photo by Michael Todd
So as I was preparing for tonight’s guest, listening to the few songs they’ve released online, I got stuck on a solitary three seconds of a Producers of the Word song. Titled, “Interludes,” it’s from their forthcoming album Precinct XYZ. There’s an unlikely renaissance-sounding guitar riff that I only knew was reminiscent of a pop song somewhere in between 2014 and 1963.
Eventually I found it, a deep cut from Elton John’s 1971 album Tumbleweed Connection. And then, stepping back and realizing that the riff was surrounded by an ominously reckless horn and that the picking resolved into something that sounds like a folk song in G just seconds later, I felt a little myopic. But this is par for the course with first exposure to a lot of Producers of the Word songs. There are many trees in the forest of the Lincoln four piece. Look at one for too long and you’re missing things.
In his review of their Lincoln Exposed 2014 set at The Bourbon, Jacob Zlomke wrote that Producers of the Word didn’t look like they would be in a band together. Four different kinds of dress and stage manners. So they’re not The Ramones, and that’s not a bad thing. It speaks to the eclecticness of what you might hear at a Producers of the Word show or even in the first minute of a given song.
In another release off their LP titled “Nightwing,” they undertake the haunting, midnight melody of a Joy Division song but with the treble bounce and lightness of Talking Heads or early REM. On that same note, singer Chanty Stovall is capable of vocals both operatic and bouncingly nonchalant.
If there’s something difficult to place about it all, if it perplexes why or how a Nebraska rock band could draw on both the sounds of minstrel-era Donovan and experimental Beach Boys, complicate or explain the picture by knowing that they’ve performed twice completely in French at Zoo Bar.
They release their sophomore LP at Zoo Bar on June 20. But right now they join us live on Hear Nebraska FM. Ladies and gentlemen, here is Producers of the Word.