Season 3 Episode 2 // ATTA BOY
Listen to the podcast interview with Freddy and Lewis from ATTA BOY:
Atta Boy are a bit of an anomaly. Everything they do goes against the rules of the data-driven, social media age we live in. They don't post constantly on social platforms, they don't tour, they don't release a new song every six weeks. In fact, they didn't even promote their first album when it came out in 2012. Basically, they put out Out Of Sorts on Spotify, disappeared, and didn't release new music for about 8 years.
Yet, they have a loyal fan base that has grown over the years. Major media outlets like The Fader and American Songwriter have praised them. It seems they cracked the system. What’s the hack? There are a lot of indie bands who would love to know their secret.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the trick is quite simple. Make great music! This is what Atta Boy did, and it was sufficient to grow organically. Nevertheless, they also had some luck in the process. Jenny Slate, the actress (remember Marcel The Shell With Shoes On?) put some Atta Boy on her playlist and shared it with her community. One influencer exposed Atta Boy's music to her fans, and then the ball started rolling.
Another trick from Atta Boy is the fact that they’re honest and smart. They approach music in a way that serves the songs. Their songs aren't overproduced, they record mostly live without a click, and they carefully arrange them around Eden's voice and lyrics. Atta Boy's stripped-down approach leaves room for our emotions to collide with the stories they tell. The last single Deep Sea Ladder is an example of a beautiful build up.
I’m not going to lie, my first thought when I listened to Crab Park, their newest record, was that it was a very inoffensive yet cozy world of teen romance and friendship. It felt like watching Riverdale. But soon enough, the polish began to crackle. There is something darker lurking beneath the surface of the album. The song Alex, which addresses a very difficult subject, might be the climax of this musical and confessional journey. Because drugs were involved, the narrator does not remember the details of what happened on a dreadful night when she was 19. Although it appears she might actually know exactly what happened deep inside of her, the song perfectly captures the confusion, guilt, fear, disgust, and self-doubt that someone in that position might feel, among other emotions.
“Alex, I took the train 3/4 awake
While gathering pieces of whether or not
I took my own clothes off last night”
“And I wish that I could remember if I had a say
While my body was moving, my mind was hiding away”
- Alex, Atta Boy
Freddy (Guitar) told me that “Every album is an exact snapshot of what we're thinking and feeling when it's coming out.” Crab Park is an album that not only captures that but also the spirit of the times. Although it's not exactly a straightforward political record, social issues are definitely present. And if you thought, like I did, that Atta Boy was just a cute little band, you’re wrong. Atta Boy is not disconnected from the world.
“During 2020, when our singles were coming out, the world was shutting down. A lot of people were struggling to make money, a lot of people were struggling to feed their children. And after the murder of George Floyd, we felt kind of in a weird place, putting out music, like asking for attention and taking away from things that seem that they could change the world for a better place.”
- Freddy (Guitar).
Atta Boy wanted to use their voice to help people in need and they decided to give their Bandcamp profits to different charities and activist movements like No Kid Hungry, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Know Your Rights Camp, ACLU, and Movement for Black Lives.
- Vincent Walter Jacob
ATTA BOY THIRD STUDIO ALBUM “CRAB PARK” DUE OUT OCTOBER 21:
SINGLE & VIDEO "DEEP SEA LADDER":
ATTA BOYS FAMILY PLAYLIST:
During our interview with Atta Boy, Lewis and Freddy mentioned some of the side projects the band members are close to/involved with. Here's a playlist to dive in that universe and expand your Atta Boy experience.
ATTA BOY by Sarah Midkiff