The March Divide
and Elle Carpenter
Saturday, February 4, 2017 ~ 7 pm
Acoustic Indie Rock
San Antonio-based songwriter, Jared Putnam, leader of the sometimes more, but usually one-man pop-rock band, The March Divide, returns to Fort Stockton!
The March Divide announced the upcoming (May 13) release of a new album, ‘Saturdays’ which follows-up two albums and three EP releases from Putnam in just a three-year period, and according to the Jared, ‘Saturdays’ is his most satisfying work to date.
“I think I finally made the record I wanted to make,” Putnam says of the follow-up to 2014’s Billions and its accompanying 2015 EP “+1.” “I didn’t set out to write an album so soon after the last, but I never really stopped writing.”
As it turns out, not intending to write an album was exactly how Saturdays became one. As Putnam was less-focused on writing a record and instead on writing individual songs, he was able to get out of his usual “album writing” comfort zone, and explore new ideas and techniques that he’d never attempted before.
“I wrote several songs that are between 90 seconds and two minutes long,” Putnam explains of the result that came from reading an article about how radio stations have begun to consider airing portions of songs to accommodate the short attention spans of their listeners. “I decided to use it as a personal challenge to write short songs, but without sacrificing the things that I think make a song good,” he says. Some of these tunes, including “Take Me Out,” “I Don’t Recall,” and “Over and Over” all made the cut.
Another challenge Putnam issued to himself was to bring less traditional forms of percussion to pop songs, not in an attempt to reinvent the wheel, but to make that wheel shinier than ever.
“I wanted to try and bring the songs to a whole new level of pop sonics,” Putnam says. “For Saturdays, I took it upon myself, even with my less than impressive percussion skills, to try and make it happen.”
Realizing that he was never able to exactly convey the sound in his head to the drummers he’d worked with, Putnam went about creating “drum tracks” for Saturdays that are actually composed of hand claps, finger snaps, and tambourine. The results can be heard on the songs “This Infatuation,” “Stacey,” and “Who Are You,” with actual drums throughout the rest of the record played by Putnam’s longtime friend, Austin Busbee.
It remains to be seen how Putnam’s growing fan base (the single “I Told You So” from 2014’s Billions has already surpassed a half-million streams) will react to the new material, but it’s a safe bet that Putnam’s hard work and lyrical honesty will continue to resonate, especially on “Exit Signs,” the first single and video from Saturdays, which Putnam jokes must be about his past, because “I can’t seem to stop writing about it.”
In keeping with the challenges he set forth for himself this time around, however, many of the lyrics on Saturdays are the result of Putnam’s willingness to let go of his own expectations by tailoring words to fit the songs, whatever the subject matter might be.
“While that might seem like an obvious approach, it’s not what I’ve done in the past,” he explains. “Some of these songs are purely fiction, which I’ve never been able to write before.”
With Putnam pulling new lyrics from his imagination, instead of exclusively from his real life, perhaps he’ll double up on that musical output? For the moment, Saturdays by The March Divide arrives on May 13th, 2016, distributed by Burnside. The album’s first single and video “Exit Signs” is streaming now.
Originally from Vermont, Elle Carpenter has been singing as long as she’s been walking. She spent significant childhood years touring around the country with four siblings and her mother, performing and doing workshops at folk festivals, schools and other events.
At age 6 she had her first music studio experience, singing back-up as one of the “Wee-bops” of Central Vermont. Soon afterwards she recorded another album with a folk group called the Fiddleheads. From age 10 to 16 Elle toured with world/folk music group Village Harmony, traveling around the USA, UK, Canada, Denmark and Germany.
In 2009 (after recording and releasing her first solo album “The Best”) she was flown to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to perform at the White Palace Convention Center for a month.
Elle has been touring the USA since 2010, having released two additional pop-rock albums: “With Open Hands” (November 2011) and “Simple Girl” (January 2014).
Elle’s fourth album, “Life Just Happens To You” was released on May 22, 2015. This album – an acoustic folk/rock/country compilation – was a true reflection of the diversity she has experienced in her life as a musician, and was Elle’s first step into the world of Americana.
Shortly afterwards, Elle signed with Travianna Records of Willis, VA. New album “Sincerely Yours” was released on November 11, 2016. Elle resides in Durango, CO when she’s not on the road and enjoys acting in movies and training aerial arts in her free time.
“Many people have told me there is a RIGHT way of doing things in the music business. Well I don’t believe that’s true. I write in as many genres as possible, not always intentionally but because I believe that only by using all our influences can we make sense of the world we live in. This applies to music and to progress. As a young child I was greatly affected by the arts and also encouraged to mix creativity with hard work and self-motivation. I use music as my form of expression in the hopes that I can touch other people and change their lives.”
-Elle Carpenter, November 10, 2011