Before SXSW 2017, you couldn’t get Ava Trilling on an airplane. The Forth Wanderers front woman had a crippling fear of in-flight motion sickness that was only cured by numerous therapy sessions and a cocktail made of Xanax, Dramamine, and Scopolamine aka the “devil’s breath” roofie-esque drug that infiltrated Colombia years back. She also wore a motion sickness wristband and carried a bottle of cold water to spray herself in the face. “I have flown, but I was scared shitless of it,” Trilling recalls. “It was important for me to do this because this is what we want, so I’m gonna say fuck it and get on a plane.” The "this" is the next level fame the Montclair, New Jersey-bred band achieved during that fateful music festival. Thirteen shows in seven days sealed the deal, and from there, Forth Wanderers became the IT band. The Spring release of their eponymous album solidified their status as indie rock power players, even eclipsing the early tweets of adoration that came from Lorde years back.
“I think lyrics are super important and the band feels the same way, so we wanted to make sure the vocals were front and center on this album,” she adds. “These songs are definitely more about ambiguity of love and sense of self. There’s definitely a lot of sexual innuendos in there—waking up in people’s beds and that kind of shit. This is more about finding your place in your sexuality and who you are, figuring out love and power in relationships.” While the project’s lead single “Ages Ago” references continuous evolutions in love, it’s also apropos of who Trilling is at this very moment.
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With a new home at Sub Pop Records and a management team behind them, Ava and Forth Wanderers are geared for the next phase in their career. Their cross-country tour this summer is a first for the band, as this will be their first time ever traveling to the west coast together. They’re all baby steps in what feels like a whirlwind of critical acclaim, yet Trilling is still unfazed by all of the superlatives. “I’m not like, ‘Oh shit! We are it now,’” she humbly advises. “There’s so much room for improvement. There’s still a gap in where we are and where we want to be.”