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Tourneforte Speaks on New Album 'Notes From a Lost Dog' and South Carolina Music Scene

'It's kind of a softer approach to the same thing we've done,' frontman James Uzzel told Q of the new record.

Source: Kelsie Herzog

Tourneforte's new album 'Notes From a Lost Dog' came out on Friday, Feb. 16 via Acrobat Unstable Records

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Starting an emo band in the deep south can be a challenge. The distance between big population centers makes touring difficult. Country is also king down there, which means the genre sweeps up many sad guitar aficionados who may have gotten into rock under different circumstances.

Still, James Uzzel – the frontman, guitarist and primary songwriter for the indie/emo trio Tourneforte – is making it work. In the process, he's also been able to nurture the rock scene in and around his native Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Tourneforte's new album Notes from a Lost Dog was released earlier today (Friday, Feb. 16) via Acrobat Unstable Records. The understated tracks are defined by their subtle but energetic guitars, sweet but pained vocals, and creative production choices.

"It's kind of a softer approach to the same thing we've done," Uzzel told Q when discussing the new record.

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Source: Audrey Wilson

Frontman James Uzzle is an integral part of the music scene in band's native Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

He started Tourneforte in 2016 as a solo side project while still drumming for a band called Cicala. Uzzel said Tourneforte didn't see any success until its 2021 release Swimming Lessons, which broke the band out of its regional bubble.

But the previous album hadn't come out yet when he started writing tracks for Notes From a Lost Dog. Things were looking grim for Tourneforte at the time. Drummer Kyle Brewster and multi-instrumentalist Jose Rangel were ready to call it quits.

"It was a weird point where I didn't know if our band was going to actually survive," Uzzel said. "It was really just me in a one bedroom apartment with an acoustic guitar and I was going through a breakup."

Shortly after Swimming Lessons popped off, the band traveled to Farmingdale, New Jersey, to record with Matteo DeBenedetti at his home studio. The sessions there lasted a week and a half.

"It was magic the entire time," Uzzel said.

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The frontman was particularly excited about the track "Boogs," where the band expanded its sonic horizons by chilling out a bit.

"It's kind of a Delta Skylounge soft rock song," Uzzel said. "I think people are going to be surprised how chill we can be while still sounding like us."

That track leads into "Wilmer" – a slow, sad ballad defined by its eclectic country-style instrumentation. The single quickly became Tourneforte's most popular song on platforms like Spotify after it was released earlier this year.

Uzzel also highlighted the album's final track "...From a Lost Dog," which is underpinned by a looming warbly organ. He and DeBenedetti used the pitch correction software Meoldyne to make the keys slide in a way that would be impossible in real life.

"That was just Matteo being a clever person," Uzzel said. "It sounds insane, but it works."

Like all of Tourneforte's music, the frontman said this album was heavily influenced by the Chicago emo revival band Into It. Over It.

"They have filled every crevice of my brain when it comes to writing songs," Uzzel said.

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Source: Kelsie Herzog

The new record was recorded with Matteo DeBenedetti at his home studio in Farmingdale, New Jersey.

At home, the frontman is at the center of the music scene in Myrtle Beach. He works in production at the city's House of Blues venue. When he's not busy with his day job or Tournefourte, the frontman books concerts through a collective called Myrtle Beach Shows.

Historically, Uzzel said the city's music scene has been a mixed bag.

"For a couple years it's the best scene in the entire state, and then we hit this dip," he said.

But things have been good since live music returned in the wake of the pandemic. One of the collective's concerts last year had more than 300 people, which is a big deal for a town of less than 40,000.

"Our shows have been continuously growing," Uzzel said. "I think we finally hit the stride of we're going to be around forever."

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Source: Audrey Wilson

It follows Tourneforte's 2021 record 'Swimming Lessons,' which broke them out of their regional bubble.

Things are also looking good for Tourneforte, too. The band signed to Acrobat Unstable late last year. This new record marks the first time they've ever had the support of a label behind one of their releases.

They'll celebrate Notes From a Lost Dog with an album release show at Brickhouse Lounge in Surfside Beach (down the road from Myrtle Beach) on Saturday, March 23. They'll receive support from Convalescent, Equal Creatures and Cleansweep. Tickets to the show cost $15.


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