From Emo Punk to Dream-Pop melodies: my love for turnover is more than ‘temporary’
In their glorious fusion of funk, lounge and disco with a branded indie spirit, the Ohio collective Turnover has become one of the most beloved bands on the alternative circuit. Reflecting on their personal importance in her own life, Emma Stirland takes a look at the dizzy rocker’s career so far.
Since its creation in 2009, Turnover has gone from its pop-punk roots to melodies imbued with dreamlike jazz and indie-pop. Their four studio albums demonstrate their range, while staying true to the poignant lyrics that cut as deep as the first time you heard them. There’s a reason they were my most listened to artists in 2020.
Released in 2013 after the band signed with Run for Cover Records, Magnolia is the group’s first studio album and is part of the emo / pop-punk trajectory of their discography. Prior to that, they had only self-released a handful of demos and a joint EP with rockers from the rather aptly named Ohio Citizen. To divide. The opening track Thrill evokes the influence of their previous tracks, but I personally recommend Walnut because of his introspective lyrics that listeners have come to cherish as a defining part of Turnover’s style. Most of the time and Down feature heavier guitar chords, as well as Casey Getz drums, creating a dissonance between lyrical notes and pop-punk-influenced instrumentation.
[Peripheral Vision] has fewer words and atmospheric daydreams make it a dream listening experience
Magnolia is a happy amalgamation of the band’s sound – you can see their early roots, but also branches into the future. Flicker and fade squeezes the top spot as the album’s favorite song, reminding me of the transporting nostalgia that later permeates Good nature (2017). The end of summer, and how those foggy, love-filled days will soon fade away, on a stripped-down acoustic instrument.
Between Magnolia and Peripheral vision come Blue Dream (2014). Comprised of three songs, the album is a confession of heartbreak, alienation and self-destruction, themes often associated with emo genres. Intermediate track Read my thoughts is one of my favorite songs of all time, and I would say it’s totally underrated. The words about self-sabotage in relationships and the painful refrain – “because I don’t want to be alone / but I don’t want to fall in love” – never fail to hit me like a kick in the stomach.
The liberation of Peripheral vision in 2015 marked a sound change for the group. A kaleidoscope of tales of love, vulnerabilities and disorientation, it was a transition to a more independent and more “ crowd pleasing ” record. This is the album I recommend to everyone – the one I listen to from start to finish most of the time. Speaking on the record, singer Austin Getz told Fader, “I always remember things better than them and I miss people more than I should.” That feeling, of idealized realities that exist just outside of our peripheral vision, captures the album perfectly. The songs have less lyrics and the atmospheric daydreams make for a dream listening experience.
Opener Cut my fingers explores the side effects of lost love and the feelings of disembodiment that accompany absence. While the closing song of the album, Interpersonal raises more questions than answers about the mental state of the voice and its experiences of depression and paranoia. In this way, Peripheral vision plays like an extended narrative, with each song having a deeper sense of purpose. My favorite must be Like a slow disappearance, with its chorus line of “I Was Scared, But You Were Like A Very Soothing Light / You Were My Revealing Light” being perhaps my most beloved lyrics of any of the band’s albums.
Yes Peripheral vision calls for black, Good nature flourishes in the light
The turnover seems to have a transport effect, taking you to a certain point in your life blurred by the pink filter of nostalgia. The title, to me, translates to a person, or a feeling, that you want to hold onto but, like everything in life, slowly fades into a memory. The power that people may have to reveal parts of themselves and therefore not want to let them go.
In 2017 came Good nature, produced by Philadelphia-born producer Will Yip, who also worked with the group on Peripheral vision. One noticeable difference on this album is the light, almost upbeat instrumentation on the guitar, imbuing each song with a kind of warm energy. Those sunny days with friends in the park, or, like Girl night light evokes evenings spent under the sheets with a love of summer.
Yes Peripheral vision calls for black, Good nature flourishes in the light, with images of growth and new discoveries. Someone once told me that being curious is one of the most attractive qualities in people and Curiosity captures that perspective, encouraging learning from ourselves and others, instead of just believing what we hear. Another flagship song from Good nature must be Sunshine Type, so much so that it influenced the sun tattoo I have on the back of my arm which I guess has definitely etched my affiliation with the band on my skin.
Released in 2019, Absolutely is my least played and least favorite turnover album, especially when faced with the dizzying heights of Peripheral vision and good nature. While the sound of the record is relaxed and ambient, I hate to say it, the almost empty lyrics leave me craving more. the variety of influences, especially jazz with the mix of electronic synths and saxophone solos are, however, impressive and marks yet another movement in the band’s style. You can’t help but bop to the beat of Send me right away and the difficulties of distance in relationships Much after feeling strikes a chord in today’s climate of social distancing.
Turnover defined my 2020 – the year that hit the pause button of life
Temporary love is my favorite because it has those poetic lyrics that made me fall in love with the band in the first place: “Soaked in a false or temporary love / Blemished and fallen again.” He explores the ephemeral of desire, defined by simulated feelings and a perfect love in the moment, but which is not meant to last.
Turnover defined my 2020 – the year that hit the pause button of life. A year of introspection with more time spent with ourselves, but often the desire to be with others. I took refuge in lyrics that recalled the sadness I felt, those that transported me to simpler times, and songs that came to symbolize the happiest times of the past year. That’s the cathartic essence of Turnover – whatever album, song, makes you think of the people you love and loved, of friends you can’t see right now, and of people you love. memories you don’t want to fade away. Their music manages to capture the euphoria of life, the comedown and all the moments in between.
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