The Fleeting Ends, the Fishtown, Philadelphia-based pop-rock trio comprised of Matt Vantine (vocals/guitars/keys), Matt Amadio (drum/vocals/keys) and Russell Langley (bass), recently released their second album, “Our Eyes or Peeled” to critcical acclaim and an enthusiastic and rapidly expanding fan base.
“I liked when somebody said in a review that listening to The Fleeting Ends was like listening to the butterflies in your stomach on your first date,” said Vantine, during the band’s June 8 interview after a show at City Tavern in West Philadelphia.
TFE’s upbeat tunes hint at the wide expanse of its musical influences ranging from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Spoon and The Pixies, but don’t ask about comparisons.
“Life itself is our influence!” Amadio said.
The majority of the album sounds superficially cheerful, but the bare honesty of the lyrical content tells another story.
“If you listen to the lyrics they’re very far from joyful. They’re about situations with people that we don’t like too much […] it’s about growing up and the detrimental effects of certain things coming in and out of your life [but there are] happy things too. We always play in the major key […] so it’s very contradictory. The lyrics are kind of downbeat and melancholy and the music is always major [upbeat],” explained Vantine.
With the warm reception of its self-titled first album, the band admitted to feeling the pressure to avoid the sophomore slump.
“Within us there was pressure. We wanted to outdo ourselves,” said Amadio. Vantine agreed, “I don’t think we could live with ourselves if our second album wasn’t as good as our first album.”
The road to creating a record they were happy with, however, was an arduous one. Compressed, the album took about three months, but the production schedule was unpredictable, and ended up requiring a full year to complete. Another challenge came from writing material along the way.
“This was different from the first album in that we went in maybe prepared fully with like, three of the songs and then [wrote during] the process of recording,” Vantine said. “We were writing bridges and doing work on the songs when we were in the studio. That was the first time we’ve ever done that, which is partially why it took longer. We’re never doing that again. We’re gonna tour our next album and then go in and record it so we’re a well oiled machine.”
Since “Our Eyes Are Peeled” dropped this past March, The Fleeting Ends have been busy promoting the album with mini-tours and interviews. Amadio said that after so much time in the studio, the hectic schedule is a welcome change of pace. “I think it’s fantastic. Sitting at home and just rehearsing and playing shows every now and then is extremely boring and upsetting and it makes me feel bad about my life and my band, so being out on the road is a breath of fresh air. We’re really happy we’re as busy as we are right now and we just want to keep it going…forever,” he said.
The momentum certainly seems be mounting for the band, which has been steadily building a fan base since they formed in 2008. Amadio said seeing support shift from friends and family to total strangers has been an exciting transition. “It’s amazing. It’s weird. […] People reaching out to us on twitter from Spain, from other states… I live for that kind of stuff. I know it’s through Twitter and that’s lame, but to receive it in any form feels great.”
“It’s good to know our music moves people,” consented Vantine.
As far as where or how the music reaches people, the guys aren’t picky. Amadio said that ideally, audiences would listen to their album “How people used to listen to records with their friends, while they’re drinking in a basement. It’s not necessarily party, let’s get [crazy] music, it’s just good, honest music. If anybody wants to stick it on anywhere, doesn’t matter. In the car, in your living room, with your mom…” Valentine said. “When you’re actually really listening and there’s actually substance and the lyrics can provoke thought.”
The Fleeting Ends will be returning to Philadelphia from a mini tour of the mid-Atlantic, on July 3 for a show at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties.
Victoria Marchiony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.