Story by Rebecca Blandón
Stolen Jars will “hocket” its way to you this summer with its upcoming album, Kept. The band’s members include Cody Fitzgerald ’15, Greg Nissan ’15, Will Radin ’15, and Tristan Rodman ’15, of Brown University, although Cody co-started the project with high school friend Magdalena Bermudez in 2008. Hailing from other universities, the group’s new and spritely lady voices belong to Molly Grund and Elena Juliano.
“Girl can sing,” says Cody about Molly’s vocal agility. On their most recent cover of Beyonce’s “Love on Top,” Molly climbs high keys gracefully. The endearing track exhibits Stolen Jars flair for subtlety, even though the original is a retreat from their indie-folk genre.
Stolen Jars is often compared to groups that experiment with spastic and fragmented riffs – a technique called hocket – like The Dirty Projectors, Dan Deacon, and Animal Collective. Mainly inspired by these artists, Cody also admits his admiration for Elvis Costello.
Cody remarks that “Elvis Costello has maintained fame that isn’t absurd,” which has allowed him to "completely be himself" in the creation of his musical works.
He exists in “twilight,” Cody reaffirms.
On paper, Cody’s Computer Science degree impressively sticks out, but his real treasure is the vision and determination he manifests in rhythm and melody. He designs puzzle-like compositions of sound that no formal degree could possibly convey. Molly and Cody send emails back and forth, co-editing strings of song. It's a collaborative craft that builds on their unique tastes, a real knack that must be heard and felt to understand.
Cody primarly aspires to succeed as an independent musician and composer. He and Molly persistently send emails, book shows, and create an online presence, in hopes that the project will gain more exposure and recognition from important listeners and critics. And it has.
Stolen Jars’s prospective summer release, Kept, will be engineered by professionals who have produced the likes of Bon Iver, LCD Soundsystem and tUnE-yArDs.
Determined to produce exceptional work, Cody schedules strict time slots to work on the project as meticulously as he arranges the various 45-second guitar riffs that eventually amount to a new song.
Still, balancing priorities as a student and an artist can prove to be very difficult. But Cody has nevertheless managed to succeed as both, being yet another Renaissance man to emerge from the Fitzgerald household. Having recently celebrated a tri-generational art show, his family is comprised of artists, business owners, and writers that completely supports his musical endeavors.
He plans to travel every avenue of the music scene upon graduating. Moving to Brooklyn, Cody hopes to join the crowd of talented artists living in New York City and embark on a journey that only a few college students nowadays are brave enough to explore: the music scene of a big city.
Cody and Molly's commitment to musical excellence and artistic expression will surely be evident in their next compilation of work dressed in seashell cover art.
“This album is more emotional,” he reveals. “It’s less childish.”
Get ready for summer and this hunk of audial bliss soon to come out digitally. Stolen Jars will also release Northeast tour dates soon. Check out their latest single "Folded Out," for an idea of what’s to come!
Also, look out for collaborative work featuring Stolen Jars, DAP, and Clyde Lawrence coming to the Hill soon.