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On their new EP, If Nothing Happens, Alabama indie-pop-rockers Carver Commodore ask themselves the question all artists must confront at some point in their careers: if we never “make it,” if nothing happens, is this all still worth it? Formed in 2017, Carver Commodore was a new start for founding members Payton Pruitt and Phillip Blevins after their college band parted ways. They were determined to make music and make it work for them, and since the band’s formation, they have added three permanent members: Noah Freeman, Clayton Christopher, and David Smith Jr., and released two full-length albums with a smattering of EPs and singles in between. These releases all fall at unique places on the spectrum of indie rock, and after taking the maximalist approach, the band decided to dial things back for their new EP. Pruitt says, “I wanted to write these songs with a much more laid back and stripped down approach. Not in a boring or acoustic way, but in a way that doesn’t sound like we’ve got 53 tracks in the final recording and can’t really reproduce the exact sound live.” The result is a shimmery, wistful, yet still dynamic take on the aesthetic-heavy music of the modern indie pop world, strengthened even more by the substance of Pruitt’s songwriting. David Smith describes the recording of this EP as “therapeutic”—an opportunity to ignore perfectionism and embrace a more simplistic, clean, and light sound.
Five years as a band has taken Carver Commodore on a rollercoaster of incredible highs and difficult lows—not to mention the accompaniment of personal changes as the members have grown older and begun to embrace the idea of building their families. Inevitably, these challenges have brought up questions and doubts about the realism of pursuing music as a career. If Nothing Happens is the band giving voice to these doubts, eventually conquering them. “This EP features the most autobiographical lyrics of any of our projects so far. Every song is about me, the band, or our collective feelings over the past couple of years,” explains Pruitt. “We’re at the point in our career where we’re determined to choose quality over quantity.” In a world dominated by metrics, the quantitative approach can be a difficult one to take. It can be hard to measure and can often feel less fruitful than the decision to pursue numbers above anything else. Carver Commodore’s decision, however, is what they hope will ultimately set them apart as consistent leaders in indie music. Intentionality is the pursuit. However it manifests—in songwriting, recording, or touring—Carver Commodore is on a mission to continue claiming their spot in independent music history. If Nothing Happens is a snapshot of a band who is not 100% sure where they are going, but they are going, no matter what.
ADDIE is the project of Boston-based singer-songwriter Adeline Vamenta, crafting anthemic indie-rock hits that speak to youth and the queer experience.