When it comes to the waiting game, the members of Avers are pros.
The local psych-garage rock collective has been eager to share its long-anticipated follow-up to “Empty Light” since finishing mixing in early 2015. On July 29, the long wait finally will be over. Its sophomore effort, “Omega, Whatever,” sees the light of day through local EggHunt Records.
With Montrose Recording studio remaining home base, the band of Adrian Olsen (guitar and vocals), Alexandra Spalding (bass and vocals), James Mason (guitar and vocals), James Lloyd Hodges (guitar and vocals), Charlie Glenn (multi-instrumentalist) and Grant Bauley (drums) soon will see what the release of new material will mean for its future.
“We began demoing this record whenever we had free time with [former drummer] Tyler [Williams] from the start of 2014 up until February or March of 2015,” Spalding says, noting that they recorded between his tours with the Head and the Heart.
At one point, it became apparent that Williams’ commitment to that band and managing Richmond’s Lucy Dacus could prevent him from being a part of Avers. With near perfect timing, Bauley moved back to Richmond and the band had a replacement.
Lyrically, “Omega, Whatever” reflects modern struggles. The record touches on divorce, political pundits, technological addiction and figuring out your place in the world as you grow older. The song “Everything Hz,” which was premiered through the Consequence of Sound blog, touches on that last theme directly.
“There comes a point where you start to think about how you aren’t in your early 20s any longer and you start to notice the magic of youth begins to vanish,” Spalding says. “Everyone will deal with that differently, but it can be a stark reality.”
Hodges says it’s difficult to grab people’s attention these days for most bands. “It’s sensory overload as far as new music,” he notes, “either from bands that you already know, or new music to discover.”
As far as how the band perceives success, it wants to be realistic about goals. “Our plan is to continue recording and writing music together,” Hodges says, “and hopefully we can continue to find people to help us release that music to our fans.”
One of the bigger challenges the band faced with bringing “Omega, Whatever” was finding the right label. After a few meetings, the band felt confident with the local home.
The owner, Adam Henceroth, “saw something in how Avers operated and didn’t want to muck with it,” Olsen says. “With other labels, they weren’t sure what to do with us due to the fact that we didn’t have a clear front person of the band. With Egghunt, they just wanted us to do what we had been doing and they were going to do everything they could to get the new record heard by as many people as possible.”
The new record also has plenty of happy accidents. The ambient folk tune “Insects,” for example, was spontaneous for Hodges.
“I was at my recording studio, Overcoast, at 6:30 in the morning messing around with an acoustic guitar and came up with that idea,” he says. “We ended up recording it that afternoon. It went from not existing at all to the song being done in less than 24 hours.”
There are moments on “Omega, Whatever” that are informed by a singular idea. For Olsen, the three songs that he sings surround themselves with thoughts of a marriage falling apart and the emotional toll it takes on everyone involved.
In many ways, the title track is the craziest extrapolation of the Avers writing to date.
“I had this idea that [the album] would change throughout,” Olsen recalls. “I felt like it could start with this minute-and-a-half dirge-y organ part and build towards all of us just making noise during the middle part. I didn’t have a clue as to how it would end, but it turned out to be really cool.”
Even with a new record on the way, Avers has continued to work on new material with its new drummer since March.
“We are always fighting the balance between learning how to play these songs live and continuing to write as much as we can,” Hodges says. S
Avers celebrates the release of “Omega, Whatever” with a performance at the Broadberry on Friday, July 29, with Blank Range and Camp Howard.