Dozens of words can describe Generationals’ brand of indie pop, but “tight” and “clean” are the first to come to mind. In their brief three years together, they’ve already churned out two solid albums of bright, shiny and impeccable rock tunes that seem to showcase the duo locking their feet in perfect step.
Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner — the minds behind Generationals — have had plenty of time to generate that synchronicity, having been best friends since they were 13.
“By and large, it’s like having a twin of myself,” Widmer said with a laugh. “When you work with someone for a very long time, your sensibilities kind of grow up together. You grow to trust each other’s instincts and appreciate each other’s contributions, and there’s this shorthand that develops, and you don’t so much have to explain what your idea is. It’s just sort of understood.”
That natural ease in songwriting found its way onto Generationals’ sophomore album, “Actor-Caster.” Early press and buzz praised the March release for its constant stream of quality pop singles, and Widmer isn’t sure to what to attribute that.
“I don’t know that there’s a formula or secret or anything like that.
We work on songs that make us feel like they are worth it, and if they don’t resonate that way, then we just throw them out,” he said. “Maybe it’s having a short attention span that makes it hard for us to work on something that doesn’t immediately feel like a good song.”
The duo unleashed the disc on the heels of an EP, “Trust,” that came out last fall. Both made subtle moves away from the vintage poprock sound and neo-soul sound of the New Orleans-based duo’s 2009 debut, “Con Law,” drawing in more modern indie and electronic influences. Widmer argued it’s still not all that different in the scheme of things, however.
“Pop music and rock music are just souped-up versions of something Elvis did. It’s just accenting different elements,” he said. “I wonder if you look back at the difference between 1975 and 1967, if anybody could really tell any difference? Or, for that matter, 2011 and 1960. It’s just all a bunch of records.”
This year sees the group continuing to tour in support of “Actor- Caster” with bands like Oh No Oh My, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Gardens & Villa. The friendship that binds the boys together not only helps with writing tunes, but also assists in getting over the grind of touring — although supporting acts like Broken Social Scene and Ra Ra Riot has certainly helped. It’ll be a busy summer but, as always, friendship will steer Generationals through.
“Our relationship has always been helpful in making depressing situations into humorous ones,” Widmer said. “We can pull in this funny vibe to help us weather the rough shows, but it doesn’t seem like those sad nights are happening all that often anymore.”