Since 2018, Atlanta five-piece Upchuck has quickly risen up to become one of the most vibrant and creative post-punk outfits the city has birthed in decades.
Over the last four years, the group has earned a reputation mainly through its fiery and energetic live shows. Their latest single, “Night Calls,” blends elliptical punk rhythms, tumbling drums, and angular pop melodies that show off a less aggressive side of Upchuck’s sound.
The song’s instrumental arrangements were written by lead guitarist Mikey. KT wrote the lyrics. Without any communication about what either one of them had in mind.
“I wrote the song during a time when I was going through some shit,” KT says. “It was the kind of situation where you can’t talk with anyone. You don’t want to talk with anyone,” she adds. “You just deal with your heavy situation head-on, and I wanted something that would be comforting in that moment.”
Mikey adds that they never once talked about the song while they were writing or recording the song, but he was experiencing the same sense of isolation, and was weeding out feelings of melancholy on his own time when the song came together.
“Night Calls” absolutely captures the unmistakable silent, musical telepathy and the familial vibes that bind Upchuck together, yielding songs that are far greater than the sum of their parts.
With “Night Calls,” KT’s voice takes lead over Mikey’s guitar arrangements, while rhythm guitarist Hoff, bass player Armando, and drummer Chris, carve out an aching and wholly new depth within their songwriting.
KT’s strident voice provides a sense of resolve, as her lyrics are delivered in a cathartic reflective moment when she sings: “Forfeiting what was lost, sour sins take control for tempted souls. Full of fire, trembling at the sight.”
Driving the moment forward, Mikey and Hoff’s dueling guitars shed their stylish and fuzzed-out tones to focus on a lean and nimble song in which nothing gets in the way of its simple and powerful musical motions.
“Night Calls” is premiering as part of Suicide Squeeze Records’ 2022 digital singles series, joining a long list of previous releases by great acts such as Modest Mouse, Ty Segall, Elliott Smith, Black Lips, and more.