In 2005, the First Communion Afterparty (FCAP) came to light in the great city of Minneapolis. It seemed to start as an idea, before it was actually a band. I kept tabs on them, and eventually the band emerged on the scene. Seeing some of their first shows, and as they were learning and finding their way, I knew they weren’t quite fully there yet. But it was something about the sound, the passion and what they were after that really pulled me in. The vocals of Carin and the direction of Liam, and the mood, the feel they were capturing. It was something that really stuck with me. It was just magic in a sense. Watching it all unfold in front of my eyes and through my ears.
In 2008, they released their debut album, ‘Sorry for All the Mondays and To Those That Can’t Sing’ on MPLS LTD label. They also released a live album that year, called, ‘Ever Last Sting Live’. (MPLS LTD) 2010 saw the release of an EP, ‘Skyline Starlight’ also on theMPLS LTD label. They played tons of shows, including trips to SXSW from 2007 to 2010. Then after about 5 years, the band took a bit of a hiatus. And here we are in 2013, and FCAP have returned.
Today’s lineup consists of seven members, of which only some of the original members remain. Carin Barno-Iverson, Liam Watkins, Marie Debris, Nic Grafstrom, Joe Werner, Aaron James and Jeanne Oss now make up the lineup. A lineup that has seen about 20 different members. Founding members, Sarah Rose and Mara DesLauriers, who are no longer in the band, have since gone on to other projects. Sarah and Mara formed the bandIs/Is. And Mara has since left Is/Is and is now in Portland with a new band, Dandelyons. Some of the current members are busy as well. With Marie in the Magic Castles. Carin is in the Fire in the Northern Firs. Joe and Liam are in Driftwood Pyre. But now, FCAP is back, and are coming at you with a brand new album. An album, that is by far their strongest effort. I heard some of these songs years ago in demo form, and I am so very happy this is finally getting a proper release on the Picture in my Ear label. All those years ago, I could hear the potential of this band, and hearing this album, just confirms my intuition was correct. They really seemed to have reached the full sound that I had imagined then.
Coming at you with eleven songs, Earth Heat Sound, lands November 2013. Starting off with ‘Awakenings’, a soundscape that builds and sets a mood that primes the pump, and then thrusts into ‘Jesus Told You’, one of the first songs released for the album. It’s full on with textures, layers and colors spraying the aura of your mind. One of my favorites on the album, ‘Sleep Away’, takes off like a train leaving the station. With it’s soaring bluesy guitar, it’s one that will pull you right into the hollow body, and have you resonating. The back and forth between the vocals and the guitar will send you into a haze. ‘Field of Flowers’ is another favorite track on the album, which has some really amazing percussion in it. That percussion, mixed with the swirling layers of guitar, makes it easy to find yourself lost in a trance in no time. It flows right into ‘Spring Rite’, and really, you have no idea there is more than one song here. Building, layers upon layers, moment after moment, until the climax blows the top off. The two songs really build off one another, and make for an amazing live jam possibility. ‘Skinwalker’ has some more very beautiful and haunting hollow body guitar work, and will have you closing your eyes and drifting away in daydreams. Right on it’s heels, is another favorite track, ‘Featherhead’. This one will throw it’s hooks deep down and pull you up. Carin’s vocals here are just angelic, and have you floating to the heavens. Enough to make the angels weep. Closing out the album, is the epic 15 minute jam, 21a. It’ll pass you by before you even know it. Dim the lights, turn it on and let it take you to the farthest reaches of your imagination.
First Communion Afterparty have been through many changes over the years. Hard to think this album almost didn’t see the light of day. Let’s hope that this isn’t the last we see of this incredible band. But time will tell. In the meantime, grab a copy of this and tell your friends. They’ll be glad you did. -njb
Buy the album here: