switch Let them live, live again Keep it up, just for them Don’t think, just work Don’t think, just work Don’t think, just work Don’t think, just work
9.
The House 03:29
Mom and Dad They like each other I think They don’t hold hands or kiss, But those are things they don’t need When you raise two kids in a house You do it for them ‘til they grow and get out All you have left are the rooms that you two don’t You don’t share Mom and Dad I think they’re fighting again The rumbling downstairs is hard to tell if it’s them When you live on the second floor You don’t think about the reason for All their arguing, it seems just a waste of time And breath, and breath Mom and Dad They told me separately They come from different parts So what does that make me? Half trainwreck or half burning sea? Half Boriken or half Chinese? If I’m the sum of my parts How can I be whole if their eyes won’t ever meet If I’m the sum of my parts And it won’t equal love, what does that make me? If I’m the sum of my parts And it’s game is zero, who lost and who gained? Which one will remain? Mom and Dad They both moved out of this house I understand now But I still miss the house And the tree and the small bench And the grass stains and the fence It may be haunted But I still miss the roof, the walls, and the old floor They don’t live there anymore

about

Drawing on influences of jazz improvisation, minimalist composition, and punk rock ethos, the Boston-based band Really From dismiss traditional genre and formulae in favor of explorative, indie rock amalgamations. Since 2014, their ever-evolving sound has incorporated stylistic touchstones from math rock to ambient, exploring themes of place, self, and culture through a dialect entirely their own. Michi Tassey (keys, synth bass) and Chris Lee-Rodriguez (guitar) exchange vocal leads regularly, shifting perspectives and ranges as their songs cascade through varied musical worlds, refracting their thematic questions concerned with intergenerational trauma, tokenism, and immigrant parenthood. Trumpeter Matt Hull and drummer Sander Bryce often take on lead voices of their own, further reconfiguring traditional notions of genre and songwriting.

“Try Lingual,” the lead single from Really From’s self-titled and third album, sees the quartet at their most all-encompassing. Thematically, it’s an apt setting for exploring Lee-Rodriguez’s personal struggles with learning Spanish, and Tassey's with Japanese, in order to better communicate with their families and communities. At first calm and collected, then brassy, chaotic, and disjointed, “Try Lingual” is wrought with the anxiety of struggling to keep up. Tassey and Lee-Rodriguez sing as foils to one another, as if to encourage the other to unlearn their self-blaming habits. Trumpeter Hull’s jazzy sensibility often sings in unison with his melodic counterparts, but when let loose between and around the beats, Hull’s calculated, eruptive wailing mirrors the eureka moments that abound when trying to learn a new language, as well reflecting the less conclusive and more challenging hurdles that come with learning a new tongue. Like a linguistic epiphany, new worlds are revealed. Previously impossible conversations become accessible. Yet the learning persists, and other doors remain to be opened.

Really From are especially adept at bending their somewhat unusual instrumentation of trumpet, keys, guitar, and drumset into both abstract and intentional forms. On the album’s second single, “Quirk,” a warm swell of synth welcomes listeners into a bouncing, odd-timed exploration of inherited trauma, qualities, and laughter. Underscored by JD Beck-like flourishes of drummer Sander Bryce, the opening 5/8 groove builds unpredictably, but with a precise foundation for Lee-Rodriguez’s lyrical unpacking of intergenerational trauma. While “Quirk” might not offer definitive resolution to its raised questions, its lines are punctuated with poetic acceptance—“As you sow your seed / I’ll reap from everything that stays.” “Your father knew this / your mother did too / the fault’s not on them.”

These reflections on identity permeate the entirety of Really From, whose name is drawn from a question often thrust at the band’s mixed raced members—where are you really from? The foreboding phrase conjures a complex web of daunting subject matter, but it’s nothing new to the band. It is their lived experience, and so it is woven organically into their emotive, jazz-inflected experimental rock fabric, crucially blurring the line between the Personal and the Political. The raw vulnerability of this substance melds fluidly with the band’s collaborative spirit, so much so that they called on dear friend and former bandmate Sai Boddupalli to produce the album. The band describes Boddupalli’s efforts as “putting the album where it needed to be,” adding a newfound cohesion and vibrance to the intricate group effort that is Really From—a candid, kinetic album of unbound style.

credits

released March 12, 2021

Really From is Chris Lee-Rodriguez, Sander Bryce, Michi Tassey & Matt Hull
Chris Lee-Rodriguez – Vocals, Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar
Sander Bryce – Drum Set
Michi Tassey – Vocals, Piano, Keyboard, Synth Bass (Tracks 1 and 7)
Matt Hull – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone
Sai Boddupalli – Sound Design, Programming, Synth Bass (Tracks 2, 4-6, 8), Bass Guitar (Track 3)
Engineered by Seth Manchester at Machines with Magnets and Sai Boddupalli at Grind Central Station. Additional Engineering by Zach Weeks at God City Studios.
Tracks 1-8 Mixed by Seth Manchester
Track 9 Mixed by Sai Boddupalli
Produced by Sai Boddupalli
Mastered by Zach Weeks

Creative Direction & Photography by Nick Surette
Cover concept by Michi Tassey
Photo Assistant - George Annan
Food and Prop Styling by Madison Trapkin
Layout & Design by Jess Graham

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Really From Boston, Massachusetts

Indie/Jazz outfit from Boston, MA

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