After starting in D.C. with a rotating-cast lineup, the noise pop outfit Bleary Eyed found a home and a solid roster in the Philly DIY community, a space where in recent years shoegaze and punk meet head-on.
Founded by Nate Salfi on guitar and vocals, the band’s recent self-titled outing on Born Losers Records is dipped in warm distortion and sparking dreampop leads, in the surrealist haze of tremolo bar plunges and the indelible memory of a solid emo hook. Of the many bands active in what’s often referred to — to the delight of some, to the chagrin of others — as Philly’s shoegaze scene, Bleary Eyed does some of the best work bridging engrossing atmospheres and moody ambience with exceptional pop songcraft.
In this interview with our Samantha Sullivan, Salfi touched on his progression from omniverous music fan to band leader drawn to Philly in the late 20-teens for its experimental, adventurous spirit. Once in town, he connected with peers like TAGABOW’s Doug Dulgarian and his revered Julia’s War label, as well his current bandmates; bassist and vocalist Margot Whipps, guitarist Pax Martyn, and drummer Charlie Libby Watt. In our studio, Salfi, Whipps, Martyn and Watt give a gripping performance of three songs from that self-titled EP, and you can watch that set in full below. For more, see the band in person on their short summer tour that visits Queens, New Haven, and D.C. this weekend. More information can be found at the band’s Instagram, @blearyeyedband.