The sound of the Oakland, California rock outfit Trails and Ways is described as “a fascinating mix of the melancholy of bossa nova, the fearlessness of basement indie rock, driving grooves from the end of disco, and the slick shine of radio pop.” Such eclecticism is on full display with “Say You Will”, a cut from the group’s new album Pathology. While indie rock in the present day is known for its disaffected, somewhat ironic and detached tone, “Say You Will” is a refreshingly funky jam that melds danceable grooves to ethereal vocal harmonies. The accents of Nile Rodgers-esque guitar tone are just the icing on top of the cake.
Bassist Emma Oppen explains to PopMatters what went into the tune, “Two years ago I met someone very special, and had the experience of falling in love in a matter of hours. In my delirium, I imagined making an ultimatum: Say you will, or don’t say anything at all.
“A few months later, I wrote the bassline in the back of the van on our first summer tour, and made the first demo recording of the vocal melody against the droning fan of a venue bathroom. Silky four-part harmonies open into a dance between syncopated bass, plucky synths, and an insistent, grounding beat. A biting rhythm guitar kicks in at the chorus for a sassy groove you can choose to love forever, or wherever you are in the moment.”
Pathology is out on 2 June via Barsuk (iTunes pre-order).
Upcoming tour dates for Trails and Ways:
6/5—San Francisco, CA—The Independent
6/6—Los Angeles, CA—The Bootleg HiFi
6/7—Phoenix, AZ—Valley Bar
6/9—Austin, TX—Red 7
6/10—Dallas, TX—Club Dada
6/13—Chapel Hill, NC—Local 506
6/16—Philadelphia, PA—Kung Fu Necktie
6/18—New York, NY—Mercury Lounge
6/19—Boston, MA—Red Room @ Café 939
6/22—Cleveland, OH—Beachland Tavern
6/24—St. Paul, MN—Turf Club
6/26—Denver, CO—Larimer Lounge
6/27—Salt Lake City, UT—Kilby Court