The music of The Rupert Selection often takes the listener on an expansive sonic journey. But for the Boston alt-rock and psych-grunge band, who unleash new album Crumbs for the Sun on Tuesday, November 14, the writing and recording of the record took the trio on an extensive journey of its own.
The culmination of more than two years of creativity, Crumbs for the Sun displays The Rupert Selection as the band it was always meant to be, fueled by a locked-in lineup of founder Reilly Somach (vocals and guitar), Sam Bouvé (bass and additional vocals), and Peter W. Bartash (drums). Across its seven tracks, buoyed by an overarching lyrical theme of how unforgiving and fleeting life is, the band’s penchant for brash melodicism, seismic power riffs, and cruising-altitude rock and roll help concoct their dynamic sound and translate it from the stage to the record. The band celebrates the album with a release party on November 24 at The Cabot Theatre’s Off Cabot venue in Beverly.
A string of four singles dating back to last fall, all of which appear on the album, helped the band earn a nomination of Rock Artist of the Year in the 2023 Boston Music Awards. Those singles (“Astronauts,” “Then Again,” “I Saw God,” and “Taking Turns”) are paired with three new songs – “Come Along,” “What You Said,” and album closer “Unbroken” – to round out Crumbs for the Sun, an apt title for a record where the pieces come together to create something uniformly impactful.
“The title has been kicking around for years and we all agreed it just felt right for this one early on,” says Somach. “Since this album was recorded at different places and at different times, it now feels like a collection of snapshots that, when together, tell the story of the last two years. Scattered crumbs that build to something bigger.”
Writing for the album began under a pandemic haze in the spring of 2021, and with studio time earned from a finals appearance at the 2019 Rock & Roll Rumble, Boston’s vaunted World Series of Boston rock, they linked up with Kyle Paradis at New Alliance Audio in Somerville and then Brighton’s Zippah Studios with producer and mixer Brian Charles.
A fire at Zippah Studios in late 2021 did not deter Charles from continuing work with the band, leading to recording sessions around the Boston area, including Allston’s Mad Oak Studios and Q Division in Cambridge, before putting the finishing touches at Charles’ newly-minted digs, Cambridge’s Rare Signals. It was an unexpected journey, but one that helped the band create the record they wanted to make, especially with Bouvé and Bartash, who both joined after the writing and recording of 2019 album Priors, solidifying their lineup and sound.
“This album was a difficult birth and we can’t thank Brian Charles enough for guiding us through and being such an incredible producer, engineer and friend,” Somach says. “Despite the tribulations, we had the best time making it. This record really feels like a rebirth and beginning of a new era even though it’s been over four years of us being in a band, playing shows and writing together. Having this record finally come out just makes it feel more ‘official’ or something. These songs reflect us growing together and where we’ve been creatively for the last few years and where we’re going.”
Charles was especially instrumental in helping The Rupert Selection crystallize its vision of modern-day alternative rock, channeling the ghosts of ‘90s guitar-rock luminaries but keeping the sweat and vigor of each track entrenched in modern touches of forward-motion and propulsion. There’s rarely any down time across its 32-minute run time; instead what unfolds is a cohesive passage through the band’s kaleidoscopic sense of creativity.
“It’s really easy especially for me to get carried away in the studio and wanting to add tons of layers and effects to everything but with this one, there was a strong emphasis on restraint, not repeating ourselves and taking the less is more approach, keeping things sounding like how we sound in a room playing together and just let the songs speak for themselves,” Somach adds. “I think Brian really helped us achieve that.”
Though The Rupert Selection have a penchant for rocking out and riding an extended groove across its compositions, two of the songs on Crumbs for the Sun clock in at under three minutes (“I Saw God” and “Then Again”). But elsewhere, the trio stretches things out a bit, leaning into the colorful psychedelia that defines their sound, with new tracks like the yearning “Come Along” and crunching “Unbroken” blasting out past the seven-minute mark.
“Come Along,” in particular, finds The Rupert Selection at perhaps their most ambitious, a daydream racer that slowly builds from an ethereal atmospheric ballad to a swirling psych cruiser that rides higher than a skyscraper, complete with violin by Anika Thomas and cello by Matt McDonnell.
“‘Come Along’ definitely stands out to me,” Somach admits. “It’s been a dream of mine to have strings on a song and was pinching myself the whole time they were being recorded. With Brian’s production and the fact that that particular song started at Zippah and was part of one of the final sessions there, it holds a really special place. I’m also really proud of ‘Astronauts’ just because of how easy and natural it was to write and record.”
In fact, “Come Along” could be a defining song from the record, as it was one of the first songs the band wrote and started recording but also the last to finish. Among the other new tracks, the punchy “What You Said” was written together during recording sessions and added to the album mix, and “Unbroken” is a Rupert Selection live staple that was finally brought to the studio. “We were talking about wanting a heavier song on the album,” Somach admits, “and figured this was the time to finally record it and give it a home.”
That home is an important one, as The Rupert Selection have been slowly headed that way for two years now. And now that they’ve arrived at this place, noting all the stops along the way, they’re excited to settle in.
SOURCE: Official Bio