Indie rock trio Diff’rent Folks recently released their second EP, GYPO. The Downingtown-based grunge band has been actively playing shows since releasing Between We in January, and their new EP displays more depth and focus in songwriting and musicianship. By composing songs with an upbeat, natural flow and emotional weight, Diff’rent Folks makes music that is casual yet tormented.
Vocalist/guitarist Elijah Ehrhart’s reserved and snarky personality comes through in pronounced vocal deliveries and striking lyrics, which can come off as dark and somewhat comical. Alongside lines like “I’m living like a caged in rat that’s on fire,” hearty guitar riffs and distorted tones standout as a driving force for head banging. Those engulfing riffs are backed up by equally as eager bass lines from Dylan Pettine and resilient drumming from Dan Nazario, each of whom standout in the mix during chance opportunities. From the opening moments of “Kaitlyn,” Diff’rent Folks create music that is introspective, honest, and rounded out by fuzz and distortion.
The EP-opener might be the most accessible song, with an undeniable momentum and relatable lyrics like, “does anyone listen me when I talk, does anyone fear me when I scream?.” Amongst tape hiss and a steadfast tempo, Ehrhart describes paranoidly filing papers, being haunted by guilt-fueled fears, and notably exclaims “I’m going mad.” “To Montauk” is more complex, and starts off with a catchy, stout riff and soft vocals that morph between tempos and intensities. The track catches its stride with a quirky guitar and a hazy atmosphere, which is led by an ebow and gloomy vocals, “you got no one, you ain’t got no one to lose” and then “I found someone and now I got someone to lose.” The melancholy setting gets overrun by the song’s bouncing riff, and ultimately ends in its original upbeat manner.
“Irrelevant” might be the trio’s most impressive song to date. The track is a soft collision of guitar and drums that gradually gets more destructive and emotional. A cracking snare leads its slow opening, which gets crushed by fuzz and high-pitched vocals detailing the pull of a relationship. A playful riff is matched by resounding bass and invigorating drums, while the second half of the track painstakingly turns words around, “if I go, would all I gave you still mean anything, would I know you’re still a part of me. / Where I roam, I’ll walk unto a dark uncharted path, would you know you still mean everything.” Instrumentally it ends by raging into chaos, while the final song, “C&C,” fittingly begins in a daze. With dazzling riffs and yelping vocals, “I’m so afraid of dying but I like to live in fear,” Ehrhart leads the song with a sly yet revealing monologue. The track gets amped up about two minutes in, and after touching on personal aspirations and shortcomings, he blatantly surmises, “it’s great how the system works, everyone loves me but nobody cares.”
Diff’rent Folks create dense music with a unique character, and lyrically point out some of the flaws lurking in ourselves and our environment. With honest lyrics and bold, memorable instrumentals, their music overall works well as easy and heavy listening. The tunes can be a deeply personal and grief-ridden, which makes them cathartic, but songs are also delivered with an energy that makes them enthralling and altogether more than the sum of its parts.
Photo by Justin Nazario.