by Erinn Fortson
I love Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I probably say this at least ten times to Dan Zdilla during our telephone conversation, apologizing in advance for my dorky adoration. He and the rest of the Slackwater News don’t seem to mind my endless ramblings about how wonderful this town is. I think the group humors me not only because all five members were born and raised in Lancaster, but also because they too have high praises for their hometown. With a music scene growing at an increasingly fast rate, Lancaster is a strong supporter of independent artists like the Slackwater News. “There’s a lot of great stuff happening here right now”, confirms Zdilla. “It’s kind of cool because Lancaster is small enough that if local musicians don’t know each other, they are able to meet each other. So, a lot of the other great bands, we’re friends with.”
Since the prominent release of All You Creatures in 2009, the Slackwater News has gained significant attention from music fans both near and far. Receiving airplay on radio stations like WXPN, the band has been able to continuously turn heads with their rhythmic sound and melodic grooves. The group’s second album, Graveyard Mates, is sure to pave an even wider road to success. With songs like “Less In A Day” and “The Blister”, it’s not surprising that the Slackwater News has been compared to bands like The Black Keys, Dr. Dog, and the Beatles.
Graveyard Mates cleverly combines a mixture of musical genres throughout its entirety, which proves how talented the members of the Slackwater News are. The band infuses excitement in each one of the EP’s songs, allowing listeners to share in the passion fueled behind the album’s creation.
The Slackwater News will be hosting a release party for Graveyard Mates at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster on November 3rd. This will be the first time their new album is available to the public. In addition to live performances by the Slackwater News and guests Ruby Street, the night will also consist of Halloween festivities as the guys are encouraging fans to attend in their best costumes. Although the band didn’t have intentions of associating their latest record with Halloween, the album’s title and some of its themes coincide quite well the eerie celebration. “It seemed like the perfect time of year to release Graveyard Mates”, says Zdilla. Their music video for “Ghosts” also has the Slackwater News exploring realms of the spirit world. Directed by Jessica and Josh Goodyear, the visual interpretation of the track features a musical jamboree performed by a ghoulish looking version the band.
An upcoming tour along the east coast seems to be in works for the group, as the Slackwater News is in the process of arranging show dates at various venues from New York to Baltimore. “We probably won’t travel too far, but we’re going to try to keep a little circuit going to promote the new album”, says Zdilla. Philadelphia is also a location the band plans to visit soon, as they typically play in this area once every two months. I’m crossing my fingers that a show in Phoenixville is also in the foreseeable future.
A night full of ghosts, goblins, and music is the perfect way for the Slackwater News to debut Graveyard Mates. The Halloween themed release party sounds like a good excuse to cure my nostalgic ache for Lancaster and celebrate the upcoming holiday with a great band. I guess I better start working on my costume.