The Projectors’ Fresh Take On Indie Rock Nostalgia

The Projectors’ debut self-titled LP pays homage to the indie rock bands of the early aughties, while still feeling fresh and authentic. Taking inspiration from bands such as The Strokes, Reigning Sound, and The Velvet Underground, this band has created a record that holds its own amongst a back catalogue of iconic artists.

The Projectors – The Projectors

The new LP from The Projectors has big shoes to fill. Taking direct inspiration from some of the most iconic musicians of the early 2000s’, this five-piece is bringing back some of the catchy indie rock music of the era. It is never easy to try and add something new to a genre that is, by now, so solidly established. However, with their first album, The Projectors manage to capture so many of the things that we love about this style of music, while still bringing a taste of their own authenticity.

With catchy, bright guitar hooks, the way the band’s two guitarists, Robbie Shirriff and Dustin Tiljoe, play off each other is one of the defining elements and highlights of the band’s sound. Their interplay creates a dynamic and infectious energy that permeates the album. Whether it’s the melodic riffs in “Golden Age” or the simple hooks in “Concessions,” the guitar work brings an undeniable sense of vitality to the songs. With a combination of clear and bright earworms played over verses, as well as fuzzier guitar solos to provide a bit more edge, the guitar work is a stand-out feature of this LP.

Evan Matthiesen’s forward-driving drum beat serves as the backbone of the album, propelling the music forward and infusing it with an energetic and danceable quality. Tracks like “Golden Age” and “Concessions” are prime examples of the band’s ability to craft irresistible rhythms that compel listeners to move to the music.

Vocalist and frontman Dylan Rysstad’s warm and crooning voice adds another layer of nostalgia and charm to the record. His delivery is reminiscent of the iconic original garage bands of the ’60s that were so influential on today’s indie rock scene. Rysstad’s vocals possess a timeless quality, blending seamlessly with the band’s sound and enhancing the overall sonic experience.

Rysstad, who also provides the lyrics, showcases a talent for crafting introspective and relatable words that complement the album’s musicality. The lyrics often carry a melancholic and yearning tone, creating an interesting contrast to the brightness and energy of the music. However, they never veer into the realm of self-indulgence or overwrought sentimentality.

Instead, they remain grounded and accessible, reflecting the down-to-earth nature of a good indie band. Even in the verses of ‘When The Lights Come Up’, which reflect on the “darkest winter” of the songwriter’s life, they never quite stray into the self-indulgent, with an upbeat and optimistic chorus to lift the song back up. Although, this contrast works both ways. Even ‘Valentine’, an optimistic song all about grabbing love with both hands, can’t help but bring the mood down a little in the chorus, advising the listener to “hold ‘em tight like it’s the end of the world.” The result is an engaging but accessible lyricism throughout.

The album’s lead single, “Golden Age,” encapsulates the band’s strengths with its catchy and upbeat nature. The crashing drum beat, the bright guitar hooks, and Rysstad’s inviting vocals combine to form an infectious indie rock anthem. The lyrics, such as “It’s the golden age of indifference, So what’s the difference now?” effortlessly blend playfulness with introspection, capturing the band’s distinctive charm.

As The Projectors make their mark on the indie rock scene, their sound proves to be a solid and authentic addition to the genre. With summer festival appearances on the horizon, their music is tailor-made for lively, sun-soaked gatherings. Tracks like the anthemic “You Can Only Wait” are sure to become singalong favourites among concertgoers, further cementing the band’s reputation for delivering engaging and memorable performances.

With Dylan Rysstad’s extensive background in various genres, it’s intriguing to ponder what creative paths The Projectors may explore in the future. While this debut album showcases their strength in crafting strong and solid indie rock, it also hints at the band’s potential for further growth and experimentation. The Projectors have laid a solid foundation with this release, leaving us excited to witness their artistic evolution in the chapters yet to come.

“The Projectors’ LP captures all the things we love about indie rock, while still managing to capture their own authentic take on the genre.”

Discover more from The Projectors:

Discover more on RCM

Words Jenna Rodway