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Local band Distant Edge releases long-awaited debut album “Redlight”

After years of playing together, Distant Edge dropped their 11 song LP.
Image by Audrey Rauth
Members of the local band Distant Edge pose for a portrait outside the Guthrie Theatre on Tuesday, April 27 in Minneapolis, Minnesota From left to right, Sam Swanson on the keys, Nate Erickson on guitar, Nolan Litschewski as lead singer, Aaron Eiden on bass guitar and Jahmal Fischer on drums. “This feels like a really momentous occasion for us, it’s very complete and cohesive and I’m really proud of it,” said Swanson on the release of their debut album.

Having played their first gig in middle school, local alternative pop-rock band Distant Edge has been making music for nearly seven years. Growing up near the Chaska/Chanhassen area, the group made up of childhood friends has continued to follow their passion into their college years.

Their debut album “Redlight,” which has been over two years in the making, released April 23 and is punchy, energetic and fresh. The band’s sound stands out with hard hitting drums, colorful synths and pristine vocals. The production on “Redlight” is clean and tight, as each instrument and part is given its own room to breathe and shine.

The album tells the story of greed, glorification and learning to recognize what’s truly important in a self-interested world. Lead singer and University second-year Nolan Litschewski writes the majority of the band’s lyrics and details the band’s experience trying to come up with a connected concept for the album without going full rock opera.

“What we were kind of going for is telling an overarching story with songs that aren’t particularly about the same exact thing, but fit into the narrative that we’re trying to tell,” Litschewski said. “Then, musically, we were free to try these things out and not worry.”

This album was a first for the group in terms of challenging themselves to create something unique that could hopefully speak to listeners. “Redlight” is the band’s first release since their 2018 self-titled EP. Keyboard/synth player and second-year Sam Swanson described the band’s progression not only musically, but conceptually between their two projects.

“That first EP in 2018 was just sort of pure alt-rock — lots of guitars and bass and just organic sounding. I think that record was more about proving to ourselves that we can write a song … and make music,” Swanson said. “Going forth from there, we said we really wanted to take some time to develop what we are, who we are, what is our sound and why is it unique.”

The album was self-recorded but professionally produced. The group recorded the tracks on their own in the comfort of Sam’s basement, eventually sending the files over to Jack Vondrachek of Tangerine Studios who handled mixing and mastering.

With the new collaboration of Vondrachek, Litschewski said, “Now we’re able to kind of develop these songs over time and as we’re recording them.”

The group is beyond excited to have the album out, something tangible to show for their years of work together. Drummer Jahmal Fisher expressed the group’s eagerness to get back out and start playing shows again, once COVID-19 restrictions permit.

“Something about being up on stage and playing our songs and having a crowd is probably the best feeling in the world,” Fisher said. “I know that we can go out and play a show and show all these people this new album, I have never been more excited in my life. It feels like such a big step forward.”

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