Band of the Week – Late Cambrian

When we first heard a few songs from the Brooklyn band Late Cambrian, we knew that we were listening to one of the great new under-the-radar indie bands of the year. Beginning with the latest songs from their newest release, we eagerly listened to the band’s back catalog of enjoyable singles, brimming with glorious power pop hooks, driving rhythms and harmony-lush choruses.

It’s the music that ultimately matters, and Late Cambrian have proven themselves, after four years of hard work and a growing discography, as a band to watch in 2015. Their latest album, Golden Time, released in January, is busting at the seams with amazingly melodic, uptempo songs. The title track is a great example thanks to a collision of blazing guitars and rhythms, soaring synths and perfectly delivered vocals.

Since its release last fall, the “Golden Time” single has received over 10,000 plays and more than 120 hearts on Soundcloud alone and scored a No. 1 spot on OurStage. The video for “Golden Time” was also the featured video of the month. Those are pretty good indications of the band’s trajectory as they win one fan at a time.


Late Cambrian’s frontman, songwriter and vocalist, John N. Wlaysewski, says the title track of their new album is really starting to catch on not just for how terrific it sounds, but also because of the lyrics. “It’s a song about a teenager’s perspective on clubs, looking from the outside in,” he said.

“Golden Time“Late Cambrian from Golden Time

Another track, “Throwing Shade,” leaps right out of the speakers and demands attention. It’s fantastic guitar riff is one that Wlaysewski had been working on for some time, and waiting for just the right song to pair it to. “I’ve been wanting to make a slower groove-oriented song for a while,” he said, “and this is the first one.” “Throwing Shade,” he said, tells the story about “the weird mind games couples play with each other as a relationship is ending,” adding, “sometimes people see they have mental and emotional control over the other partner, and then use it to screw with their emotions.”

“Throwing Shade“Late Cambrian from Golden Time

Golden Time marked a huge leap forward for the band sonically, Wlaysweski said. “The album was a big sonic departure for us. I really wanted to incorporate more modern sounds, synths and samples. I wanted the band to experiment more with structure. I’d been listening to a lot of Phoenix’s Bankrupt while we recorded this.” He said that the band members are all big fans of Weezer, Pinkerton, The Strokes and other acclaimed bands.

A quote on their Bandcamp page describes their sound more exactly. “If The Strokes and Phoenix adopted Elliott Smith and The Arctic Monkeys the baby’s name would be Late Cambrian.” All of these influences are evident in the songs on Golden Time.

Following the release of the debut LP, The Last Concert, in 2011, subsequent albums like PEACH and Golden Time demonstrate the band’s ever evolving improvement in every aspect of their music, and that reflects as well in their growing popularity. Tower Records and HMV just released Golden Time in Japan, and it’s selling more there than it is in the U.S. “We have a big following in Japan and I’m hoping we can tour the country at the end of this summer,” Wlaysewski said.

“Eastern Stone”Late Cambrian from The Last Concert

Last year they joined the bands Wheatus and McFront A Lot for a successful 30 show tour in the U.K. Late Cambrian has also shared the stage with bands like Dr. Dog and LIGHTS.

The band’s well-honed power pop energy, interesting and existential lyrics and soaring melodies accompanied by sweet vocal harmonies and fuzzy guitar riffs became more apparent on their sophomore release, PEACH, with songs like “Lovers Point” and “Ryan Gosling.”

Wlaysewski said that “Ryan Gosling,” named after the famous actor, is one of the band’s most well-known tracks, which is not surprising since it has a catchy, infectious melody and “woah-oh-oh” chorus, making it a perfect sing-along track. The song “details the struggle to make a meaningful connection with another human being in a fleeting New York City night life,” Wlaysweski said, while “Lover’s Point,” his personal favorite from PEACH, is “an incredibly romantic song for me…it’s about young love and having that feeling again when you’re older.”

“Ryan Gosling”Late Cambrian from PEACH

The band’s discography offers one musical highlight after another. Taken all together, it’s easy to see why they were voted the best new artist of 2014 in a listeners’ poll. Late Cambrian has all of the makings of a breakout band that should kick up another notch in 2015 as more indie rock listeners in the U.S. hear their tracks.

Late Cambrian on Facebook

Late Cambrian official website

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