Tonight should be a fun night @ 930 Club. On top of all the pretty and catchy that LIGHTS is bringing to the plate, her opening band, AMBASSADORS will bringing their Police-tinged-with-MGMT vibes to get everyone warmed up. The band also has a genuinely inspiring back story: Last year keyboardist to the band Casey Harris, who also happens to be blind (and in possesion of some serious skills), had to undergo a kidney transplant. To cope with the emotional strain, Casey’s brother, Sam, began writing and recruited old friend Noah Feldshuh. Eventually the band drafted drummer Adam Levin, and so was born Ambassadors. Here, they catch us up on some essential listening from their latest effort “LITOST” (out now) before you see them live ce soir:
Lyrically, this song is a bit of a nod to Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek”. I wanted it to feel a little nostalgic, a bit like a 1950s jazz standard. The opening line just sort of came into my head one day and the song built from there; the tribal drums were a part of a completely different song that we were working on, but when I put the lyrics and melody on top of them I thought the contrast of the two genres sounded amazing.
For me, this song is a perfect representation of the record; a little tongue-in-cheek, a little nostalgic, all backed up by big drums and deep bass. Ambassadors recipe number one.
This song was originally about my hometown. Casey, Noah and I all grew up in Ithaca, a progressive-yet-rural little college-town in the middle of upstate New York. In high school, we would all go crash these frat parties with the sole intention of flirting with older girls. In the process, we would also inevitably try to fuck as much shit up as possible in the houses. As a band I think we all collectively agree that those years in high school were some of the most awful and exciting years of our lives; itching to get out of our hometowns (that we all secretly loved so much) and trying to make as much of an imprint on them as possible before we did.
Unfortunately, this song is totally about an ex-girlfriend of mine. As a songwriter, you often wish you didn’t always end up writing about them all the time, but they just seem to pop up no matter what. But then, that’s the nature of the beast.
The summer after I graduated college I went back home and found a bunch of embarrassing pictures and notes my high school girlfriend and I wrote to each other. I had just broken up with someone and, me being the emotional sap that I am, I found myself spending hours in my room looking over these keepsakes. I wrote this song about a month after I got back from that trip. It’s a little cathartic, a little sardonic, and my attempt to move forward as maturely as possible.