Slack Times – Carried Away (Q&A)

Slack Times is a Birmingham-based jangle pop band featuring Chris McCauley (guitar, vocals), Will Stewart (guitar, vocals), and Stuart Norman (guitar). They craft melodic, guitar-driven songs that draw from a range of shared influences including early Athens, Georgia pop.

This new release is a compilation of three EPs entitled “Carried Away” (includes 6 brand new songs plus the 8 songs included on their previous EPs released in 2021 “At The Blue Melon Rendezvous” and “Up Here”.

Chris McCauley talks about having three guitars on every track, vocal stylings, and a desire to tour Europe next year.

How did this record come together?

We were motivated to record songs once they were written and ready, so that meant we’d often end up in the studio with 3-4 songs instead of 10 or more. We embraced that approach and recorded three EPs in two years. After finishing the third EP, we thought combining all of the tracks on one 12” LP would be interesting. Thankfully, Meritorio Records liked the idea and agreed to release everything. We’re super grateful to Meritorio.

You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be?

I think the guitar interplay is really engaging—we have three guitars on all of the tracks and each one is offering something different. The acoustic (Chris) often drives the rhythm, while the two electric guitars (Will and Stu) interact and intersect in unexpected ways. A close listen with headphones reveals a lot of swirling moments. 

Suppose you were to introduce your music to new listeners through three songs. Which songs would those be and why?

Can’t Count on Anyone, I’m Trying, and A Blast. These tracks encapsulate our sound, ranging from jangly pop to more reflective, dreamy stuff. Also, these songs highlight the variations in our vocal stylings, which is also interesting. The chorus on Can’t Count on Anyone is the one time where you hear both vocal approaches collide. 

The record is done, the music is out.  Is the best fun done now or is it just beginning?

We aspire to tour Europe in Spring 2023 and hope to continue expanding our fan base (in Alabama and beyond). We are still a very new band, so we’re always seeking ways to share our tunes with more people. We’ve also written several new songs, so we may get the chance to release some new stuff next year. So, we’ve had fun so far, and we hope to continue that trend. 

Those magical moments when you’re working in the studio.  Which moment was the most magical?

I’d say one of my favorite moments was when our engineer, Bronson, added the tambourine to I’ m Trying. I’ve always appreciated auxiliary percussion, but I’ve never seen it elevate a song so quickly. It was pretty great to watch and witness.

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