Slothrust

(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)

Slothrust has drawn comparisons to guitar-driven alternative rock bands like Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. But the trio initially met as students at Sarah Lawrence College playing jazz and chamber music. That background adds an unpredictable element to their rock music.

More from OpenAir Sessions:

Slothrust released its third album, "Everyone Else," last fall. The band members performed a few standouts from that album in our CPR Performance Studio before a show at Denver's Larimer Lounge. They also spoke with Jeremy Petersen about their musical experiences at Sarah Lawrence, writing through improvisation and their recent move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

Stream the session above. Interview highlights:

Singer and guitarist Leah Wellbaum on how her jazz background influences Slothrust's music:

"In writing chord changes, for example, I try to write things that are a little bit less conventional or include more color tones. Which is something that is out of the jazz tradition. Chord expansion and different types of harmonic movement. 

"Rhythmically, we try to mix it up and have things that feel distinct. And different types of pockets to keep listeners on their toes."

Wellbaum on moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles: 

"I have a lot more space and can actually fit my instruments in a room. ... I like the openness of it. I like encountering less people throughout the day. In New York it's a very congested city, which is something so amazing about it. But I was growing a bit claustrophobic."

Songs performed:

  • "Rotten Pumpkin"
  • "Horseshoe Crab"
  • "Pigpen"