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Hear This: Writer


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Writer is a musical group that’s pretty much un-Googleable, unless you happen to be in the market for memoir-writing retreats and fiction workshops. The band’s upcoming full-length album is just as full of compelling characters and stories as any bestselling novel.

“Almost every song has someone’s name in it,” says singer Andy Ralph. “It’s all nonfiction...and it really happened.”

It’s this oblique storytelling that keeps Writer’s debut album interesting, even if the production isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. (It sounds like it was recorded on the far end of a particularly cavernous aircraft hangar, placing the band squarely within the low-fi aesthetic that seems de rigueur in pop music lately.)

By day Ralph works not as a writer but as an artist, with exhibitions at MCASD and at the California Biennial to his credit. His bandmate and brother James, who holds down percussion duties, also runs a recording studio on the side. The new album is titled, fittingly, Brotherface. It’s not available yet, but a few tracks from the record also appear on a 7-inch that comes out this month on local label Loud + Clear Rec­ords. Fans can pick up a copy on March 10, when Writer plays the Casbah. After that, they take off for Austin, Texas and the annual South by Southwest music conference.

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