The two most important parts of a map are the legend, which explains its various symbols and markings, and the compass, which indicates direction. Yes, there was a time when people had to learn how to read and interpret maps, lest they become aimlessly lost.

Southern California-based alternative rockers Modern Maps established their legend and compass from the start. Their Rise Records debut, hope you’re happy., out June 1, shows that the trio are masterful musical cartographers, building off shared experiences and sprouting from self-discovery to chart a sound that’s as assured as it is astoundingly entertaining. Their emotive, punchy, poppy post-hardcore tracks through multiple States and decades to create a vision that feels unified and unique.

Vocalist Trever Stewart mentions that the band’s sonic compass came rather naturally. “The sound of this record came from growing up as emo kids and listening to bands like The Cure, The Used, and Saosin,” he says. “There was never a moment where we actually ‘chose’ a direction for our sound, because from day one, we’ve all carried the same influences as artists. Our sound came naturally. These 11 songs came from us expressing ourselves in our most honest form.”

Before the record’s completion, Modern Maps were able to connect with the past to create the sound of their future. Trekking north for tracking allowed for comfort and old connections to come into play. “Rise Records and Velocity Records really gave us the utmost freedom for building this album from the ground up,” Stewart shares. “That definitely empowered us as artists and banished any nerves that we had at the start of this process. hope you’re happy. was tracked over a six-month period in Portland, Oregon. I actually grew up just south of Portland, so we were able to include some of our lifelong friends in the writing and recording process, which really made us comfortable and allowed us to not to hold back when producing this record.”

However, Stewart acknowledges that finding the group’s True North required some self-reflection and Lewis and Clark-type discovery. While it may just be one symbol on the album’s legend, there’s meaning behind its honest lyrics. “Writing honest music can be a very painful experience. It’s about analyzing yourself and forcing out what you can no longer keep in,” the vocalist explains. “We learned that the painful chapters in our lives are just lessons to be learned and material for our art. Going forward, we’ve realized that we were built for this and that we are so excited for the road ahead, no matter how challenging it may be.”

With all the pieces etched in papyrus, the band’s map to success is starting to materialize. Modern Maps’ evolution will be pinned on their passionate, powerful songs and earnest lyricism, and the results of this impressive first effort show that they are a band to watch in the future. They’re the real deal—even if reading maps isn’t your thing.

Purchase Hope You’re Happy here

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