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Alternative aspirations

Local students form garage band

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Energy pumped through the garage like a heartbeat. Smoke bounced from the concrete into the air, lights shining through the fog in every color. Senior Emma Dunkleberger stepped up to the mic and her bandmates readied their instruments while collectively taking a deep breath. Within seconds, electricity was flowing through the veins of every person crammed into the small suburban garage in the form of original music.

The garage is one of many stages for local band Wren, a “sad,” alternative band made up of senior Jake Stringer, alum Dominik Kozacek as well as Flower Mound High School senior Emma Dunkelberger and FMHS alum Carter Lacy.

All members of Wren have worked on solo projects before, and have been a part of other bands, but all members said they feel Wren could turn into something bigger. It isn’t just going to be a fun side project for them—they said they’re far too talented to let this slip by.

“Every musician has that thing in the back of their mind that’s like, ‘C’mon, this could be the thing that goes somewhere’,” Stringer said.

Wren is different from many other young bands because that they don’t try to overpower each other—they’re all equal. Although Dunkelberger is the lead vocalist, every member has a role in the songwriting and recording process. Stringer, Kozacek and Lacy experiment with beats and cords until they’re satisfied, then Dunkelberger writes lyrics to fit the sound.

“All three of them write really well together,” Dunkelberger said. “They click instantly, which is really interesting to watch.”

 •  •  •

Stringer stepped behind his drum set in a makeshift recording booth and started pounding out the beat to the future tracks of their first album. He let the drum beat shock throughout his body, feeling it reverberate in his bones. Next was Kozacek, stroking out the chords he had personally created. Then Lacy, playing his bass to compliment his bandmate’s untraditional music methods. Finally, Dunkelberger singing lyrics that no one could’ve written but her.

With a few final touches by Stringer, the recording process was finished. Kozacek mixed the entire album himself over the span of the next two or three days.

Finally, their first album was complete.

Their practices and clear hard work have helped get them to where they are today. While they only have one album out, “Looming,” they’re still booking gigs as often as possible. Music is something that all Wren members say they want to pursue as a career, no matter what happens.

“[We] don’t want to be famous and make money,” Kozacek said. “We just want people to listen to our music.”

Long after the fog and lights had faded, the four friends stood staggered on the floor one story above the suburban garage. Cords and empty donut bags cluttered the floor, overlapping cymbals and guitar wires. They yawned and stretched from time to time, waiting for everything to be set up. Once things were all set up and laughter was set aside, they slipped into a jam, playing whatever they wanted, feeling the music come together naturally.

“If I was just playing in a room with these three, I’d be okay,” Lacy said.

 

 

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Marcus High School's Online Publication
Alternative aspirations