Youth in a Roman Field is spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist, artist, writer, and activist Claire Wellin, known for being a full-time member of the Brooklyn-based indie rock powerhouse San Fermin and her time touring with Delta Rae and Once The Musical. Youth In a Roman Field showcases Wellin’s knack for writing inventive, dynamic melodies and string arrangements that tell a story. In her latest offering, we find a woman sifting through family trauma and anger, struggling for intimacy in a digitized age, frustrated with the state of American life on a wider scale too. Musically, Youth In a Roman Field feels like if Anais Mitchell collaborated with Andrew Bird. Insightful, razor-sharp, and wildly inventive, the project channels heartbreak and rage through a hopeful lens. It feels disarmingly genuine.
Earlier this month, Youth in a Roman Field announced their newest offering: Get Caught Trying, out November 11th on Better Company Records. With the album announcement, they shared lead single “Nightswims,”. Now, they share their next single: “Albatross.” Featuring lush layers of strings and harmonies, “Albatross” is Youth In a Roman Field’s most cinematic and unique offering yet. Accompanying the single is a music video, which you can watch below…
On the single, Claire Wellin shares: “Albatross’ is a direct answer to a question I asked myself often while writing this record: ‘Am I here to break the cycle?’ Sonically, it’s influenced by the simplicity and subtlety of Nick Drake and Arthur Russell, whom I’ve loved for decades. Lyrically, it’s an honest expression of my own struggles with self-worth and power, an examination of destructive thought and behavior patterns. It’s an offering of love and acceptance to my younger self and a breaking-free of debilitating thoughts and the social conventions that cement them. It directly explores generational cycles and trauma as the thread between myself and the women who came before me. It is a pledge to rebirth, freedom, and celebration – that we, in fact, already know the ‘motions’ of our own way. And while we can’t retrieve any of our time spent in and on the past, we are here – for ourselves and for each other – now.”
“This was a thrilling studio experience, as Jamie, Tiffany, and Scott all brought in game-changing ideas that had a huge impact on the song’s construction, specifically at the end, when Tiffany changed the entire vibe of the song with this incredible, nostalgic, wholly improvised tone-change. The movements in the video are based on & inspired by Somatic Exercises used for re-learning & improving walking, a practice I’ve gotten really into this year through physical therapy. It’s brought me a ton of relief from chronic pain related to years of repetitive stress injuries, for which I’ve spent time rehabbing since 2014. The simplest (and, interestingly enough, least capitalist) remedies have been the most effective, and we wanted to capture that discovery, joy, and simplicity of being to visually support the song.”
Youth in a Roman Field includes Claire Wellin (vocals, violin, concert ukulele) Tiffany Topol (vocals, baritone ukulele, keys) Scott Stangland (guitars, vocals, keys) Cassidy Stirtz (viola, vocals) and Jamie Mohamdein (upright bass, vocals). They started in Chicago, moved to and reconvened in New York, and are currently based in Queens with cameo appearances in upstate NY, central PA, and Northern California (pandemic life!) The band has performed in multiple formations, adapting show-to-show from solo to trio to full band setup. They recorded ‘Get Caught Trying’ in Brooklyn, NY and remotely with Allen Tate (co-producer), Kyle Joseph (engineer), Ryan Mannix (remote engineer), and Carter Stirtz (remote engineer).