South Carolina native and current Austin, TX resident Jacob Lawter premiered “35 mm” from his new project Slow and Steady earlier this month at Brooklyn Vegan, along with the announcement of a debut album later this year on Broken Circles. While we’re in the midst of an “emo revival” according to many blogs, Slow and Steady falls somewhere on the outside of that genre. Sure, the distorted guitars and painful recollecting lyrics are there, but “35 mm” eludes the screamy punk side of the new wave of emo. The band name itself is a clear reference to the Pedro the Lion song “Slow and Steady Wins the Race,” the opening track of their 2000 album Winners Never Quit that went on to quietly influence a generation of songwriters both stylistically and lyrically speaking. Similar to the feels of SC band All Get Out, Lawter wears his heart on his sleeve and seems to use his songwriting as a diary of sorts. “35 mm” is quite the opposite of say, Pharrell William’s song “Happy,” which is essentially “If You’re Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands,” aiming at the realness of life and the close nostalgia of moving forward after tough situations. To add to the Bazan influence, this track was mastered by Pedro the Lion band member T.W. Walsh.
“35 mm” is an excellent introduction to the album which is set to have similar melodramatic songwriting. I found myself listening to the track repeatedly, relating to the song’s coming of age lyrics and the sound that had a huge influence on my life growing up. Ironically David Bazan has played at both my house in Columbia and Lawter’s house in Greer. Lawter was at the show at my house, unfortunately I wasn’t at the show at his house.
Jacob Lawter now lives in Austin, TX where he’s putting together a live band for this project Slow and Steady. The album is due out digitally and on vinyl via Broken Circles later this year.
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