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Remember Vinyl? A BU Band Turns to It

You Can Be a Wesley celebrates debut album at the Middle East

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Last summer, about to begin their senior year at BU, the four members of the indie-rock band You Can Be a Wesley spent an intense two weeks recording their debut album in vintage fashion: all-analog, using studio equipment from the 1960s.

A year later, Saara Untracht-Oakner (COM’09), Nick Curran (COM’09), Dan Goldenberg (COM’09), and Winston Macdonald (CAS’09) are ready to release the effort, Heard Like Us, with another throwback aspect: the only physical copies available for purchase will be on vinyl.

“We figured nobody really cares for CDs anymore — what do you do with a CD?” says bassist Curran. “Vinyl is a piece of art. It’s big, it’s tangible, you can hold it. I think it’s nice to have something that you can hold. And you get the digital files along with it.”

The band members, who met in West Campus and recorded their first songs in Claflin Hall, collaborated with Pretty & Nice frontman Jeremy Mendicino (the owner of the all-analog studio) on Heard Like Us, which the new music network CMJ calls the “ideal feel-good summertime soundtrack.” Curran says that while fans of the group’s live shows may recognize some tracks, laying them down in the studio under Mendicino’s guidance created a very different sound.

“We’re a lot more streamlined, and it’s a really nice rock ’n’ roll sound,” he says. “Plus, when we went in with Jeremy, he was just brilliant. There would be times when he was down at the mixing board, and Saara would be upstairs singing, and he’d say, ‘No, no, you’ve got to move a foot closer to the mike.’ We were like, ‘How do you know that? You’re three rooms away.’”

The band recently garnered a Best New Act nomination in this year’s Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll and is gearing up for a fall tour with fellow Allston-based rockers Magic Magic.

“I’m beyond psyched,” Curran says.

You Can Be a Wesley will celebrate the album release tonight, July 20, upstairs at the Middle East, 472Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, with Casper & the Cookies, Everything, Now! and Magic Magic. The 18-plus show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door.

Jessica Ullian can be reached at jullian@bu.edu.

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