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Cold Fronts' "Staying In" Is an Ode to Sitting Down with a Takeaway

This perfectly formed nugget of slacker rock is taken from the Philadelphia band's second album, out on (you guessed it) 4/20.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
Image via PR

There’s a lot to be said for goofing off. OK sure, we all have grand plans: read 50 books in a year! Learn a language! Shower before 3PM! And they’re admirable, really they are. Our collective desire to achieve more is one of the things that makes us fundamentally human. But you know what else makes us fundamentally human? Our collective love of sitting the fuck down and eating food that will dramatically shorten our life-spans. Like, we’re the species that invented Netflix – ambitions we may have, but they can wait when there’s new Always Sunny, and pizzas to swallow whole in that disgusting, jaw-unhinging way that snakes eat mice, amirite?


Maybe I’m just particularly lazy, but I think my innate and frankly impressive ability to drag my feet helps me particularly enjoy music that speaks to a proclivity for not really doing much at all. Most of my favourite bands and artists deal in high-stakes stuff – life, love, and what-have-you – but as a true scumbag slacker at heart, sometimes all that can sate me is a song about the time-honoured tradition of ordering in a curry and getting high as all shit, which I heartily consume with abandon in my heart and ketchup down my shirt.

That’s where Cold Fronts from Philadelphia – and in particular their single “Staying In,” premiering here – come in. Guitar music in particular has a long tradition of slacking – a whole, loosely defined subgenre has the name, after all. Punk had the Descendents and their coffee mugs; indie currently has a king of the stay-home-and-light-up crew in Mac DeMarco. And so Cold Fronts channel a combination of those much-loved malingerers and more, on “Stayin’ In,” which is a fuzzy ode to hanging loose. The band are due to release their second album Fantasy du Jour on slacker Christmas (4/20 i.e: 20 April for those of us who don't put the month first) to really hammer the point home.

When I tell guitarist and vocalist Craig Almquist about the way that the track’s low-stakes appealed to me, he says: “I felt so refreshed when I wrote this song because it was so simple and it had nothing to do with being sad or being in love or feeling like the world is gonna end. It was just nice to sing about something else for a change. It’s one of our more knucklehead songs.”

Knucklehead, perhaps, but don’t we all contain multitudes? That’s the sense I get from Fantasy du Jour is that it can exist on several planes. In a sense it's a lo-fi, but ambitious and multi genre-referencing work (Craig name-checks bands like The Modern Lovers, Frankie Cosmos, the Buzzcocks, Broadcast, and Melody’s Echo Chamber) that alternately goes big and small: “I wanted there to be more intimate moments so we included some demos that I made last minute that would probably never have seen the light of day otherwise,” he says of Fantasy du Jour’s quieter moments.

I also wondered about that title: for an album that seems in some ways to revel in mundanity, it’s certainly a bit of a grandiose name. “It’s definitely a little tongue-in-cheek, and also rooted in a little bit of reality,” Craig tells me. “Writing for me has always been a bit of an escape and I try to do it regular basis, but I think sometimes you can get a little lost in your own head. I was writing a lot of songs about someone who I hadn’t seen or talked to in years. That person that’s always kind of floating around in the back of your mind. I think romance might be the fantasy of the day.”

And maybe that’s true, but tracks like “Staying In” keep one foot in the gross, glorious everyday at all times. That’s a good thing.

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