Columbus, Ohio’s Emily & The Complexes premiere an early listen to their upcoming, Dirty Southern Love EP, following up 2013’s Styrofoam Plate Blues on August 19. A band formed during their collective time at Ohio State, frontman Tyler Verhagen sings and writes songs from the heart and gleamed from the roads hitchhiked and toured.
The EP begins from the perspective of an admitted derelict followed by wild detail on, “Yer Boyfriend (Is a Cheapskate)”. Verhagen’s weight of human condition examination of freeloading is conveyed through the stone-steadiness of the band, reinforced by Drew Vandenberg’s mixing, and the Dan Coutant mastering touches. Hometown strangeness sets the tone of abandonment and anchored affections on “Joshua”, while fantasies, romantic scenarios, sceneries, memories, and more flood on the existential anthem, “You Won’t”. One of Tyler’s songwriting strengths are in the Kerouacian cross sections, where multiple listens and reads relay new realized networks of detail and description. The closing weirdness on “Jersey City Blues” takes hold in the opening lines, “Rubbing alcohol or scotch, I don’t care;” full of the Midwest haunt that keeps you enthralled with the, “If you’re going to creep me out” chorus. Emily & The Complexes take the multitude of various instances and moments by which everything from internally manifested complexes and memories are born.
Tyler wrote us a companion piece about the EP, which you can read after the stream below.
I spent about two years on the road, an experience that allowed me to see the country from a much different perspective than most people I knew. I slept on the ground and in truck stops. Finding a place to sleep and catching a ride with a stranger can be both terrifying and beautiful. I made my money busking on the street. Some people might think I was running away or escaping, but the realities and complexities of life and relationships never go away.
Though the seeds of the band were planted during my time on the road, Dirty Southern Love was in part inspired by a different sort of traveling, our time spent touring our first record from coast to coast. This experience offered another layer of perspective and allowed us all to grow as songwriters and musicians. Dirty Southern Love is a raw and at times bizarre record and we feel that it connects well with the times we spent touring in the south, the title is kind of an homage to that.
Emily & The Complexes’ Dirty Southern Love, will be self-released August 19 via Bandcamp.