For the type of jangly guitar pop and overall positive vibes that are being lobbed out in their debut single “Gold Rush,” it’s no wonder why they decided to call themselves The Upsides. The New York City-based alt-rock act are onto something big, and they’re just rolling up their sleeves, ready to get to work with “Gold Rush,” a sign of things to come on their debut EP Patterns.
With a lighthearted feel and a pleasant uptempo groove, the band is hitting all the right notes as they take what they love about their influences to conjure up their own style of modern alternative rock that ensures to pay its respects to the more laid-back, feel-good bands of the past and present. It’s a notable introduction from brothers Matt and Dan Fullam, who along with their longtime friends Matt DaSilva and Hart Mechlin want to remind you of the more pleasant, charming aspects of rock n’ roll.
Deconstructing the song for us and explaining its motivations, drummer Dan Fullam says:
“We wrote ‘Gold Rush’ in early 2021, as a way to kind of transport ourselves from a cold, quarantined winter in New York. It felt like a lot of our friends and close ones were moving out of the city either by necessity or choice (our guitarist Hart was even in LA for a bit), and there was this overall trend of people having to stay apart because of the pandemic but becoming exhausted of it. ‘Gold Rush’ flipped that feeling on its head and became the antithesis of it, which is how the lyric ‘you’re moving my way’ was born.
“While the song obviously depicts a couple and has a bunch of true-to-life references, the idea was really a ‘gold rush’ of people coming back together. Matt and Hart’s guitars have a sunny, ‘60s surf rock chime to them, and I couldn’t help but throw in the Ringo Starr ‘double snare’ hits in the chorus to further add to that old school, playful sound. I had also recently listened to Stewart Copeland (of The Police) discuss how he would build tracks, and liked the idea of taking the snare completely out of the verses. The song feels like a proper introduction to and sort of ‘North Star’ of this new project. It’s upbeat, yet a bit wistful, and its simplicity introduces The Upsides as an authentic, 4-piece rock act.”
There’s a lot of versatility to be had and to be discovered on Patterns, with the EP characterized by its slick riffs and diverse sonic palette that freely transverses many musical eras and movements. Recorded at Grand Street Recording in Brooklyn, the band tried to use as many vintage instruments as they could to give the record a classic feel that would sound a little more timeless than your average modern recording. It’s a group of songs heavy on melody and reminiscent of when melody was a much more highly valued component of rock n’ roll.
It’s pretty impressive that a group so fresh and unproven already seemingly has it figured out when it comes to melding together a solid, identifiable sound that can resonate with a myriad of different rock and pop listeners. Accessible, unique, and timeless, you’re going to want to keep a close ear on The Upsides as they continue to define themselves, both as a live and a studio act.
04/22 – The Bowery Electric, New York NY