Stolen Jars, “Afterlight”

Emily Chu + Meredith Schneider

An indie band from Montclair, New Jersey is making their way into the limelight. Stolen Jars recently released an EP titled Glint, but what’s cool about this is that 25% of all sales of the EP benefit The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which is a legal aid organization that serves low-income or people of color who are transgender, intersex and/or gender non-conforming. That’s damn amazing, and we are totally on board.
We’re premiering the video for their track “Afterlight,” something we have fallen for. Hard. The track is gentle yet intense at the same time, and the videography plays with shadows and lights to portray this. The jumble of beats and instrumentals and the syncopation of the vocals create such a captivating effect, and this is a song that’ll be stuck in your head for the next week.
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In honor of the video premiere, we got to throw a few questions at the band’s ringleader Cody Fitzgerald, who more than happily obliged.

What was the first song or album you remember listening to, and who introduced it to you?

I’m not sure what the first song I listened to was haha, probably my Mom played Bob Dylan or something near me when I was a baby, but my first favorite song was definitely “Blue Chair” by Elvis Costello (the uptempo version). My dad would play it and we would dance to it in our living room when I was 4 years old. Pretty fitting since it was Father’s Day yesterday.

Does that song or album have any bearing on your sound now?

Maybe not noticeably, but I like to think that I try to emulate Elvis Costello’s knack for emotional and hooky melodies.

Was there a defining moment when you realized you wanted to pursue music in your life?

I think I’ve known for a really long time that I wanted to pursue music, but I wasn’t always sure that it was a real possibility. I was in so many bands growing up, my first real band was called Crucial Party! and we played punk/ska in Middle School haha. I still think that is one of the best band names of all time. But I think it wasn’t until a song I wrote in my bedroom for the first Stolen Jars album got picked up for an Apple commercial that I thought “oh… maybe I can actually do this for the rest of my life.” Even if that hadn’t happened I would always have made and released music, but maybe I wouldn’t have had such clear direction and confidence in that being my path forward.

Your video for “Afterlight” is actually beautiful, with the way you utilize lights to really emphasize the lyrics. What inspired this creative decision?

Henry Chaisson, the director of the video, and I were just listening to the song in my room and trying to figure out what felt right, and we realized that the pulse of the song really lent itself to strobing lights. From there, Henry came up with all of these beautiful lighting designs and fleshed out the entire video idea. The song is really about coming to terms with the end of something and actually welcoming that change, that leftover glow, and I think the video really represents that concept.

Be honest — did the strobes make you feel nauseous?

Haha, great question, actually no not at all, it was mostly just fun to yell at flashing lights.

Do you have any fun anecdotes from the production process?

The lights that we used as strobes were actually just bike lights haha, so most of the video was made with me and Molly sitting in chairs singing into the dark while Henry and Cole ran around flashing bike lights in our faces.

That’s hilarious! How do you want people to feel after hearing this song and/or seeing this video?

I don’t usually hope for people who listen to our music or watch our videos to feel something specific, mostly I hope that it does make them feel something. Its an emotional song and an emotional video for me, so I hope that feeling, of change, of nostalgia, comes across for them too.

What’s coming up next for you in 2017?

Well we are going on a really big tour in July with Fraternal Twin and the next album is also in the works, I’ve already made 16 pieces of music for it. Plus, I’ve been working on a collaborative EP with Lawrence and DAP the Contract that should be coming out soon too. So many things on their way!

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Keep up with Stolen Jars here.

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