Couch Prints, recently released a new video for their current single “Faces.” The New York city band, has also announce f their official signing to Luminelle Recordings (Helena Deland, Lisel). “Faces” follows the previously released tracks “Tell U” and “Of Drawing.”
Brandon Tong on “Faces:”
“The first few years after high school were filled with this sort of warped vision of what a relationship was. I’d been on and off with this person for so many years, and though it was clear it wasn’t working, we kept up this cycle because we had both normalized the hurt we were putting on each other. Faces is about that sort of breaking point you go through, where you accept that you’re going to do it all over and send that ‘u up?’ text or whatever it is. We recorded it with Jayanna, but the production we did was like really cheesy 80’s synth-pop, so we shelved it.”
Jake Truax continues, “Ya and probably a year later, I gave the stems of the song to my friend, a sound-designer named Nate Rennick, to mess around with. We had been inspired a lot more by ambient and experimental music and we knew he’d be able to create some really interesting textured drones and basses. When he sent it back to us we were all floored. It was just incredible and so moving in the way he’d re-contextualized it. It was a huge turning point for us, as we were uncertain of the sonic direction we wanted to go after Tell U and Of Drawing, but after hearing that song we knew exactly the type of music we wanted to make.”
Some groups, like certain friendships, come together as if by fate. Jake Truax (guitar) and Brandon Tong (keys) first met in gym class in the seventh grade of their Denver, Colorado junior high school, and immediately became friends. To pass the hours outside of school, the two spent their time skating and listening to music, their days soundtracked by groups like Frou Frou, The Sounds, and Shiny Toy Guns. As they grew up, they began to experiment making music, though never collaborating together. The two stayed close despite going to different colleges, and when Jake moved to Paris for his undergraduate, Brandon came to visit with the idea of recording some songs as a group. Inspired by many of the acts they had grown up listening to as middle schoolers, the result was a unique amalgam of synthpop, 90s dance music, and indie rock.
Jake first heard Jayanna Roberts (vocals) playing a ukulele and singing in the courtyard of his Paris college, months after Brandon had returned to Denver. The two quickly became friends and collaborators, writing songs together for french class. Jayanna returned to New York the following semester, around the time Brandon moved to Brooklyn permanently. When Jake visited the city to record with him, he suggested they call Jayannna. The trio booked a rehearsal space at a now-demolished warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and got to work. Jayanna’s energy and unique vocal tone meshed perfectly with their songs, and they left the second day with a recorded demo of the first official Couch Prints song, “Tell U.”
An immersive synthpop exploration, “Tell U” is the sound of a new group somehow already fully-formed. The song is a remarkable combination of the transient wistfulness of being young, the longing for the past and also a desire for new things to come. After finishing the demo, the group worked with Billy Pavone at his studio in Brooklyn on additional production and mixing, and with Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound to finish the master. (LaPorta would go on to master the rest of the group’s debut EP as well.)
“Faces” was a song, that came from an experience Brandon had going back to a harmful relationship, capturing the contradiction of hating to love someone and surrendering to a relationship you know to be destructive. The resulting track is mournful but triumphant, Jayanna’s vocals conveying a sense of regret and hope at the same time. Mixed by Jake Aron (who also mixed “Lost Me” and “Moto X”), it’s one of the strongest and most affecting songs on the EP.
“Faces was an old song Brandon originally wrote,” says Jake. “He hated it, but I saw something there. I gave it to my roommate Nate Rennick, who then took it and remixed it, completely changing the direction of the song. It was a breakthrough. We were like, ‘Now we’re done with everything that has come before.’”