Algiers in Studio A (photo by Nora Doyle/WFUV)
In 2020, you might be hard pressed to name more than a handful of active, engaged, thoughtful rock bands. Algiers is one of them and they’re worthy of attention for their rich, multifarious sound as much as their being animated by political theory.
The quartet is truly nomadic: they’ve got roots in Atlanta, frontman Frank Fisher lives here in New York, and they formed in London. They are seekers — musically, culturally, and philosophically — who draw upon all the rich traditions available to them as citizens of the world. There Is No Year is the name of their recently released third album and it draws specifically on New York, as it was recorded in Brooklyn.
Performing the song "Dispossession" in Studio A, the charismatic Fisher created synth loops on the fly while singing and playing piano. On both "Dispossession" and "Void," guitarist Lee Tesche coaxed a symphony of sounds out of his guitar (with and without a slide), while using his body to precisely modulate feedback from his amp. The two bandmates also spoke with me about the new album’s inspiration and recording, in between the pair of incendiary performances.
[Recorded: 1/24/20; Engineer: Jim O'Hara; Producer: Sarah Wardrop]