The Convinced Friend Debuts in Boston


A.S. Wilson has witnessed several events. Music has carried him all over the country, from New Orleans to Providence most recently, via the midwest, the southeast, and a brief stint in divinity school. Wilson has always had a preference for the Americana-influenced indie rock songbooks of musicians like David Bazan and Jason Molina, even though the majority of his musical relationships tended to veer more toward punk. 

Convinced Friend was carefully put together by Wilson in 2018 when he was looking for a music community in an unknown area. Wilson wanted to capture difficult life lessons in a similarly hardheaded but emotive manner.

The songs on their self-titled debut (much like his heroes) sport a complicated relationship with faith and death, but they are also fully alive and in love with the energy that comes from the community you seek out, making for a rock record that’s both haunted and celebratory in equal measure. Casey Belisle (of Nova One) and Brad Krieger (of Big Nice Studio) eventually assisted the band.

The extended first single from Convinced Friend is “White Collar.” To reset the stereo, a brief burst of THX Audio-style noise is rapidly folded into a mid-tempo choogler that is not too dissimilar from the dust that LVL UP were creating with their more meditative final salvo. Wilson opens out to a few old friends about the good times and horrible times in their past life before loss and student loan debt turned them in opposite directions. In another song, the sped-up waltz “Taken Apart,” Wilson reaches out to someone else who is in need again while a cyclical guitar line forms an eight-shaped pattern around the melody.

The concluding “All At Once” brings everything together after a middle section that is more understated and removes the most of the drums. The drums blend wonderfully with the wash of guitars, horns, and keys to create a warm embrace that begins with a little heartbeat electronic drum patter before turning into a toe-tapper of sorts. It is a true celebration of sound and a powerful conclusion to a debut album with a lot of personality.

Relief Map Records will release Convinced Friend on Friday, November 11.

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