Fleece w/ guests

Fleece w/ guests

Monday, October 31 2022

“If two men just ain’t right, then I’m living in a world that’s upside down,” Matt Rogers, lead vocalist and
songwriter of Montreal-based LGBTQ indie-rock band Fleece, croons on “Upside Down”, a song on their
gorgeous new LP, Stunning and Atrocious. On this album, the band isn’t holding back on sharing their
roadmap for how they see the world.


In fact, Fleece has never paused, even for a moment, to define themselves or add labels to their
experience, instead opting to open up and be. This band is au naturel and it shows, right from their
earliest days and rise to notoriety through their rice cake-munching “How to write an Alt-J song” viral
video (which amassed 12 million views). Since that video, that notoriety has only amplified. Subsequent
releases and antics have added fuel to this fire and grown large and dedicated followings on Spotify,
Instagram and TikTok, resulting in worldwide audiences and millions of monthly streams. The band’s
recent singles “Upside down”, “Do U Mind? (Leave The Light On)”, and “Love Song for the Haters” have
each leapt past the 2-million stream mark. Along the way the band found themselves on tour across
North America multiple times, supporting renowned bands Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians, Mt. Joy,
and others as their demand as a headliner grew in these same markets.


While having been focused on the songwriting of lead vocalist Matt Rogers and the relentless energy of
drummer and co-founder Ethan Soil, Fleece has always been about being a band. Fleece’s previous
music had drawn from musicians no longer in the project, but it was the emergence of Megan
Ennenberg (guitar/vocals) and Jameson Daniel (guitar) as members that completed the line up and
contributed to the cohesive whole, the final resting place, the rebirth of Fleece.


And it is from this new Fleece where their newest emerging musical work, the album Stunning and
Atrocious, came to fruition. Said Matt, "I think we're finally Fleece. In the past, the process was more
about bringing my own compositions to the band, but this album is a complete coming together of all of
our brains. We played whatever we came up with, stream of consciousness style, and then restructured
the songs until they felt right. It was a bit daunting to give up control at first, but the product and process
of collaborating made Fleece more exciting for all of us. I definitely grew from it too. Song two (“Like It A
Lot”) is about exactly this - letting the power go and feeling good."


Written from the late parts of 2018 until 2020, the album was a first for Fleece in that it was created with
a collective focus in mind: songwriting with a strong emphasis on contributions from all four band
members. While on tour, the band would write and demo songs, creating oodles of voice-memo-type
song skeletons everywhere they went, from rural Texas to the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec to a
highway-side rehearsal room in Montreal. The song ideas came together naturally and the singers
began weaving in lyrics about the complexities of vulnerability, sexuality, love, depression and anxiety,
joy and silliness, honesty, and power. And then, of course, the lens of a pandemic magnified the
stunning and atrocious parts of all of these tropes, and they wove in that new intensified insight as well.


Throughout this process the band found themselves with an abundance of ideas, a wealth of songs,
ultimately collecting three albums worth of content and slowly finding which songs stuck, which would
make the cut. And with so much time spent together on the creation and selection of content, it only
made sense to self-produce the album. To this end, the band hired friends to help engineer, rented
studios, and waltzed into the tracking process, comfortable and willing to capture the vibes and sound
that they’d been nurturing. “Most of the album is self-produced so we really got to tinkering with sounds
in post-production together. I’d say overall this album process made my friendship with Megan, Ethan,
and Jameson even stronger. I just love them so much,” says Matt.


If nothing else, the pandemic gave us all time. In Fleece’s case, that meant time to play, record, breathe,
reflect, record more, post-produce, mix, and finally master. And so it was that the album was born. From
its infancy on the road to the adolescent struggles of defining its boundaries and makeup and to the
shiny bright eyed young adult collection of songs proudly and outrageously presented now.


Finally: Stunning and Atrocious – the why it was called that. Matt says, “In 2018 when we were on tour
with the band I'd use those words to describe literally everything. When we were in the studio and
coming up with an album name, Jameson and Megan suggested Stunning and Atrocious as a joke, and
then we all realized it actually really spoke to the record. Half of it is more beautiful and ethereal, half is
straight up rock ‘n’ roll. Also, while writing it, the world around us was the definition of stunning and
atrocious. Megan is singing lead on a couple songs on this record, so obviously she is the stunning, and
I’m the atrocious (haha). Can’t wait to hear the other parallels that our dear sweet fans will draw.”


If you’ve seen the videos, followed the band on any social media platform, and listened to previous
lyrics, you’ll of course be aware that the band doesn’t run a straight line. It bends, turns, flips, bops,
boops, and, in general, encourages others to live whatever life they choose in any way, as the band
themselves do. These songs are about feelings and emotions shared between people that aren’t to be
contained by previously limiting rules. These songs exist in a world where everyone is free to be and
love as they wish, a world where people are able to define themselves in any way they choose. And that
is the Fleece way

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