Autumn Rhythm’s “Human Truth”
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Autumn Rhythm epitomizes the great American rock band fantasy: shaggy hair, sunglasses, and brightly colored guitars all contribute to the band’s alluring charm. On the surface, Autumn Rhythm looks like any other teenage garage band with grandiose ambitions of stardom, but unlike most, they seem to be making their way there. The Long Island trio, consisting of lead singer and guitarist Joey, bassist Ethan, and drummer Harris (they go by only their first names to stay modest) has produced two albums that have helped them make a name for themselves in the Brooklyn indie scene. Their debut album, 2022’s Paper Lanterns, was a direct reaction to the pandemic’s social isolation and was surprisingly well rendered for a DIY project recorded in a basement on an iPhone. Their sophomore album, Joy For Tomorrow, represents the evolution of Autumn Rhythm’s technical production while still maintaining their signature fuzzy, distortion-heavy instrumentation.
Despite major transformations in the band’s overall sound and style, Autumn Rhythm remains loyal to authentic portrayals of the teenage experience. The album’s second track, “Recall,” retains the band’s signature abrasiveness, both instrumentally and lyrically, as the band collectively chants, “Say all those things you want to say / I was never gonna listen anyway.” Jangling guitar riffs capture the listener’s attention and set the tone for the rest of the album, seamlessly transitioning into the next track, “Dragonfly.” This harmonious integration is a display of the band’s ability to devise a well-blended narrative.
The album progresses into a realm of uniformity as repetitive guitar ballads obscure opportunities for differentiation between the hazy tracks. However, the tracks are strikingly dynamic at their core, each offering complex layers of symphonic teenage disarray through loud, complex melodies. A prime example of this is “Fader,” a perfect amalgamation of potent emo-inspired vocals layered over rapid percussion. “Fader” is one of the rare tracks with intelligible lyrics; the lyrics are often obscured by dense instrumentation throughout the rest of the album. The lyrics further encapsulate the dynamism of adolescence with mentions of identity loss and social connectivity. Autumn Rhythm reinforces these themes on “Dragonfly,” singing, “Won't go out cause I'd just go back home / Better to spend the whole day alone / I'm all torn up.” Desperation and introversion have become the norm of the post-pandemic high school experience—Autumn Rhythm feels it too.
Sonically, Autumn Rhythm delivers the disorganized rawness of ‘90s noise-rock legends like Built to Spill and Swirlies, updated through their clearer vocals and production. Songs like “You Were Alone” and “Hate the Rain” exhibit explicit shoegaze influence with their modulated guitar riffs and echoing vocals, drawing parallels to My Bloody Valentine’s later albums.
Beyond the purely sonic developments of their enhanced production, Autumn Rhythm’s recognition within the Brooklyn music scene has grown tremendously. In an interview with The Spectator, Joey noted, “The band has become something much bigger to us because in the last year, we’ve really gotten to play out more as a live band and have seen our music connecting us to such a wonderful community.” Autumn Rhythm has had notable performances at DIY music and art venues, such as The Living Gallery, The Church Street School, and The Loft.
Autumn Rhythm’s growing fanbase in the past year has served as a prominent inspiration for Joy For Tomorrow, which is in stark thematic contrast to the introspective loneliness of Paper Lanterns. These two albums serve as time markers in the band’s history, as the music deepened in parallel to their journeys. When asked about the album’s focus, Joey explained, “A lot of the songs on the album are about growing up. To me, that means a lot of things—branching out, losing innocence, making new connections with new people, and finding your way.” That sentiment is aptly captured in the record’s closer, “My Human Truth,” a melancholic, guitar-led track that evaporates into a whispering monologue bubbling with the intensity and exhausted energy of teenagehood.
Perhaps one of the most consistent aspects of Autumn Rhythm is their genuine amiability toward their community. At every show, the band members are eager to interact with the audience and support fellow up-and-coming artists in the indie scene. You can always find Ethan, Harris, and Joey moshing along in the crowd after their set is over. As their Spotify biography proudly announces, “Autumn Rhythm loves you, and knows you by name.”