Photo by Michael Younker
Triathalon craft subdued yet affecting pop music. Full of warm synths and clever, minimal beats, their songs feel best suited to solo listening sessions aboard cramped trains, hurried walks home in the rain, and intimate conversations with friends in your bedroom. And since they relocated to Brooklyn from Savannah, GA, the trio has been hard at work, recording and gigging around the city as they prepare to drop their latest full-length, Online, via Broken Circles next month. We spoke to Adam Intrator about the band's move, the New York scene, and the challenges of being on the road ahead of their upcoming tour, which they'll kick off with a record release show at Baby’s All Right on February 28.
AdHoc: The band was founded in Savannah, GA, though you've all relocated to NYC since. How has this transition affected your sound and functioning as a band?
Adam Intrator: Something about moving to NYC just made everything come together. It’s hard to explain, but the overall vibe and atmosphere here really took effect on our sound and helped us come into our own. And functioning as a band in New York is actually pretty chill. Everyone lives relatively close to each other. We really try and get together a couple days a week.
It looks like you’ve been fairly active in the New York scene lately. Who are some local artists you’re influenced by or simply admire? Where do you enjoy playing?
Seeing Ava Luna is always refreshing. I love how that they continue to explore their sound. They always push me to continue writing. And the rare moments we’ve caught Zach Phillips have been amazing. We really enjoyed playing Berlin and Silent Barn. Both feel so intimate; it’s hard to find that vibe here sometimes.
Your upcoming LP, Online, is your third full-length since the band formed in 2012. How has your approach to songwriting and recording changed this time around?
On this record, we based a lot of the writing process around an old Casio keyboard we found. That alone really influenced the overall tone for the album, but also helped keep things simple and straightforward. Now that we all have our own rehearsal space, we’re looking forward to writing more together.
Online conjures a really lush, sensuous atmosphere, while retaining smart arrangements and honest lyrics. Do you see pop music today as a vessel for more forward-thinking songwriting? Do you have any favorite artists who you feel are saying something critical against the backdrop of a banger tune?
There’s so much pop out there it’s hard to say... Frank Ocean has really raised the bar within his lyricism. There’s just so many layers and emotion behind everything he’s saying, even if it’s small. I think SZA and Tyler, the Creator did an exceptional job of that on their last records. It’s refreshing to see artists open up and sing about something true to them and not recycled.
On “Day One,” you sing “In the morning/ I’m performing/ Can I zone in/ Am I torn/ About touring.” What are your feelings on performing and hitting the road?
We love performing. That’s probably our favorite part about being a band. Touring can always be stressful and exhausting, but this time we’re really excited to see friends and family and take a nice long break from our jobs. Hitting the road will always have its setbacks, but this time around things are more organized, and we now have a true understanding of what it’s like to tour properly. And we got a more roomy van too, so things are looking up!