When I first was introduced to Cold Fronts, it was undeniably a band – four young dudes making rock and roll in a West Philly basement they dubbed the Rathaus. It was 2010 and they had an impossibly catchy fuzzrock / power pop song called “Catch” that I’m pretty sure I first heard streaming on their MySpace page. The song fit nicely in an era of my listening where I missed The Strokes of the early aughts, and the LCD Soundsystem and Broken Social Scene records of the moment weren’t quite scratching that itch. I reviewed the track in City Paper, and the elated guys dropped off a couple soft pretzels as tokens of their appreciation. Technically I’m not supposed to accept thank you gifts, but I reasoned that – in addition to being a very Philly thing to do — two $0.79 soft pretzels are not going to sway me on a band I already liked.
Then things changed; Cold Fronts became less of a band, and more of a focus on singer-guitarist and primary songwriter Craig Almquist. It began when they signed a deal with Sire Records – my wife and I caught a Johnny Brenda’s gig where we turned around midway through their opening set to find legendary A&R guy Seymour Stein seated at a high-top table behind us, bobbing his head to the beat. The process of recording, then releasing the band’s debut album on the industry’s timetable was taxing for all involved. Band members quit; new players joined, and left. All the press imagery showed Almquist and Almquist alone. He estimates that over a dozen people have been involved in Cold Fronts over the years, with the most difficult of those years being the four that it took for Forever Whatever to ultimately see a release in 2015.
These days, though, they’re back to their roots, but significantly wiser for the wear. The band’s sophomore album, Fantasy Du Jour, is out on Friday via Sire. It has classic Cold Fronts rock-out moments like “Stayin’ In,” a rifftastic two-minute jam about getting stoned and ordering Indian food. But there are also moments of greater nuance, depth and maturity – the atmospheric dream-pop tones of “Let The Record Play”; the subdued Big Star-esque fingerpicked acoustic ballads “Lightning Storm” and “Back and Forth”; the uplifting vocal harmonies on “The World For Sale.”
Most significantly, Cold Fronts has gone from being a scatterbrained rotating cast project to a solidified unit once again, something we hear a nod to on the reflective title track, where Almquist sings “love’s no fun when you’re the only one.”
Below, we’re happy to give you a first listen to Fantasy Du Jour ahead of its April 20th release date, as well as the accompanying pop-up pop-up gig we hear the band is playing somewhere in Philly. (They also have an album release party that night at Mercury Lounge.) Take it for a spin as you read my interview with Almquist, who I caught up with on the phone on a sunny day last week. He was chillin in Rittenhouse Square on after getting done with his shift doing bike delivery, and we talked about the evolution of Cold Fronts, the making of the new album, his thoughst on the major label experience and how he wound up in a swimming pool canoe at SXSW. Continue reading →
There’s nothing better than heading out for a gig and knowing that it’s all for a good cause. Local non-profit label Good Behavior Records understand this well — they’ve just announced two upcoming shows at Underground Arts, both to support hurricane relief efforts in the US Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. As part of another hurricane fundraiser, Good Behavior also recently released a Hurricane Relief Compilation to support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Continue reading →
Keeping up with their promise for three shiny singles this summer, Philly’s Cold Fronts just released the second in the bunch. After sharing the sunny rocker “Holidaze” a few weeks back, the indie outfit just released a new track titled “Never Been to Paris” along with an accompanying video. Continue reading →
Following the release of their full-length Forever Whatever, the Philadelphia-based Cold Fronts have finally unveiled their first new music in the two years since. The indie rockers debuted “Holidaze” on June 16th, a fast-paced sunny rocker that will be a go-to jam on all of your summer playlists. Continue reading →
On Wednesday, March 29th, Cruisr, Suburban Living, and Cold Fronts will host a show at Ortlieb’s in Northern Liberties with proceeds supporting the American Civil Liberties Union. The trio of indie pop / rock favorites have added their names to a growing list of local bands that are organizing benefit shows and releases in the days since inauguration.
Cold Fronts have shared a new single called “Miss Austin” on the Urban Outfitters blog, paired with an interview with frontman Craig Almquist. The track is the first bit of new music we’re hearing from the local outfit since last year’s Sire Records debut Whatever Forever, and it’s showing us a low-key side of the usually energetic band.
Philly indie rockers Cold Fronts recently released their debut record Forever Whatever last October, and they just shared their tour-centric video for the energetic “Energy Waster.”
The band, fronted by vocalist/guitarist Craig Almquist, is currently down in Austin to play SXSW (which is where Almquist was discovered by Sire Records’ Seymour Stein in 2012). Their fast-paced power pop is highlighted on “Energy Waster” with its harmonized guitars and exuberant lyrics. Continue reading →