Tuesday Atlas’ album cover for their EP Hell Has a Sound could easily be construed as using a metal band’s imagery. But the band actually dabble more in the post-rock and alternative realms.
The Fort Wayne-based quartet that “likes to make songs that get stuck in your head, like a ghost in your attic” enjoys defying stereotypes.
“We like to blend styles,” said lead guitarist Skyler Newsome. “We do our own thing. From alternative rock to grunge to basement rock and acoustic pieces, we just like to make music that gets stuck in your head. It’s hard to define that genre because it changes all the time.”
Pushing through changes
Vocalist and guitarist Dakota Boggs began the band in 2015. When enough interest was generated by 2016 from nothing but word of mouth, bassist Tyler Sisco and drummer Mackenzi Lowry joined the team. After two years of writing and performing, the band shot their first music video in 2018 with the help of Newsome, a friend and videographer. After putting the video out there, Newsome joined the group in September 2018. Easton Hawk, the drummer for local band Dormant, replaced Lowry in February 2019.
The band has relatively recently released two EPs, Visitors in November 2018 and Hell Has a Sound in May 2019. Though the band is somewhat in its infancy, their sound has already gone through a journey between the two pieces.
“We started as more of a pop grunge band, but through adding a second guitarist and new drummer, our sound has grown in ways we couldn’t have imagined,” Newsome said. “There’s a heavier emphasis on harmony and melody rather than straight, raw drive. It’s been a really fascinating journey so far, and we’ve barely even started.”
Though the band is a couple of years old, to the members, it feels brand new. Sometimes an idea is enough to “start” a band, but rotating through members or getting something locked down like a string of shows or a recorded EP can push the group through to feeling complete even if it still feels like they’ve just begun.
Indie rock to Shoegaze to alt-country
Hell Has a Sound is the first recording that includes all four current members. It started as an acoustic EP when Lowry wasn’t able to record, but the band still wanted to get work done.
A lot of the writing was concocted in the studio, improvised while recording, and the band even recorded many of the parts separate from one another, a feat not usually embarked upon by a new band.
“Easton recorded all of his drum parts alone while the other band members were at home and we came in later to layer over them,” Newsome said. “We’ve never approached a recording like that before, but we came up with something exceptional. Sitting with these songs for six months, waiting for the right moment to release them, gave us a lot of room to get comfortable with each other and our own styles. HHAS is by far the best representation of Tuesday Atlas as a whole.”
The EP combines sounds of indie rock, shoegaze, alternative, and pop rock. At times Boggs even gives us a little alt-country via some subtle twang in his voice.
For the most part, however, the band stays within the mid-tempo rock genre — although the songs seem like they could explode with heaviness at any moment, they usually stay reserved.
Hints of Explosions in the Sky and Bad Books seep through each line of music.
A wide array of influences and inspirations can be the driving force behind an eclectic style and a band switching up sounds even within a single song.
For a group still figuring things out, this can be a useful tool to find what Tuesday Atlas might sound like in the future.
“Our influences vary wildly, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Manchester Orchestra, Buckethead to O’Brother, Balance and Composure to Cloud Nothings,” Newsome said. “Our inspiration comes from all the beautiful and tragic things that happen to us, the sweet and bittersweet realizations we’ve made while living.”
Though some of the bands referenced above rely heavily on theme or concept, TA is still figuring out what they intend to portray through their music.
Like most artists, a cohesive thread is present throughout the entirety of the songs, even if the writing isn’t intended to bring such topics to life.
“There are definitely overarching themes in our music, but they’re not necessarily intended,” Newsome said. “They’re more about the revolving wheel of emotions, repetitively presented amongst different experiences.
“We try to transmit emotions and achieve some sort of catharsis rather than trying to convey a ‘message’ in the classical sense. This band is mostly focused on making our music, speaking with our own voice. So our goals lie in things that enable us to do just that.”
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