BRATTLEBORO — A Brattleboro trio signed to an indie label and featured by Rolling Stone is playing The Stone Church this week.
Thus Love, often stylized in all caps, is performing at 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Main Street venue. Guy Ferrari and Roost.World will support. Doors open at 8 p.m. More information and tickets, for $12, are available at stonechurchvt.com.
The members of Thus Love, founded in 2018, describe themselves as three trans multi-instrumentalists. Rolling Stone called their sound post-punk, a genre label that for the most part, rings true.
“There is a like, prerequisite fundamental list of inspirations that culminates into somebody’s you know, pure form of outlet,” said Echo Mars, 23, on guitar and vocals. “I think it’s just a coincidental happenstance that we make music in a way that sounds like certain bands that people might call post-punk.”
Lu Racine, 24, is on drums, and Nathaniel VanOsdol, 24, is on bass. All three members live in Brattleboro.
The band has signed to Captured Tracks, through which it released its first single, “Inamorato,” from their debut album to come. While it’s too early to share details of the album, the three musicians crowded around one Zoom screen Wednesday morning to talk with Vermont News & Media about their sound, their town and what it’s like getting recognized in public.
VNM: How would you each describe yourself in three words?
EM: Big girl boss.
LR: Slow, steady and strong.
NV: That’s a really good question. Can we come back to that?
VNM: For sure. What are your favorite things about Brattleboro?
LR: My favorite thing about Brattleboro is definitely the people. People that I’ve met here are like, amazing. And like, funny enough ... I didn’t start making friends until I started this band with Echo.
It’s just like, always been really hard for me to make friends. But as soon as I started playing out and meeting people, I’m just like, wow, these are like the coolest people I’ve ever met.
EM: I definitely second that. I think my favorite part about Brattleboro is that it depends so deeply on the freaks in the area. But no one other than the freaks have any idea that that’s true. And it’s so true in any form, especially things like Gallery Walk. ... Like the only shows that happen in Brattleboro that aren’t like Grateful Dead covers are these beautiful, like resurgences of genuine art and reflection on what’s going on. Then you have all these people, you know, who are going to the bank and going to Duo for their lunches.
I think Brattleboro has more going on for itself than it would like to admit, but also has just not enough going on that people are desperate enough to start a band.
(All three laugh)
LR: And we encourage people to start bands.
NV: I also have to say the people, just thinking about all of the friends that we’ve made. And all of the people who supported us since the very beginning and just like, been such hard advocates for us and really pushed us, supported us, loved us, in all the ways that we needed.
LR: Yeah, we’d be nothing without them for sure.
VNM: Rolling Stone described Thus Love as post-punk. How did you find your sound?
EM: Definitely one of the most recognizable pieces of our music ... is a certain effect pedal — guitar effect pedal that I play through as a guitarist — which is called the chorus pedal.
That was one of the first effect pedals that I bought before I joined this band, and I just really liked the sound with it. So when I started playing with this band ... I just was playing through it. I think if we played our songs and we happened to be more acoustically minded, but we played the same songs, people would call us, like experimental folk music.
LR: Something completely different, yeah.
EM: Definitely the chorus pedal contributes to that. And definitely the fact that every member of this band is fairly interested in like, hard music. We like to keep an ethos that we like, keep it tethered to a punk lens of things, even in like, philosophical or sociological senses.
Doing it based on our like, genuine nature of what it means to play an instrument, because an instrument is an extension of one’s body. Same with anything associated with the instrument, whether it’s effect pedals, or what symbols you’re using, or whatever. It’s all part of you, essentially, once you get to a certain point of being a writer.
LR: The band is just kind of like the vehicle, you know?
VNM: How has life changed since getting signed to a label?
LR: It feels like so much has changed but also so much has stayed the same. We’re still working day jobs, struggling to pay our rent, but the difference is like, I’m literally washing dishes at Amy’s Bakery and someone comes up behind the counter and taps me on the shoulder being like, ‘I saw you in Rolling Stone.’ And I’m like, that’s insane.
There’s like this beautiful level of recognition that makes us feel really good about ourselves. I think the best is kind of yet to come because we’ve been a band for like, almost four years at this point. But now that we’re just kind of like hitting this level of recognition and just being signed, it’s like, we just left the starting gate, if that makes sense. There’s so much more to come and like, it’s only gonna get busier from here. I’m excited to just like, stay present in that, and see what happens.
To answer that question more specifically, we’ve just been playing so many shows. After the signing, we just like went to New York, and we played this festival. And it was really fun. So I’m just like, more excited to do that stuff.
EM: Most of all, it’s a milestone. It’s like, I think this year (coming out of the pandemic) ... it’s a lot of reaching milestones that don’t necessarily mean anything other than that, you’ve done it, right? Or that you are at this specific place.
So that feels good, even though I definitely don’t feel like any different of a person in terms of my lifestyle. It’s just like, you know, at the very least, it’s a goal that’s been met.
NV: Also, going back to just how we feel about all of our friends and connections in Brattleboro, it also feels really nice to have those people sort of like working with us, too. Having a label is like having people whose whole job it is to be in our corner, and support us and, like, help us and hype us up. So that’s really good.
VNM: Did Nathaniel come up with three adjectives?
NV: Right. I would describe myself as disagreeable, archaic and monstrous.
LR: I love that. That’s actually really accurate.