Rock outfit Straylight Run makes its Universal debut this week with "The Needles the Space," its first full-length since exiting Victory.
"So much has happened to us in between and I feel like that helped make this record a lot different than what we've ever done before," group member Michelle DaRosa says. "In a lot of ways, we've matured as a band and found our sound. We play our instruments better, we're writing more together. This is the first time we've tried to create an album and not just a bunch of songs."
The 13-track set, produced by Bryan Russell, boasts more vocal credits for DaRosa, who shares the mic with sibling John Nolan, a former member of Taking Back Sunday. The group's sound was also given an audio makeover in the recording process, with the raw drum sounds recorded in a variety of different rooms in an old office building. In addition to the group's signature piano-driven tunes and dramatic harmonies, a horn section, mandolins and even a glockenspiel enhanced the material.
To be sure, "The Needles the Space" reflects on the group's departure from Victory, a powerhouse in the world of hardcore and punk. "When people heard the name Victory, they'd listen to us expecting one thing but then would get another," DaRosa says. "There were a lot of associations with the whole Taking Back Sunday thing too. We just wanted to get our music out there to a bigger group of people."
"So all we did was fulfill our contract with them. There weren't any nasty words or anything," she continues. "When we moved over to a major, we had already heard all the horror stories, but [Universal Republic] knew ahead of time what we were about. We didn't have re-record anything. We already fleshed out their expectations."
Straylight Run has been spending time lately touring with Sparta and Lovedrug and is scheduled to play the Living Room in Providence, R.I., tonight (June 21). "Things are so crazy trying to release a record and playing shows at the same time," DaRosa says. "We're in a different city every day." Starting in July, Straylight Run will hop aboard the Vans Warped Tour, performing through Aug. 5.