September 12, 2001 was a time of confusion, anger, and grieving for many people across the world. But for brothers Ari and Josh Ingber, it was also the day they decided to form a band.
Struck by the previous day’s events, Ari sat down and wrote nearly all of the songs that appeared on the band’s 2004 self-titled EP, including “Ladder 116” (then called “Ladder 104”), which will appear again — in a slightly different version — on the band’s first full-length album, An American Stranger, due August 25. Download the track below!
When Ari called Josh, a drummer, to play him the song and ask him to help form a band, Josh didn’t hesitate, even though the two had never really played music together growing up. “I thought ‘Ladder 116’ was the best song I’d ever heard in my life at that time,” Josh told SPIN.com.
The haunting track — which explores the painful contradiction of the 9/11 terrorist attacks happening on one of the most beautiful days of that year — also caught the ear of Third Eye Blind frontman Stephen Jenkins, who invited the band to open for 3EB on their 10-year anniversary tour after having their EP passed along to him by an ex-girlfriend.
Another fan came in the form of All-American Rejects singer/bassist Tyson Ritter, who also took the Upwelling out on tour, and eventually made them the first signing to his own label, Edmond Records. “As I heard this band playing for the first time, I thought, ‘Holy shit!'” Ritter says in a video on the band’s YouTube page.
Since then, it’s been a crazy ride for the Queens, New York-based brothers, who earned “Underground Band of the Year” honors in our 2005 Band of the Year contest. They’ve played with Metric, Ben Kweller, and We Are Scientists, and spent a year and a half recording An American Stranger with help from producers Jenkins, Ritter, and Jason Hill (Louis XIV).
“We just disappeared off the face of the earth while we were recording this album,” Ari said. “Now that it’s done, we’re looking forward to reaching out to our fans again — you know, where every once in awhile, someone comes up to you and says, ‘Hey, I really like your record,’ or ‘Hey, I just heard your new song,’ and that’s awesome.”
Hear and download their new song for yourself right here:
DOWNLOAD: The Upwelling, “Ladder 116” (DOWNLOAD)