Philadelphia’s Ultra-Lite are announcing a new 7″ due out April 19th and unveiled the video for the track “Tears (For Two)”.
People tend to hear what they like in Ultra-Lite. Whether it’s your friend in the Jawbreaker shirt saying they sound like Get-Up Kids, or someone’s older sister saying they sound like Third Eye Blind, there’s something undeniably likable about Ultra-Lite’s music. If you ask the band about their sound, they simply describe it as “New Alt,’ and that’s a good way to think about it.
The Philadelphia four-piece recently hit the studio with Grammy-nominated producer Joel Hamilton. From those sessions were born “Tears (For Two)” and “The Jewel of Cincinnati,” the first taste of the band’s new partnership with Joel and Studio G. The songs were mastered at Gateway Mastering, and cut to 7” vinyl by No Culture – a label the band founded themselves to keep complete control over the vision. These songs are crisper, fuller, and more immediate than anything on their early EP Moldy, and they feel far less indebted to any one style than those songs––epitomizing that ‘new alt’ sound. “Jewel” is bouncy and bold, the kind of song that would fit as comfortably on the radio as it would on a Warped Tour sampler. “Tears” is a bit fuzzier, built on a whirring guitar riff and a hook that calls back to the heyday of early 2000s radio rock. If “Jewel” is the yin, “Tears” is the yang, showing that Ultra-Lite can still get gritty when they want to.
These songs ratchet things up, showing off the more layered, even bigger sound the band will employ on their upcoming LP. The riffs hit harder, the hooks pop more, and every single note comes through clearer than on the band’s early material. These songs show off a widescreen version of the band, one that’s not content to play basements or bars—one destined for amphitheaters. It’s a statement of intent: 2023 is Ultra-Lite’s year. “Are you even listening?” Dave Hurban croons in the chorus of “Tears,” and for your sake, I hope you are.