We’re glad to announce that Boca Raton, Florida-based indie pop/alternative artist Stumble Steady have released their debut EP, Nobody Told The Wolves. By blending alternative and indie pop with elements of bedroom pop, lo-fi, folk, and punk, Stumble Steady create lush and colorful soundscapes driven by relentless rhythms and unforgettable hooks, which sustain their thought-provoking, observational, and relatable lyrics.
Chief songwriter and frontman of Stumble Steady, Garrett Kealer, has performed with artists such as Rogue Theory, Slim Gambill of Lady A, Del Pelson, Garrett Kealer and His Intrusions, Fireside Prophets, Mylo Ranger, Echo Charlie Hotel Oscar, and many others. He has also supported acts such as Young The Giant, Bear Hands, Joywave, Collie Buddz, Steel Pulse, Zach Deputy, and Tiz McNamara; and has performed at events and venues including 104.3 The Shark’s Undertow Jam 2016, The Winter NAMM Show 2019, Mizner Park Amphitheater, and multiple packed shows at Culture Room. When not writing, producing, and performing, Kealer brews at Kealer Brewing Company.
Prior to their new EP, Stumble Steady released their first single, “Let’s Have Fun” in July 2020, their sophomore release, “Coming To An End” on October 23, 2020, and their debut EP, “Nobody Told The Wolves” on March 26, 2021. Kealer and longtime producer Monty tracked the Nobody Told The Wolves EP in their home studios and south Florida recording studio Power Station, before sending it to be mixed and mastered by the prolific engineer Seth Munson.
Describing the story behind Nobody Told The Wolves, Kealer writes, “Stumble Steady is cathartic for me. I’ve played drums in numerous groups throughout my life, so when it came to songwriting, I was given the responsibility of rhythm and not much else. A few bands have been really cool and allowed me to play with arrangement, countermelodies, etc., but at the end of the day, the final decision was made by someone else. Stumble Steady allows me to create exactly what I hear and feel, which is incredibly important to me. Nobody Told The Wolves is my first true voyage into independently releasing music. It’s essentially a blueprint for how I’m feeling and perceiving the world at this point in time.”
And about the creative process behind their new EP, Kealer writes, “The process of creating Nobody Told The Wolves really forced me to analyze who I am and how I respond to the world and all of its positives, troubles, and quirks, especially through the misunderstood mental illness of OCD. My goal is always to create art that someone will sing and dance along to, but also to get listeners to stop and think about a variety of topics that they might otherwise not, especially from a perspective that may not be their own. Our plights of political, social, and racial unrest as well as communication breakdown, corruption, strained relationships, war, love, and mental illness are not new, but they are freshly impacted by the consciousness and technology of our modern world. It’s my hope that the programmatic sounds, rhythms, and melodies that I created on this EP are able to make a positive difference that emphasize inclusivity, compassion, and the desire to make our world a better place for all to achieve what they wish.”
Nobody Told the Wolves begins with the instrumental track “Mammoth,” on which gentle, distant piano melodies blend nicely with the sound of moving water and the electronic effects, which become increasingly louder towards the end of the track. Kealer explains, “For the opening piece, ‘Mammoth’, I wanted to create a programmatic, 20th century composition influenced song that describes the rapid advancement of technology from our earliest ancestors to the present day. The crescendoing sensory overload represents rapid development of technology, its pros and cons, and the old fears we have lost and the new ones we have gained.” The next song, “Let’s Have Fun,” features melodic vocals, syncopated drumming, and ethereal-sounding piano; there is a pleasant depth to the sound of the track, and I especially enjoy the vocal harmonies during the choruses. Kealer notes that this track “…feels like a reflective coming of age song. Through the lessons we learn, we have to choose who we want to be and the path we take to get there determines who we truly end up becoming.”
“Coming to an End,” is characterized by acoustic guitar strumming and catchy vocal melodies, sustained by the steady and precise drumming. Lyrically, Kealer explains that “‘Coming To An End’ is about my struggle with OCD and how it plays out in a scenario of a relationship ending. It showcases how intrusive and obsessive thoughts sometimes only allow me to analyze what I can see and feel from my viewpoint instead of looking at the big picture.”On “Tired,” ethereal synths provide an uplifting atmosphere for the vocals and drums. According to Kealer, “‘Tired’ was written during the beginning of quarantine and is about how people deal with mental health issues. Throughout the song, I explore coping mechanisms such as reminiscing, staying active, seclusion, and even denial.” And on the last track, “Hazy,” the reflective lyrics mix well with the tranquil-sounding ukulele. Kealer explains that “while the somewhat bleak themes of my other songs are hidden behind more uptempo rhythms and arrangements, “Hazy” is a relaxed, contemplative vibe. Ukulele-driven, it’s about slowly forgetting the mental image one has of a loved one once they’ve moved on.”
For those unfamiliar with Stumble Steady’s music, Kealer writes that “First time listeners can firstly expect some good grooves. As a drummer, a solid rhythmic foundation is crucial to me. I want my songs to be programmatic and make a listener feel like they’re part of a story. The hooks will sneak up on you and you’ll find yourself singing along pretty quickly. As you listen to the lyrics, they should challenge you to analyze your own beliefs and emotions.”Nobody Told the Wolves is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, and attests to Stumble Steady’s excellent musicianship and compositional skills as well to their insightful, reflective lyricism. I would highly recommend this EP to fans of indie pop and alternative music alike.
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify. You can also check out his official website. If you enjoy his music and are able to provide monetary support, you can download their music on Bandcamp or for virtual concerts you can go to songkick “Live from their sofa to yours”.
It also helps to stream and share their music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Indie Only, and Take It Easy.
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