Home Read Albums Of The Week: Air Traffic Controller | Dash

Albums Of The Week: Air Traffic Controller | Dash

Smart and sharp, upbeat and spry, the rising Boston band’s sophisticated songcraft helps their excellent fifth LP land in a sweet spot between indie-pop, rock and folk.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Air Traffic Controller have created a place all their own in the indie-pop world.

Serving in the US Navy as an air traffic controller, singer-songwriter Dave Munro sent home demos written during deployment. This was Chapter 1 for ATC. In the decade that followed, Dave built a legacy for crafting heartfelt, luscious and genuine indie-folk and pop songs that are timeless and classic. The band emerged from the Boston scene, releasing four acclaimed albums, touring continuously with an evolving band, now solidified by drummer Adam Salameh, bassist Joe Campbell, guitarist Bobby Borenstein, vocalist/keytarist Emi McSwain and multi-instrumentalist Steve Scott.

The band took their time writing and demoing their fifth album, and the listeners have not left their side. Streaming to over 300,000 monthly listeners, ATC have launched their next album Dash. Recording throughout the pandemic, they met several delays and hardships, but the band continued collaborating, remotely at times, to bring the next chapter of ATC to its debut.

On the new album you will hear the band together in Dimension Sound Studios with Boston producer/ engineer Dan Cardinal (Darlingside, Henry Jamison, Josh Ritter, Ballroom Thieves), along with longtime ATC collaborators Seth Kasper and Adrian Aiello. The goal was not to match up with past ATC albums or to meet some expectation; in fact, ATC’s formulas were often set aside in an effort to search from within each member. However, if you have loved anything by ATC — the stories, charm, nostalgia, hooks — Dash will pull you in from the opening line “It was Chapter 1”, and take you on a beautiful ride.

The first single Sometimes is a solid bar for what’s to come. “Sometimes is about a real relationship,” says Munro. “There was so much I wanted to say when it ended, but it was already over and probably for the best. I wanted to tell that person how much I cared, how I was affected, but I remained silent. I made excuses to myself, I was so busy, it was never a good time. Sometimes we bottle our emotions in order to move forward. This song was my way of removing the cap.”

With an eclectic catalog and category-defying organic/electronic sound, ATC have already achieved plenty. They were Billboard Hot 100 Fest performers with The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, landed on the NPR Hot 100 List for SXSW, have been named Guardian UK Band of the Day, won Best Indie Alternative Song for You Know Me in the Independent Music Awards, and have several songs with millions of streams.

They have played Sundance with ASCAP and performed on their first Sixthman Rock Boat cruise with acts like Bronze Radio Return, Jukebox The Ghost and Michael Franti. They have played the Grammy Museum and were featured on Jeff Regan’s Alt Nation playlist of bands to watch.”