This feels like a moment — the kind worth acknowledging and consciously savoring as it goes by.
On a personal level, the release of Trance feels like a moment because of how large White Laces looms in the story of how I ended up falling in love with Richmond music (you can hear me tell this story in greater detail on Doug Nunnally’s radio show here). Whenever people ask about this city’s music — why I started writing about it, whether something special really is happening — I always cite White Laces’ self-titled EP and how eye-opening it was. I’d seen live music around town, and DJ Williams Projekt at Cafe Diem had become a weekly tradition, but that White Laces record triggered a realization that the city I’d been calling home since 2001 had a whole landscape of recorded music worth exploring and embracing. It seems so obvious now, but someone needed to push me over that hill, and White Laces were that someone. With Trance, it seems clear that they’ve joined the sharpness of that EP and the adventurous spirit of subsequent LP Moves to make something even more impactful and electric.
I’d guess that the record’s October 7 release felt like a culmination to the band as well. All the out-of-town attention they garnered by serving as tour support for the War on Drugs… all the care put into securing the best possible release for Trance (you can hear more about those efforts in this April interview)… now is the time when all that energy is converted from potential to kinetic, and it’s incredibly rewarding to watch that happen from an outside perspective.
Calling my perspective “outside” isn’t totally accurate, though, because there’s a whole community of people who root for Richmond music and want to see it appreciated more widely, and this album gives us all a reason to celebrate. This is an excellent opportunity to pause and look at how justified and good our pride in our city really is. That groundswell doesn’t depend on the success of any one artist or band, and it won’t be made or broken by how many copies of Trance are sold, but when music with such vision and craftsmanship becomes available to the world at large, we can all walk a little taller and listen a little more loudly, whether that’s to White Laces or another band that’s part of the bright and exciting spectrum that comprises the Richmond music community.
If you truly want to savor this moment, walk tall in the direction of the Broadberry tonight and listen loudly as White Laces hold their Trance release party along with Diamond Center, Sundials and Heavy Midgets. Until then, you can check out two tracks below and, whether you’re a Richmonder or not, get excited about all that the LP has to offer.