A debut offering from the likes of Chicago quartet Deeper is the product of patience — a labor of love years in the making, and it shows. Their S/T LP exhibits an ongoing conversation between band members, the push-and-pull of compromise amid an onslaught of creative juices. They released the single “Transmogrified” about two years ago via Fire Talk, introducing themselves, and offering a taste of what was to come. Since then, a lineup was finalized, and eight more tracks were written and cut, producing a beautiful meditation of life and longing in Midwestern America. The four members came to meet as a result of the tightly-knit Chicago music scene, people knowing people, and connecting through a rich sense of art and community and the need for cathartic release. Each track of the LP may as well be its very own album, the whole composition ebbing and flowing in its exploration of every nook and cranny of the human condition. Singer Nic Gohl’s distressed voice permeates the sheen of his and and Mike Glawson’s guitars intricately riffing off and through each other, never colliding, but weaving a tapestry of pained desire and urgent redemption. Drew McBride and Shiraz Bhatti provide a liquid rhythmic foundation from which their soundscapes take off and so effectively pierce the heart’s capacity for empathy. One need only hear their four singles (streaming below, coupled with a gracious Q + A) to recognize, immediately, the all-encompassing spectrum of their songwriting, rotating, like emotional motor pistons between rapid-moving anxieties and slowed-downers.
DEEPER is out May 25 (yo that’s Friday) on Fire Talk.
You released “Transmogrified” as a single about two years ago, now here comes the rest of the LP. How does it feel?
It feels really good, it’s cathartic to finally have this LP out into the world. Getting “Transmogrified” out 2 years ago was important for us to let everyone know what we sound like while we worked on the rest of the record.
Where did y’all meet? How did Deeper form?
Deeper has been cobbled together mostly through the Chicago DIY scene; we all hung out at shows together before forming the band. Nic and Mike are really close – they grew up in the same hometown together. They really know each other’s playing style, which I think you can hear on the record through how complementary their guitar lines are. Drew used to play guitar in Landmarks and when that project ended, we were eager to bring him in on bass. We became friends with Shiraz through our buddies in Ne-Hi and when we needed a drummer, he was the first person that came to mind.
How was the rest of your writing and recording process?
We record everything with our good friend (and Drew’s roommate) Dave Vettraino. He’s recorded other Chicago favorites like Melkbelly, Ne-Hi, Earring, Lala Lala, Makaya McCraven, and tons more.
The process was slow though, we were learning to play with each other as we recorded, which is why I think so many of the songs sound so different. The album is comprised of probably 5 different recording sessions over the course of a year or so. We get really excited about new ideas and want to get them recorded quickly, but then we’re very meticulous about refining the songs from there. I think that contributes to how different the mood can be from song to song.
To follow up on that, songs kind of oscillate between fast-paced punk jams and slowed down bangers. Is there a general consensus or preference in writing them? Does a tempo or a rhythm come easily with an idea?
It was really about when we recorded them. You hear some faster songs when we were just in a mindset for writing that material and same for the slower tunes. We rehearse all the time and just sort of pursue what is interesting each day. I think the bones of a song come easily, but then it takes lots of refinement to figure out where we want everything. We are notorious for over-thinking ideas, so while it comes easy at first, we usually make it harder than it has to be.
The concept of being in a touring band is somewhat new to me, with life and other responsibilities always getting in the way of the way of the creative process/doing what I’m meant to do. Do you/have you experienced similar dilemmas?
It’s fun, but touring is something we’re constantly juggling and certainly doesn’t come easy. When it comes to other responsibilities getting in the way of the creative process, I think it’s better to look at it this way: Some people have excuses why they don’t have time to do whatever they’re passionate about, but I think to an extent being a creative means the inverse – the art has to become the excuse to miss out on other things. Especially when it comes to coordinating 4 different schedules there are a lot of obstacles and reasons to push off writing/practicing. We all make it work because we love it and the other things we miss out on sort of speaks to how much we care about this.