May 15, 2013

Show Us Yours #15: Bent Shapes

Bent Shapes' Practice Space, Boston, MA

To be sure, Boston has always been an indie-pop town, long before there was even the term "indie pop," see Exh. A, The Modern Lovers. But as the scene ebbs and flows and one paws through releases and cycles through shows, sometimes you can lose sight of the great indie pop resident within our oddly shaped metropolis. We're not trendspotting or calling for a renaissance, we're pretty sure it's there all the time, like hardcore bands and Pabst and that one tall guy at all the shows. But we are excited that some of the scene's heavy hitters are about to release some hotly anticipated new music, something we learned when we checked in with the good people of Bent Shapes. The trio are planning to release later this year their debut long-player Feels Weird, a title which longtime fans will recall (from Liz Pelly's Boston Phoenix piece a year ago) was almost the name the band chose to replace its original moniker, Girlfriends. With that in mind, we thought it was high time to check in with Bent Shapes to learn about where they make their magic, what that magic smells like, and what plans the band is forming around the release of Feels Weird. We put our usual battery of questions to fronter and guitarist Ben Potrykus, bassist Supriya Gunda and drummer Andy Sadoway, and they graciously responded. Although the ominous reference to a west coast label below makes us worry about a potential Tupac/Biggie thing on the horizon, maybe we're reading too much into it. We're grateful to the band for playing along; now let's read what they had to say, and have a listen back to the cracking "Panel Of Experts" single.

Clicky Clicky: So why do you use this space, or how did it come to pass that this was the one that you settled on?

Supriya: We are serial practice space monogamists, known around town for courting a space and dropping her like a hot potato once she gets too frigid or stuffy. Who knows though, this might be 'the one.'

CC: Is there an idiosyncrasy or quirk of the space that has affected one of your songs, or even your overall sound?

Supriya: There are few places to practice in Boston. We've been in and out of rooms in this building for the better part of the last decade in various former lives. The quirks are our own ghosts.

Andy: And a whiteboard drawing of Jeff Lynne talking to our friend Emeen from Spirit Kid ( about his album. It's a reminder that we need to work harder on our music OR ELSE...

CC: You walk into your space. What's the first thing that you smell? Why won't that smell go away?

Andy: The hallway outside of our room smells like what I remember Old Spice "Musk" scent to be. I was about to Google "Old Spice Musk" right now for a reminder of what it’s like, but then I realized that you can’t Google smells (yet). It's too bad that the hallway smells so dank, because I think the new scent is the management's attempt at making the space smell better. The hallway used to smell like stale beer and cigarettes, which I miss at this point. I tried to burn some Nag Champa to get rid of the "Musk," but that Old friend comes back each week to haunt us. You know what they say: another week, another bucket of "Musk" mopped on the floor.

CC: Off the top of our head, Bent Shapes is one of the few bands we can think of in Boston that underwent a name change, which happened almost exactly a year ago. "Mission Accomplished," or did that solve more problems than the original name created? You gonna change your name again the next time Mars goes into retrograde?

Ben: I think it worked out great. Way less confusion, given that we haven't found any other bands called Bent Shapes. No problems with other bands, press, or venues. We tried to play out a lot when the name changed and get some songs out fast, to make sure we were pretty visible. We'll change it the next time Halley's Comet comes around.

CC: What do the next six months look like for the band? You've got an album in the works -- what can you tell us about that? Do you plan to tour to support it?

Ben: It's called Feels Weird and it'll be out on a West Coast label in late summer. More details are going be announced really soon, but we are planning on touring soon after it comes out for a few weeks. There's talk of an US East Coast trip, but we may get into the Midwest or parts of Canada as well. Fingers crossed!

Bent Shapes: Internerds | Facebook | Soundcloud

Previous Show Us Yours episodes:
Shapes And Sizes | Dirty On Purpose | Relay | Mobius Band | Frightened Rabbit | Assembly Now | Meneguar | Okay Paddy | Charmparticles | Calories | Sun Airway | It Hugs Back | Lubec | A Giant Dog

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