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Anchorage band signed to Modest Mouse’s record label

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: November 24, 2017
  • Published November 23, 2017

Stefanie Vigoren, left, and Jaybird Parkhurst are the frontwomen of Anchorage band Termination Dust. Photographed at Koot’s in Anchorage, 2017. (Photo by Kerry Tasker)

An Anchorage band has signed a record deal with a Portland-based label run by Modest Mouse's lead singer.

Termination Dust — led by two women, Stefanie Vigoren and Jaybird Parkhurst — was picked up by Glacial Pace Records late last year, after opening a show for Modest Mouse in Anchorage.

In Alaska, it's unusual for a band to score a record deal. Termination Dust announced the news on social media on Monday.

Parkhurst said the experience has been crazy and exciting. The band's first album, "Familiar Eyes," will be re-released under Glacial Pace. It was originally recorded and mixed by Chad Reynvaan at Wattage Studios in Anchorage.

An EP titled "It's Never Too Late," with seven new songs, will be released in the spring of 2018, Parkhurst said. The album was recorded over five days at Ice Cream Studios in Portland.

Although they have since left the band, Jacob Dee played bass and Joshua Ireland played drums on the last album and the upcoming release.

Vigoren and Parkhurst describe their sound as dreamy pop. Both women play guitar and harmonize on vocals. It's the "softer edge to indie rock," Parkhurst said.

The band is planning to tour in the spring of 2018, mainly along the West Coast of the U.S.

Glacial Pace Records was started in 2005, when Modest Mouse's label Epic offered lead singer Isaac Brock his own label, according to Willamette Week. But three years later, Epic dropped the label, and now it is fully independent.

Termination Dust is now one of nine bands on the label. They got picked up after opening for Modest Mouse at a summer concert at Moose's Tooth in Anchorage in 2016.

At the show, Termination Dust handed out albums to members of Modest Mouse. One of the guitar techs encouraged Brock to listen to the album, Parkhurst said. Brock did – and started playing it for other musicians while Modest Mouse was touring.

"He couldn't find anybody who hated it," Parkhurst said with a laugh.

A few months later, the label called to say they were interested.

In January, Termination Dust flew down to Portland, with the promise of recording at least one new single, Parkhurst said. But they had brought enough new material for a new EP, she said.

"We went down there not expecting really much and then we spent five twelve-hour days doing the new stuff," Parkhurst said.

After they arrived in Portland, the city was hit with a snowstorm. The band ended up being stranded at the studio, and wandering to nearby shops to get toothbrushes and other essentials, Vigoren said.

The band recorded 13 new songs during the session in January, and it was Brock who picked out the final seven songs for their new EP, Parkhurst said. The band has a 50-50 split on digital sales, and will keep the money they make on tour.

“We have complete creative control, which is awesome,” Parkhurst said.

On Monday, the band released a music video to their song "Clutter," which they filmed at the end of the summer.

Vigoren, who wrote the song, said that it was written about the "chaos in your head when you break up with someone, and your brain is kind of cluttered."

Termination Dust is a colloquial term in Alaska for the first dusting of snow on the mountains. The band got its start in September 2014, right as that first snow was falling, Parkhurst said.

"We were writing a lot of songs about how we were feeling, and change, and what it's like to live in Alaska," Parkhurst said.

Right now, Termination Dust doesn't have any Alaska shows planned for the new album.

"We're building up anticipation," Parkhurst said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article quoted Parkhurst as saying the band recorded for five-hour days; it has been corrected to five twelve-hour days. Also, Parkhurt's last name was misspelled Pakhurst. 

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