For a name as sweet as that of hometown heroes Tartufi, the morose tones of their latest offering These Factory Days almost comes as a surprise. The SFians take a bittersweet outlook throughout the seven song LP, holding steadfast to the past as they navigate their future. Water lends itself as the ultimate element with which Tartufi draws their signature sound, whether its in the allusive lyrics naming the waters of Babylon and the Pacific or caught between torrents of dueling bass, guitar, and drums.
Initially started as a duo in 2001, Tartufi have been making waves in the Bay Area and beyond since their reinvented sound hit airwaves and earholes via 2006’s Us Upon Buildings Upon Us. After 2010’s Goodwill of the Scar EP, Tartufi began touring nationwide and spreading the good word of a small band with a large sound. Looping sounds and an array of effects kept founding members Lynne Angel and Brian Gorman very busy during live shows. “To reenact everything [live] was difficult,” Angel admits to the Appeal.
“Our rig had grown to become this big ordeal. It was a creative beast. We both were getting overwhelmed trying to get the right setup and instrumentation. We stopped touring and started thinking of the possibility of adding a third member.”
That third member happened to be bassist Benjamin Thorne of Minot and Low Red Land, all friends of Angel and Gorman. The addition of Thorne came as Low Red Land had slowed things down, allowing Tartufi a chance to get a handle on their expansive sound, which was threatening to overtake them. Nothing is lost with an additional member, though it has changed the way Tartufi crafts and records their songs.
These Factory Days is the result of those shifts; a process that’s over two years in the making. “We’re a bit disconnected from [the process] just because it took so long,” Angel says. “We had a really nice moment, though, before touring where it was all three of us sitting around and hearing this fully realized thing.”
Tartufi caps those touring efforts with a formal release show at Brick and Mortar this Friday. As the band continues its steps into uncharted territory, Angel and Co. are alight with ideas, especially when it comes to live performances.
“Personally, I felt that before Ben I wasn’t thinking necessarily of playing but of what the next thing was that I should do, whether it was panning to vocals or guitars. We’d make these intricate set lists with little codes just to get through [the set],” Angel says.
“Now I feel like I can enjoy our music. It gives us a minute to sit back, where I can stop and he [Gorman] can keep going and it doesn’t feel like one of us fell off a cliff. I feel like this is the best live band that we have to date.”
Needless to say, Tartufi is happy to be home in a city they liken to a muse.
“San Francisco definitely inspires all that we do,” Angel says. “I’ve been here for over ten years. It may be easier to make it in Portland or Chicago but the truth is that I love this city and I’m not gonna leave.”
Catch Tartufi this Friday, April 26 at Brick and Mortar for their These Factory Days album release party. Doors open at 9, the show’s at 9:30. Tickets are available here, and are $7 in advance, or $10 at the door.