Known for upbeat and melodic tunes, US-based quartet Bits of Alan are sharing their unique sound with the masses. Following several well-received singles and albums, the group release their reflective album Slatland. We speak with founder and frontman Gregory Golbitz about Slatland, future plans and more!
OSR: What is the backstory to Slatland?
Golbitz: Slatland was actually inspired by a short story of the same name written by Rebecca Lee. At the beginning of quarantine, I started writing more and songs started to develop. At the same time, I was also rereading Rebecca Lee’s collection and Slatland stuck out to me. The themes of the new songs started to match the themes of the story, specifically ones involving trauma, reflection and self-doubt, about distance and taking stock of your life. The project kinda blossomed from there!
OSR: Did you face any challenges when writing and recording the EP?
Golbitz: Mostly social distancing challenges. However, with a little logistics, lots of masks and plenty of time, we were able to get the record finished in “record” time (pun intended). But, all jokes aside, it was a pretty painless procedure. The chemistry with the band had never been better.
OSR: Which is your favourite track and why?
Golbitz: I love them all for their own reasons! My top three would have to be ‘Blue and Green’, ‘Idiopathic’ and ‘Cooking Barefoot’. I like ‘Blue and Green’ because the song had a lot of space. It’s about the end of a relationship, but it’s kind buried the lead. I loved the writing process in that I was able to establish a foundation of the character’s lives before the final choirs illuminate the reality of the situation.
I like ‘Idiopathic’ for the opposite reason. It’s also about the end phases of a relationship and it was nice to be more direct.
‘Cooking Barefoot’, my final favourite, was an absolute joy to record. We had our friend Jake Bracey of the Mountain Laurels play some guitar on it. It was just a very communal song.
OSR: What is your least favourite?
Golbitz: Least favourite is ‘Chloe’. Not that’s a bad song, but it’s been written for so long that I’m bored of it. The other songs are new enough that I don’t hate them yet.
OSR: If you could change one thing about Slatland what would it be?
Golbitz: If I could change anything, I would change the song count. I wish I put more songs on it, but we were so excited to release it. We have another record coming soon!
OSR: What do you hope people take from the EP and your music in general?
Golbitz: I hope people like it, obviously, but I also hope people have their own subjective experience within the songs. Some of my favourite bands write really specifically, but I still see my life in their art. I’d like that too.
OSR: Do you have any advice for emerging artists?
Golbitz: No advice because we’re still emerging too. Just try to navigate this very remote online music scene.
OSR: What is the best review you have ever received?
Golbitz: The best review I ever received was from WXPN The Key who said our album was capable of revisiting again and again. I love that!
OSR: If you were a colour which colour would you be?
Golbitz: I’d be blue. I’d also be green.
OSR: Do you have future plans?
Golbitz: More albums, some live shows. Lots of fun stuff coming up!