Even though the band has a genre in their name, the concept of genre has always been elusive for Front Country, as they refuse to pick sides or be constrained by any expectations outside their own singular aesthetic. Band members Melody Walker, Adam Roszkiewicz and Jacob Groopman have been on a journey to discover a sound.
As multi-instrumentalists, songwriters and composers, the instrumentation and setting have always been secondary to the musical vision that comes through no matter what stage they take. They’ve just released their new single, titled Amerikan Dream, is a meditation on the myth versus reality of America.
“From our racist colonial roots to our economically divided present, the “American Dream” has never really been accessible to all. Since it is a belief more than a fact, the first step in changing it is to dismantle the dogma within ourselves so we can be free to imagine a better country together.”Lead singer Melody shares
While making their third album, they feel closer than ever to what fans have heard in them all along. To them, their namesake is about pushing the envelope, but never losing sight of their roots.
Songs like Amerikan Dream are needed now more than ever. What do you hope people experience and realize when they listen to this song?
Even though most of the songs I write are message songs, “Amerikan Dream” is definitely the most straight-up protest song on our whole record. I can’t say I was looking to persuade so much as galvanize the resistance with this one, but I do hope it’s subversive in one important way: it is deeply political without being partisan.
I truly believe we agree on so much more than we even know, like the fact that the “American Dream” is largely unattainable for many, and that economic mobility should exist in a healthy society. Those aren’t controversial ideas at this point, and maybe if folks saw each other rocking out to the same song and message, they’d realize that common ground and fight together for a future that isn’t awful.
What responsibility do artists/musicians have to make music that speaks to important issues?
I think music and other art forms like comedy and visual arts, are powerful tools that can bypass our usual knee-jerk reactions with their charms. It’s that spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine more palatable. But if there’s no medicine, it’s just sugar. You’re just plying people with calories and dopamine with no substance. That’s not to say you have to have an overtly political message – personal stories can resonate and deeply nourish people when they need it most – and personal stories can be deeply political without saying so explicitly.
As the feminists of yore said, “the personal is political”, and I believe that applies to songwriting too. So, I guess my definition of “political” is pretty expansive. It’s nice though, to see those artists who write only super happy love songs speak up in between songs and say something more direct. For me, I think I tend to express myself better in the songs themselves.
What can we look forward to next from Front Country?
We are just starting to show the world and our fans this new music that we’ve spent a couple years now making. “Amerikan Dream” is the first single of many that will lead up to our new album “Impossible World” coming out in October. The future is pretty uncertain right now for most bands and small businesses. We were going on five years of super hard club and festival touring when the pandemic hit and forced us to slow down and take stock. We really want to bring this new music out on the road, but we aren’t going to do that until it’s absolutely safe to, and until the business side makes sense. It’s hard to say which part of that equation will resolve first, but until then, we are working on new music from home and taking care.