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Today, Austin quintet Font — Thom Waddill (guitar/synth/vocals), Jack Owens (drums), Anthony Laurence (guitar/synth/sampler), Logan Wagner (percussion/sampler), and Roman Parnell (bass/synth) — release their new single, “It.” With a virtually nonexistent footprint, Font have quickly built a buzzy aura, landing live slots with fellow rising-stars bar italia, Water From Your Eyes, Horsegirl, and CHAI, as well as a coveted hometown spot performing at Austin City Limits. “It” is presented alongside Font’s only other officially released song to-date, “Sentence I,” and tables the guitars and shouting chants of that first single for heavy synths, dance beats, and samples. Together, these songs are jumping-off points for Font’s interests of rhythm, economy, tension between chaos and pop and dissonance and melody. While “It” is a song that cavorts around an unnamed thing, ‘it,’ that seems at once everywhere and nowhere, both summoned and repelled, “Sentence I” explores themes of excess, fear, punishment, and resignation.

The seeds for Font were planted when Jack Owens and Thom Waddill met and started playing music together in a dance band at Davidson College in North Carolina. They met Anthony Laurence, Roman Parnell, and Logan Wagner in Austin and began playing shows regularly in the spring of 2022. From the beginning, the band’s focus was on performance and improvisation. Recordings were secondary; they were notes, tools to remember ideas and structure songs meant to be performed. As a result, the music developed on the stage and in practice rooms, and it was almost a year before their first recording, “Sentence I,” appeared.

Font exhibit a persistent intent to defy punk’s boundaries and build new shapes from the fragments of other genres – pop, worldbeat, electronic music. Genres and soundscapes blow through their songs and depart as they came — a wall-of-sound guitar chorus gives way to a heavy 808 beat against which drummers Jack and Logan tug; discordant, sinister minimalism and spoken lyrics reminiscent of Black Country, New Road morph into glittery, pulsing synths under an anthemic chorus. When asked about their songwriting process, the band explains: “We only know that a song is finished when we don’t quite know what it is anymore. Usually we hit record and improvise together until something seems to light up. And then we build a song from that.” The result is an energy, a vector, that’s intense and undeniable.

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