Locals: Indie-punk trio Pretty Pretty navigates diverse conditions on Leather Weather

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Leather Weather, the new seven-inch from scrappy indie-punk trio Pretty Pretty, opens amid ideal conditions — “Well the sun is shining through the blinds,” sighs singer/bassist Larry TV, born Hillary Jones — and closes in a deluge with the stormy “Feels Like Rain.”

“Hate to complain,” snarls singer/guitarist Evan Wolff atop jerky, fuzzed-out riffs, bobbing bass and propulsive drums courtesy of Jon Washington. “It always feels like rain.”

These ever-shifting conditions could be attributed at least in part to the lengthy recording process, which started in earnest in July 2013 and continued off-and-on for nearly a year on “various days throughout the summer, autumn and winter,” as noted on the group’s Bandcamp site.

“I feel like that could play into it a little bit,” said Wolff, 25, who joins his bandmates for a release show at Spacebar on Thursday, Oct. 2. “Even for myself, there are songs I really like hearing when it's fall or winter. There's always a sound for the season.”

Throughout, the crew sings of mounting pressures (“The weight of the world rests heavy on your spine,” TV and Wolff harmonize on “Can’t Think About It”) and relationships falling spectacularly to pieces (“You left me there for dead,” TV sings amid the tumbling, raucous “You Say”). The music itself never feels stagnant or weighted down, however, and the three musicians bound through the four tracks with the energy and agility of a flyweight boxer dancing around his or her opponent.

The bandmates first connected in 2012 shortly after Wolff relocated to Columbus from his Cincinnati home, bonding over groups like the Go-Go’s, the Marked Men and Future Virgins. Wolff, who also plays bass in Cincy-based Vacation, adopted more of a songwriting role in Pretty Pretty, splitting duties with TV, whom he credits with a knack for crafting immediate, unshakeable melodies.

“I just think she can write great hooks,” he said. “I envy people who can do that, because I can’t. Any time she shows me a song I get it stuck in my head.”

Wolff also enjoys exploring the male-female dynamic in both the vocals (there’s a definite sour-sweet approach to the pair’s harmonies) and in the subject matter, with the band adopting multiple viewpoints over the course of the recording.

“That's always been a dream band situation for me. You get both sides (male and female), which is something I've always wanted to have with a band,” he said. “I never wanted to just be all guys playing. I wanted the songs to be relatable [to everyone].”

Photo by Jodi Miller

Spacebar

9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2

2590 N. High St., Campus

spacebarcolumbus.com

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