It's a new 'Era:' Fiancé gears up for Firefly Music Fest

Fiance
Courtesy of Nichole Fusca
Fiancé performs at Arden Hall in 2014.

BY
SENIOR REPORTER

Newark-based band Fiancé is set to perform at this year’s Firefly Music Festival in June. With an ephemeral synthpop sound and driving rhythms, the four-piece band brings together eclectic instrumentation for a laid-back yet vibrant vibe.

The five band members—Andrew Fusca, Jeff Marvel, Tyler Yoder, Brian Bruce and new addition Sam Nobles—will play on the Forest Stage.

While Fiancé has never played at a festival, Yoder says he believes its sound will translate well in the environment.

“Andrew and Brian played with Mean Lady last year, but this is our first time performing there together,” Yoder says. “It’s not a huge stage, so it’s probably an equal trade-off.”

Last year, Firefly attracted 80,000 people over the course of four days—crowds significantly larger than Fiancé usually sees. But the band seems unfazed by the challenge.

Fiance
Kirk Smith/THE REVIEW
Fiance is gearing up for Firefly 2015.

“It’s one of those things where there might be a butterfly feeling, but we practice all the time and we’re comfortable with performing,” Marvel says. “Once we get through the first song, it will be alright.”

Aside from playing, Marvel and Yoder are looking forward to seeing headliners Paul McCartney and The Killers, as well as Twin Peaks and Tycho.

Fusca and Marvel have been friends for several years. They graduated from Middletown High School in 2009, where they played music together and dabbled in other projects—some serious, some lighter in nature. About two years ago, they met Yoder (bassist) and Bruce (drummer), forming Fiancé. They soon began booking shows at places like Home Grown and World Cafe Live.

“We’ve known each other for such a long time,” Yoder says. “We all live in Newark and hang out all the time, playing music and listening to records.”

Fiancé began recording, putting songs on SoundCloud and making music available to a wider audience. Over time, Marvel says, the band gained exposure and experience playing local gigs as well as some larger venues. They even played at KOKO in Camden Town, London in October.

“It was a complete culture shock,” Yoder says of London. “It was bizarre. We’re all pretty reclusive people, and there were just so many people. It was almost like a time machine, like that sort atmosphere belonged in the ‘70s.”

Still, Marvel and Yoder say house and basement shows are their favorite gigs, as the environment allows them to form close ties with other local bands and provides listeners with a close proximity to music without the cost of a ticket or cover charge.

The band members’ musical influences evolve as they do.

“It’s difficult to talk about influences because they change all the time,” Yoder says. “I know Andrew is listening to a lot of Cursive, American Football and the Jesus and Mary Chain. I’m listening to a lot of Prince and Cloud Nothings.”

The band released its debut EP, “EP1,” in October, and intends to put out a full-length album later this year.

“Sam recently joined us playing keys and samples, and we’re interested in having him become more involved in the writing process,” Marvel says.

Marvel and Yoder express interest in going on tour sometime soon. They hope to find a booking agency that will put them on the right track.

“We’re finally realizing that we have a sound, so we’re going to continue writing music that fits into that,” Yoder says.

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