juicer – ‘retire the fences’

juicer unveils the intriguing story behind each track from their debut album, retire the fences

retire the fences
Album cover for retire the fences by juicer courtesy of the artist

juicer, the newly formed indie outfit hailing from Brooklyn, New York, has shared their debut album, retire the fences. Led by frontman James Pratley Watson, the band has swiftly carved a niche in the vibrant NYC music scene since its inception in 2023. Inspired by Watson’s relocation from Los Angeles to NYC in 2021, retire the fences features introspective songwriting and a blend of 90s and 00s indie rock influences.

Join us as juicer unveils the intriguing story behind each track from their debut album, retire the fences.

“This album is about that point in life where you’re acknowledging the past, but also experiencing the catharsis of letting it go. We hope that comes through in these songs.”

— juicer

1. ‘Trickin’

This one is a kind of stream of consciousness snapshot of what I was going through at that time in my life. I had moved across the country, ended my old band and started a new one, and was generally just reevaluating what was important to me as I moved into this new chapter. I see the chorus as a resignation to the reality of the world – that everyone is playing off one another, improvising, just trying to get what they need. I recorded this as a lofi demo, then had it produced to be super hifi and modern, then scrapped that and redid everything at home.

2. ‘Family Man’

Some songs come to me right as I’m falling asleep. It takes a whole lot of willpower to get out of bed, grab a guitar and hit record on my phone so that I don’t forget it. If I don’t put it down that instant, I 100% will have forgotten it by morning. ‘Family Man’ was one of those where the chorus nearly jolted me out of bed. I was so excited about it and just sang and played it for weeks with no words. The first words that came were the opening line, “Closed his eyes in the fog, in an instant touched the face of god.” I knew from there that the song would be about my friend, whose Dad passed away when they were young.

3. ‘Let Go’

juicer is a band that is coming from me having done solo projects for most of my life. Slowly it has become less of a one-man thing and more of a 4-piece band. This song to me is the real start of that. We recorded and produced it ourselves and made a lot of decisions together about the overall direction. We tracked this one and ‘Why Don’t’ up at Greg’s childhood home in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. We packed all our recording gear into my car and went up there for a weekend to record, hang out and get Dunkin’ Donuts, it was the best. It was cool to make this one while in a Suburban setting too, since the song deals with the fear of getting trapped in Suburbia.

4. ‘Heirloom Crimes’

The word “Heirloom” usually has such a positive connotation. I wanted to flip that on its head in this song and convey how there are also awful things that get passed down from generation to generation.

5. ‘Why Don’t’

This was an old tune of mine that at first was this heavy, dark sounding thing with all these evil sounding chords. We were playing it together and Greg accidentally hit this nice sounding chord and it opened up this whole other version of the song that was less scary and more like driving down Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down.

6. ‘Strawberry Life’

This is a weird one I wrote during Covid from the perspective of a pig.

7. ‘Bomb’

This one is our newest song and kind of signals where we’re heading. We tracked it at Studio G in Greenpoint, our engineer Hayden Tichesurst had us play through a Big Muff dialed in to give the guitars a thick, sludgy sound. Really stoked on how this turned out.

8. ‘Dream’

Greg, Donovan, and I were hanging at our favorite bar, Hartley’s, and I was playing some demos for them off my phone. Donovan heard a slow one and had an idea to play it twice as fast. We tried it out in practice and it felt great. Maybe we’ll release the slow version someday. It’s hard to tell, but the end of this song is a reprise of ‘Trickin’, so the album kind of comes full circle.

James tracking guitar on ‘Let Go.’

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