Our featured band this month is Brattleboro, Vermont post punk band Thus Love.
Bound by circumstance, identity, and creative spirit, three multi-instrumentalists founded THUS LOVE in 2018 in Brattleboro, Vermont. But the shared experience of Echo Mars, Lu Racine, and Nathaniel van Osdol runs much deeper, tracing its roots to poor, rural towns where it was difficult to find communities to call their own. That feeling of loss and solitary longing has also, paradoxically, cemented their powerfully close connection in THUS LOVE.
“For us, THUS LOVE is much more than a band. We all came from small towns without many people like us, and it wasn’t until we arrived in Brattleboro and started playing music together that we found a community to truly call our own.”
Musically, THUS LOVE combines their love of post-punk with a loose, eclectic experimental streak that owes as much to van Osdol’s jazz collection as it does to Mars’ classical training as a cellist. The band is unafraid to tackle weighty themes with startling intimacy and vulnerability—and with a goal of amplifying the voices of those who continue to struggle.
The band was just starting to regularly headline renowned local venue The Stone Church when everything came to a sudden and screeching halt. “The pandemic hit everyone hard, but I think it was especially difficult for new artists like us that rely on live shows to spread the word,” says Racine. “At that point, we had a couple of demos and we weren’t sure what the future would hold.” Rather than idly wait, the band decided to take their future in their own hands. Armed with nothing but YouTube videos and her innate curiosity, Mars constructed a makeshift studio in their rented apartment above downtown Brattleboro, recording during odd hours when their next-door neighbors were out and about.
The band’ self-titled debut album ‘Memorial‘, out this month (October 7) via Captured Tracks) is a stunningly accomplished record, especially considering the circumstances surrounding its creation.
The hallmarks will be unmistakable to anyone who has ever obsessed over classic LPs from indie and post-punk’s progenitors—everything from the chiming, Marr-esque guitars on opener “Repitioner” to the pugnacious rhythmic punch on lead single “In Tandem”. But even more impressive and exciting is how THUS LOVE manage to tap into this celebrated lineage to find their own unique voice and tell their own story.
“Pith & Point” and the title track, which closes the record, serve as powerful statements of purpose as the band lets down their guard to share moments of heartfelt introspection. Says Mars: “‘Pith & Point’ is the very first song we wrote as a band. It used to be a nearly 7 minutes when we performed it live, but it makes more sense in this condensed version on the record. It’s about the sense of dread when you know something is coming but you’re powerless to do anything about it.
‘Memorial’ is almost the flip side of the coin. There are no words but it’s about making peace with what’s passed.” Mars is reluctant to provide additional detail out of respect for others’ privacy but does allude to the deaths of several people close to the band while making the record.