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Interview: Stolen Jars

NYC’s own Stolen Jars are preparing to release a new EP, Glint, on Friday. An indie crew through and through, they’re putting this, their third release, themselves, even donating a portion of the proceeds to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization that supports transgender/non-binary people. Their sophomore album, Kept, garnered some well-deserved attention from the likes of Consequence of Sound and NPR’s Bob Boilen, who noted the beauty of Stolen Jars’ soft, audibly complex indie pop. Glint appears to be the next logical step, growing on this sound and complimenting it visually, with a music video for each of the five tracks on the record. Before our EP Release Party Friday at Alphaville, we talked about songwriting, how this release fits in with their others, and the role of philanthropy in music:


How does this new EP fit in with your prior releases?

Certainly this EP makes sense to me following from Kept. The rhythmic things I was experimenting with before are still there and it still feels like Stolen Jars. But I think when I was writing the music for this EP I was really making an effort to do things that were more harmonically interesting and also to expand the palette I was working with. Adding in more orchestral instruments and electronic instruments really changed the sound and brought it to an exciting place.



What were you all listening to while you were recording this?

Oh wow, haha, let me think. I think Dan Deacon’s America was one thing I was listening to a lot. The orchestral stuff on that is really amazing. Also our friends Forth Wanderers had just put out their album and I think I was listening to that a bit as well. Definitely Sunday Candy by Donnie Trumpet, that was on repeat for a while.


How do you approach songwriting as a band?

On all of these albums we have kind of taken the same approach. Basically, what happens is I usually write and record a bunch of music in my bedroom and then after that I work on vocal melodies and add to/change the recordings (drum kit, new musical ideas) with Molly, the rest of the band, and any other collaborators. It kind of starts with me and then more people get involved and add their ideas as it moves along.


You’re donating a portion of the proceeds of the EP to Sylvia Rivera Law Project. What made you decide to choose that organization specifically? Are there any other philanthropic efforts you’d like to take on as a band?

In the current political climate it is important to us that we do whatever we can to help protect those who are most targeted and most vulnerable. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is a local organization that seeks to do just that, to protect and fight for transgender rights, particularly in relation to immigration issues and prison justice, areas which seem particularly salient to us right now. And of course, in a time like this you have to do anything you can to contribute. After the election we donated everything we made till the end of the year to the ACLU and I’m sure there will be more donating/organizing to come.


What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

Probably putting out the rest of the videos for this EP (there is one for every song), touring this Summer for a few weeks, continuing to play a bunch of shows, and then working on finishing up the next album, which I’ve written a lot of music for already.

Mandy Brownholtz

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