By Julie Smitka
January 25, 2016
For the last five years, Charlotte’s Serfs has left their mark on the local scene with captivating noise pop melodies and unwavering determination. Following three singles and the release of their 2013 EP Common Feelings, the band has completed their first full-length album. Day Hang will be available in cassette, CD, and digital formats from Self Aware Records on January 29.
Recorded in Old House Studio with the help of Daniel Hodges, Day Hang embodies the search for direction and identity during a period of post-breakup recovery. “A lot of the songs were written around the time I was coming out of a relationship in which neither I nor my ex felt very secure,” singer and guitarist Phil Pucci explained. “When we broke up, I was totally lost. I forgot what I wanted in life and how to function. These songs were my way of finding my footing.”
Day Hang is more intimate than Serfs’ preceding release, but intricate textures and jangly guitars remain characteristic staples of their work. Pucci feels that Serfs grew stronger as a band after 2013. “We’ve changed a lot since then. I don’t feel great about [Common Feelings]. I know every band says that about their older material to varying degrees, but the recording to me reminds me of how manipulated we felt as a band by that specific studio experience. We fell apart, as much as a little local band can fall apart, and then we picked up the pieces.”
After Common Feelings, Nicholas Holman joined the band as Serfs’ new drummer. Together, they wrote Day Hang and focused exclusively on playing new material. According to Pucci, “it really seems like [Serfs] became a different band entirely after that.”
The debut album mirrors Pucci’s struggle as he began to find himself again and accept that his relationship has ended. In “Teardrop Explodes,” his sense of uncertainty as to how he will move on is reflected in the opening lyric and repeated throughout the song: Send me a signal. Upbeat guitar and bass accompany his plea, adding to the sense of urgency. In the last track on Day Hang, Pucci proclaims “I can’t be more true / You’ll never be good to me” with undeniable sincerity, signifying that he has come to terms with the past and is ready for the next step as an individual and as part of a band. As for Serfs, their next steps include an album release show at Petra’s, a tour in March, and a new EP to be recorded in April.
Listen to the new album Day Hang by Serfs.