Photo by Kan Yotjan
The ongoing pandemic has drastically changed the way people write and record music–consider “Iowa City,” the latest single from Charlottesville indie rock band Gold Connections. It’s their first release since COVID-19 put a hold on shows and gatherings, and in the spirit of social distancing, it’s also their first credited solely to frontman Will Marsh.
“It’s my highway song,” says Marsh on the song’s lyrical premise. “I think it explores that liminal space between hope and dread, far-gone and yet still here, which emerges in the twilight of any kind of relationship. The American landscape, literally, becomes a place where that tension plays out.” His wistfulness feels especially poignant here in the liminal space between life before lockdown and the ever-receding after.
Marsh is a long-time Rolling Stones devotee, and with a full band behind him, he tends toward garage rock with throat-shredding furor and grit. Here, his more understated vocal takes on a Neil Young lilt over a distant, booming drum machine at a highway interchange between folk-rock and bedroom pop. It’s Gold Connections’ most lo-fi effort since their Will-Toledo-produced debut, but “Iowa City” also takes full advantage of the solo setup to move the project in fresh, unexplored directions.
In the past, the band has put out music with Fat Possum and EggHunt Records. They went the self-release route with “Iowa City,” and in light of continuing protest movements around the globe, all Bandcamp sales for the remainder of June will be donated to the National Bail Fund Network.