L.A. six-piece Afternoons are back after a six-year journey with the anthemic single “Say Yes.” Led by Brian Canning and Steven Scott of the band Irving, who were part of the era-defining Ship Collective in the mid-2000s, the band came from a desire to “swing for the fences.”
As LA Weekly notes, the band burst onto the local scene in 2008 with all the makings to be the next big indie band. “Obey” artist Shepard Fairey even designed a poster for them, and the now defunct radio station Indie 103.1 gave them steady airplay. Unfortunately, a string of business miscues, a name change, and a critically lauded but criminally overlooked full-length caused the members to become disenchanted, and the group imploded and disbanded.
Now after two years back together, the band returns under their original Afternoons moniker with the project they had always envisioned, something “sonically expansive yet lyrically concise. Starry-eyed at times, sardonic at others, and ever and always a Mass Spectacle.”
Their lead single, “Say Yes,” comes from the band’s early days. Co-lead singer and co-songwriter Scott explains the story behind its message:
“There is a long version and a short version,” Scott said in a statement to Music Times. “The short story goes quite a few years ago when we all moved down to L.A. four of us lived in a single apartment that was directly across the street from a Catholic elementary school. These were very debautcherous times. Many times the evenings and nights ended in all night dance parties with 30 or 40 people dancing in this one single apartment. Eventually people would pair-off, or disappear into the night to make their way home. But there were a series of nights where it seemed like every time we woke up there would be a guy that no one recognized asleep on the bathroom floor or the kitchen or in the hallway between other apartments. Always in the worst sleeping position. The way he slept he looked like a discarded sock. AND I’m not sure it was always the same kid!!
“Anyway, at some point Brian and I were messing around with a chord progression that I had, but no lyrics, and Brian came up with, ‘The day let go of its night time, and morning spilt all over…’ And that set us off on the story that was our first few months here in Los Angeles. About being 22 and trying it all. I mean, we grew up in the era of ‘Just Say No.’ We heard that daily. The song we wrote was about the idea that perhaps the opposite is true. Basically, that life happens when you say, ‘yes.’ I mean, do you ever learn anything if you ‘Just Say No?’
“We weren’t stupid. We always took care of each other and those we were with. That’s how you grow up, right? By trying things. All of the lyrics are like Polaroids from Brian’s apartment. The Catholic bells ringing signifying what time it is…He had this clock where you couldn’t actually see the numbers unless you were two inches away… You could distinctly hear when other neighbors were showering… Anyway, it sounds uplifting because it is. It’s not really a ‘Pro-Drug Use’ song or anything, but it is definitely an anti ‘Just Say No’ song if that makes any sense.”
Afternoons will be releasing their full-length album Say Yes on October 21 via Eenie Meenie Records. A discounted pre-sale for the effort is available here.