Termination Dust - "Growing Down"
“Cold air, cold hands, bated breath, unexpected tryst.”
The opening lines of Termination Dust’s new album Growing Down, out January 24, 2020 on Glacial Pace Recordings, says a lot about how the three-piece first came to exist. In the chill of Anchorage, Alaska, the independent music community is thriving and healthy despite the cities isolation and moderate population. Because there’s just not that many people around, shows up there are always mixed bills; indie bands playing alongside metal bands opening for folk/acoustic acts is honestly the norm. It was at one of those shows that Jaybird Parkhurst (she/her) and Stefanie Vigoren (she/her) first met, and after a broken finger prevented Jaybird from playing guitar on a tour at the time, Steffi stepped in to help.
The duo’s bond was immediate, and they formed Termination Dust shortly after; neither had really played electric guitar or had much touring experience, but they’d go on to learn together. Learning and growing, as you’ll find on Growing Down, is at the root of Termination Dust’s ethos; that, and to emulate Taking Back Sunday style vocals “but in a sweet way,” Jaybird laughs.
Recorded in Anchorage with a local producer and rhythm section, Termination Dust’s debut album Familiar Eyes was released in 2016, and not long after came an opportunity to open up for Modest Mouse. This caught the attention of Modest Mouse’s longtime label, Glacial Pace Recordings, and the small family that started with Jaybird and Steffi continued to grow and the band went on tour.
That tour ended up being a massive learning experience for the duo, and led to a lot of the themes heard across Growing Down. It also helped them recognize what they needed in future bandmates; when drummer Matt Harris (he/him) reached out asking Termination Dust to go on tour with (his) band Granddad and realized they didn’t have a drummer for the tour, he offered to play with them and things just clicked from there.
Today, Termination Dust is a long-distance band, with both Matt and Steffi now living in Minnesota while Jaybird remains in Alaska. Surprisingly, this entire album was written that way; back and forth over emails and Facebook group calls, Growing Down still grew into existence like the three of them were sitting on the same couch. This past January, though, they got together in Portland, OR to record at Ice Cream Studios with Mike Davis. Full of bright, dreamy pop tracks while also delivering a punk-leaning vulnerability through moments for the anxious and existential, Growing Down shows a vast range for such a young band, calling to mind inspirations like Built to Spill, The Courtneys and Modern Baseball. There’s a symmetry to the album, pairing energetic dance rhythms to a sobering melancholy, and the result blends it all distinctly as one cohesive texture.
For all of the lessons Jaybird and Steffi have learned along the way, and all the ones they’ve still yet to experience, they’re now facing it all head on...together.