Sweater People, the musical trio consisting of Hans Fuerst on keys, North Skager on drums, and Will DeBlaey on bass, are bringing a new album into the world. CODA Talk, the band’s first full-length album, is slated for release on March 8th. They’ll be playing an album release show at the Plus on that day.

CODA Talk is an instrumental interpretation of the search for identity and emotional catharsis. CODA, which stands for Child of Deaf Adult, is a term that hits Hans close to home, as he grew up with deaf parents. Recently Hans went to a CODA summer camp reunion, where he was reunited with people he knew when he was 16, going to a summer camp for people of a similar circumstance. “That was a huge formation of both identity and place for me.” The album draws out similar feelings in Will, who recently graduated from college and dealt with issues of identity. He says, “I graduated in 2020 so I landed and I was like, woah, who am I?” As self-described “budding” musicians, they say this album’s production was more of an artistic process compared to the EP they released last year.

The band spent about a year and a half, over 100 hours recording and over 100 hours mixing, on this album. They started with 15-17 songs, and pared down the list based on how the songs fit thematically. The album is inspired by their favorite programmatic music, including soundtracks, video game music, and film scores. 

They had plenty of memorable experiences recording the album. Will describes their collaboration on “Velvet Drops” as a “Vulcan mind meld,” the term used in Star Trek for telepathic connection. Hans loved making the track “Odd Chemicals,” in which they featured a reed quintet by the name of Idyllic Reeds. He was inspired by Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai, and found that the layering of the reed quintet created a super cool effect, coupled by running the bassoon through a synthesizer. “I think the result is really really cool.” Will describes the recording of “Odd Chemicals” as a touchstone moment: “It was like, we’re producing this together. We’re all sharing that mind space of like the collective voice is better than the individual voices, and it was really inspiring to see that for me.” North felt a similar way about “Am I Worthy of Love,” and said it was like gaining his “musical consciousness.” 

“Odd Chemicals” has a corresponding music video shot by Hans’ older brother Brett, coming out today!

The band recorded CODA Talk at Aviary Studios and Journeyman Studios, the studio of Eau Claire band Waldemar’s Gabe Larson. They collaborate with flutist Rebecca Barrett, and Idyllic Reeds quintet consisting of Jack Ford on bass clarinet, Lauren Ische on oboe, Noah Larson on bassoon, Nick Miskimen on alto saxophone, and Nora Reschke on clarinet. 

They’ll be having an album release show on March 8th at the Plus, and they’re going to “pull out all the stops,” Will says. It can be difficult to translate this type of music into a live setting, but the band is up to the challenge. “Very much excited for that,” Will says. You can check out the album on March 8th on music streaming services and watch the music video for “Odd Chemicals” on YouTube.

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