Shake off those winter blues, get your dancing shoes ready, and check out the Generationals. Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, New Orleans natives and decades-long close friends, are bringing us a unique spin on indie rock. This duo is sure to get you in a better mood with their clever mixture of 60’s retro pop beats, catchy but certainly not cliché lyrics, and quite a few electronic elements. When you add in the occasional horn coupled with an acoustic guitar or brushed snare drums, there is no doubt that the Generationals are musicians to watch. Both Joyner and Widmer were past members of The Eames Era (any Grey’s Anatomy fans might recognize them from their song, “Could Be Anything,” featured twice on the show). After The Eames Era broke up, Joyner and Widmer decided to stick together and released their debut album Con Law in 2009.
Produced by D.C.’s own Daniel Black, Con Law was an impressive starting point for the newly formed Generationals. Even from the first track, “Nobody Could Change Your Mind,” the melodies are upbeat, while still maintaining the band’s trademark laid back vibe. Don’t be misled by the cheerful tunes; the lyrics of Con Law, as well as in their most recent album Actor-Caster, are far from optimistic. Arguably one of the best songs on Actor- Caster, “Goose & Gander,” is almost entirely morose in sentiment. With verses that begin, “I don’t want to see you, you take me to that hole in the ground, ruin all those songs for me,” you can’t help but relate. That contrast of lively and melancholy is what makes the Generationals worth listening to.
The Generationals have yet to completely steal the indie spotlight, but opening for bands like Broken Social Scene and Two Door Cinema Club has given them valuable exposure, and should certainly keep them on everyone’s radar until their eventual breakthrough. Unfortunately, they aren’t currently touring, but their killer albums will be more than capable of tiding us over. Drawing on inspiration from past legends, such as New Order and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, in addition to contributing an organically modern twist to every song, the Generationals have the potential to make you feel anywhere from nostalgic to refreshed. Hopefully, it will be a combination of the two.