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Four members of the Boston-based indie-sextet Air Traffic Controller returned to WERS’s studio since the release of their sophomore album, NORDO. After setting up, the group — made up of multi-instrumentalists, Dave Munro, Steve Scott, Casey Sullivan, and Alison Shipton — wasted no time breaking into the popular foot-stomping, hand-clapping single, “Hurry Hurry”.
From there, they moved to “You Know Me”, another song off their newest album that features a duet from lead-singer Dave Munro, and Casey Sullivan, who today is manning the drums. The last track they played was prefaced by a note that they are working on a music video for the song, “The Work.” About the video, which is set to be released around Halloween, Munro stated that it was shot in a prison and is meant to be a little “spooky scary,” contrasting the song’s generally upbeat tone.
Lead singer Munro has no problem comparing his two musical endeavors, noting that the group’s second project contains a bigger sound than the first, incorporating a wider array of instruments as well as multiple duets. “For the first record, we knew one or two string players that would come in and play those parts … by the time we had this record, we had string players playing with us at every show so we knew we had our best quartet ready to play live,” Munro said. Even with the new instruments, the band worked to maintaining the personal feelings that are so quintessentially them. “Both records were recorded in the same house and… this second time around, I was pretty adamant about wanting the record to sound like it was made in a house. It sounds a little more raw and even the orchestra we recorded, that happened in a warehouse over by Boston University.”
As they play through their set, the troop is all smiles and it’s easy to understand why. Since releasing their debut album, The One, the band has been featured in the Boston Phoenix, the Boston Globe, was nominated for MTV’s “Best Breakout Artist” in 2009. Most recently, their track “You Know Me” took the number one spot on the The Hype Machine, a site that tracks, compiles, and lists recently posted songs from all types of music blogs. When talking about the accolade, the group is clearly grateful. “It was unexpected and just really cool,” Munro smiled. “Our manager was then able to make some waves as a result of that, which is cool,” group member Steve Scott added, acknowledging their recent trip out west and long list of upcoming tour dates. The gang is also set to play the annual Life Is Good Festival in Canton, MA this coming weekend, but must sneak out of the venue early in order to make it to other show that night at Bull Run in Shirley, MA.
If NORDO is reflective at all of things to come, it’s evident that accessing more sweeping and experimenting with bigger instrumentation is in the works. Be sure to check out Air Traffic Controller’s Facebook, newsletter, and Instagram for personal anecdotes and all the up-to-date going-ons from the band.