Kickstand Productions Presents
Remember Sports performs Sunchokes w/ Lisa Prank
Remember Sports – Sunchokes (Deluxe Edition)
When Remember Sports recorded Sunchokes in 2014 while Carmen Perry (vocals, guitar), Catherine Dwyer (guitar), Benji Dossetter (drums) and James Karlin (bass) attended Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, they had no intention of pursuing music seriously. It was recorded with the wide-eyed optimism of making a record for the sake of it. To create something they could share with their friends. To make something they could simply look back on.
The band – then called Sports – started in 2012, coming up through the pocket of their folk and DIY punk scene. Carmen Perry cites Dave Garwacke’s Pink Couch Sessions as a catalyst for Remember Sports’ much-loved lo-fi sound, commenting on the purity of that first LP. “We made Sunchokes because we loved playing those songs and we loved playing music together,” she says. “It's a really special record. It's nice to remember how far you've come.”
Quietly released on Bandcamp, Sunchokes gained traction through word of mouth and social media. Now, five years later, following the departure of Dossetter and Karlin and addition of Jack Washburn (guitar) and Connor Perry (drums), Sunchokes has been remastered – by band friend Lucas Knapp – for a special anniversary release, on vinyl and CD for the first time ever. The remastered album also includes eight bonus songs including a few original demos and Addie Pray (Carmen's solo project) versions of the songs. Perry jokes that the demos “don’t sound too good” but affirms the nostalgic importance of cementing those special first few years as a band. “A lot of the songs were ones that I had recorded myself before we started the band, put out on Bandcamp and made CD's and stuff by hand.”
A twenty page memory book, featuring playlists, photos and more, will also accompany the release. “This whole process has been sort of like a trip down memory lane, going through old photos and old emails,” Perry continues. “It is like a diary...it’s funny looking back on certain songs and remembering how I was feeling when I wrote them. Having them on a record, it's a nice way to reconnect with your past self.”
Capturing the life-affirming, cathartic resonance that only comes around once in a lifetime, Sunchokes is a physical manifesto of having fun with your friends and finding your way in a post-high school world. “The record is really special to us and the time in which we made it is really special to us,” Perry adds. “It's a good reminder of why we started playing music in the first place.”
As Edwards was navigating a drawn out, Lifetime-movie level heartbreak, she found herself drifting back towards the home she had in her friendships. She moved back into her old room in storied Seattle punk house, Spruce House, sharing a door with Tacocat’s Bree McKenna (who’s also her bandmate, along with Julia Shapiro, in the supergroup Who Is She?). She’d knock and ask McKenna for feedback on songs, who wound up playing bass on the record. To produce, Edwards tapped close friend and indie pop legend Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap, The Softies, and Go Sailor. Melberg’s artistic alignment and personal closeness to Edwards gave her near psychic insight into Lisa Prank’s sonic goals, but at enough remove to provide breakthroughs to Edwards at stuck points (Melberg also co-wrote “Telescope,” and sang harmonies on several tracks). It was a collaboration that felt like coaching, leading her achieve her ideal polished-punk sound, alongside Ian LeSage who engineered and mixed the record at the Vault Studios. Recording was fun, too. Friends were around, creating the kind of lighthearted, mutually supportive feeling one needs surrounding them feel like themselves again after retrieving their heart back from a breakup. Lisa Prank’s last record, Adult Teen, used a Roland MC-505 drum machine, for Perfect Love Song, she traded it in for real life drummer, Tom Fitzgibbon.
Writing Perfect Love Song was Edwards’ opportunity “to personally say all the things that I wanted to say, or wish I had said.” In “Scream the Truth,” a gaslighting extinguisher anthem about reclaiming your sanity, she gets to be mad on her terms: “I wasn’t losing my mind,” she sings. Says Edwards, “it’s about being frustrated seeing someone else navigate the world as a very surface-level nice person who is performatively feminist and social-justice minded, but knowing the truth of how they treat people in their personal life.” The opening track, “Rodeo,” likens the searing, sinking-in feeling of a post-fight realization—“‘cause ‘I don’t wanna be in love’/means I don’t wanna be in love/with you”—to the dangers and desires of the spectacle of love. “By now I know/this is the rodeo I chose,” she sings, electing to get back on her horse and ride, acknowledging the pain that’s part of that game.
“I wish a different emotion was so alive and exciting to me,” Edwards laughs, “but love is just the one that feels so visceral and consuming.” Perfect Love Song explodes the roller coaster snapshots of romance in bursts of poppy neon bright color, with Edwards’ cheeky perspective polished to full pop-punk shine. And the mission of that genre, one could argue, is to keep on bopping along through the bullshit of life. To stay buoyant, to find fun in the big what-ifs and whatevers. It what keeps the dream Lisa Prank afloat: as she sings on “Constellations,” “still I keep on hoping this is some perfect love song/and we’ll go on and on and on, and on and on, and on.”
“Lisa Prank spins feelings into pure pop punk gold.” – The Fader
“Seattle singer Robin Edwards makes bubblegum pop-punk for lovesick, rainbow-colored unicorns.” – NPR Music
“Lisa Prank’s tunes might sound like they come straight out of the ‘Enema of the State’ playbook, but they kick in and stick through months of heavy boombox rotation.” – Rolling Stone