In an industry where subjectivity reigns, No Second Troy enlists an undeniable self-awareness of their musical space between indie and pop. Employing a realistic perspective on the band, the music and the industry, Washington DC's No Second Troy teeters on the edge of indie rock with introspective anthems rich in explosive vocal melodies, driven by railing guitars, and balanced by subtle layers of piano and organ.
The element of self-awareness could stem from the band's name itself. While many of the band's songs touch on relationships, past and present, related and romantic, No Second Troy originated as the title of a William Butler Yeats poem, in which he struggles with the unrequited love he has for Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne. The song "The Black and White Movie" references parts of the poem and reveals a thematic overlap in its lyrics. Like the poem, the band's lyrics at times seek a release from past relationships, even to the extent of apologizing on behalf of the person who caused the emotional injury. Mike Beach explains, "'The Black and White Movie' is an acknowledgment that we overanalyze our relation-ships and foolishly seek the perfection we see in Hollywood movies, thereby having our relationships fall into one of two categories - bliss or something inadequate, in other words, viewing the world as a black and white movie and failing to see all the colors and nuances.
The group acknowledges the challenges of defining a band bridging the gap between pop and indie. Our challenge has been navigating the middle ground between what is considered "pop these days and what is considered "indie rock," says Beach. "There is little room left, it seems, for bands like the Coldplay of 2002, before 'Clocks' became ubiquitous on the radio, which appeal to both critics and a broad audience. A Rush of Blood to the Head got tons of acclaim, including from critics who I imagine are less enamored with the band's subsequent, and arguably more commercial, records."
No Second Troy garnered praise from SPIN while charting on the CMJ Top 200 on their last record, Narcotic. On the upcoming release, Colors, the band was led to Inner Ear Studios where they worked with Chad Clark of Silver Sonya Studios (Fugazi, Q & Not U, Georgie James), TJ Lipple and Nick Anderson to produce and engineer the record. Lead singer Jeff Wharen notes, "We really liked Chad and TJ's vision of capturing the band's sound at its most authentic - moving away from digital editing and auto-tuning, while recording drums and bass on tape, and encouraging the band to just sound like itself, rather than trying to sound like something we think might be a critical success. We also liked Chad's commitment to mixing the songs based on what they were about, pairing the aesthetics of the musical and the lyrical."
Beach adds that Colors "captures so many different parts of the band's and each member's musical and personal character, and yet we believe it's truly a re-cord as a whole, rather than a series of songs. There isn't a song I skip when listening, and we hope it is the same for everyone who listens to it."