For local band Orenda Fugue, it has always been about the connection: between each other, between the audience and between other local musicians.
But after setting out to record an album almost two years ago, the band’s drummer, Ben Peterson, said it feels good to finally have a tangible product showcasing the band’s growth. They found that in “Revel,” the group’s longtime-coming debut album.
“This album for us as a band was kind of a big step,” Peterson said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but to put in all that work and have a completed product you can hold in your hands, it’s very rewarding to get to that point and even more so to release it to the public.”
The band will host a CD release show with music beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Mousetrap, 311 S. Barstow St. It’s a free show open to anyone 21 and older. Eau Claire-based bands the Broken Eights and We’re Wolves will open the show.
Orenda Fugue comprises members Peterson, Alex Vang on bass and backup vocals, Dan Gary on guitar and backup vocals and Sean Hanson as lead singer and guitarist. All are from the Eau Claire area and have been pursuing music for years.
The four, at their core, are good friends who love jamming together, Peterson said, but added they each bring a diverse set of musical influences to the table. The goal was to translate that into a cohesive album, and in that he thinks they succeeded.
“We were able to pull from all those types of music influences that we want to play and put it together for this sound,” he said. “We love playing and performing, even just practicing. When it came down to putting that into a product ... I think we just wanted it to be an accurate representation of all of the work we’ve been putting in, and I feel like we accomplished that.”
Vang described “Revel” as alternative rock that combines an ambient, almost ethereal, tone at times with a lot of group vocals. Though it wasn’t planned, he said the album has a balanced feel, “especially from an energy perspective.”
“I think it’s an interesting collection of guys who love both grunge rock and modern progressive metal,” Vang said. “There are some interesting elements in there.”
He supposed Orenda Fugue would fall into the rock music category — if it had to fall somewhere — but said it’s difficult to put a label on the group.
Vang said he feels rock music can be labeled as one-dimensional, but he thinks there are layers to the band’s debut album.
He credits that in part to Hanson’s lyrics, which he said are open to interpretation, both from the audience and band members themselves.
“I think it wants the listener to interpret, and often we’re interpreting what Sean is saying through his lyrics as well,” Vang said. “His lyrics are not meant to be interpreted easily; they are vague and introspective. There’s a lot of soul-searching involved.”
The album also spans the course of two years, Peterson said, so there is a noticeable growth he thinks listeners will hear. Some of the songs on the album were recorded two years ago, while others were just recorded in the past few months.
“The music has changed the more comfortable we get with it — the more shows we play, the more we play together, even if we’re just jamming and improvising,” he said. “We really have evolved as a band, and I think the album evolved with that.”
Part of that evolution, Vang thinks, has simply been becoming a cohesive unit. There is no “ring leader” of the group, he said, but all work together to make decisions.
Peterson added because they’ve all been friends for so long, they tend to have similar viewpoints. Even when they don’t agree, they are constructive about it.
“Any arguments we may have are incredibly productive because it forces us to talk about what we actually want, come to that conclusion and compromise,” he said. “It’s nice to get everybody’s input and know, when we’re playing this album, it’s what we wanted.”
Both Peterson and Vang expressed excitement for where the band goes from here. Vang said he’s looking forward to moving past “Revel” into the next phase.
Peterson said, while of course he wants the band to be successful, he’s grateful for the places its taken them so far.
That point, living in the moment — whatever the moment may be — is reflective of the album’s title, which comes from the title track of the same name.
Vang said that came about by accident, but ended up representing the “overall emotion” of the album.
“You may question why life throws curves at you ... but the best you can do is react in a positive manner,” he said. “All you can do in the moment is experience and revel in it.”
Orenda Fugue’s band members plan to do exactly that at Saturday night’s show.
If You Go
What: Orenda Fugue’s “Revel” release show.
When: Music starts at 9 p.m. Saturday.
Where: The Mousetrap, 311 S. Barstow St.