If you’ve ever fallen down a rabbit hole of emo or indie rock content creators on TikTok, you probably have a For You page that every so often brandishes a video praising Turnover’s 2015 breakout record Peripheral Vision. The album saw the Virginia Beach quartet take the schematics of their emo lyrics and translate them into an ethereal, dream-pop architecture. “It was such a tumultuous time,” lead vocalist and guitarist Austin Getz tells me of how the future of Turnover was flirting with the uncertain in those years. “Both of our previous guitarists had just left the band. It was college time, and everyone was going in different directions. We were at the tail end of making alternative rock and none of us were feeling super inspired by it anymore.”
Peripheral Vision became a modern classic that still doesn’t fit into a singular box. It wasn’t a deliberate detour from the heaviness of their 2013 debut Magnolia, but rather Getz, his brother Casey, and Danny Dempsey harnessing their interests and making music that sounded like what they were stoked about as a collective. There was hesitation involved, worries that the transition might not stick the landing among their audiences. “[We were like], ‘It’s a coin toss: People might hate it, people might love it, but it’s fun for us to play, so we’re gonna do it,’” Getz says.
The initial reaction to the record wasn’t imminent, as internet culture had not yet parlayed into the instant gratification machine it’s now become on record release cycles. But when Turnover embarked on a European tour in the fall of 2015, every show was sold out and the crowds embraced the new material with a warmth the band had never experienced before, as if in only a few short months the songs had changed—or even saved—their lives somehow. “I was just like, ‘Holy shit, what is happening?’” Getz recalls. “It was definitely a huge surprise, and I’m still surprised seven years down the line. I can’t believe the effect it’s had on people.”
“We were just writing and having a good time. It felt really natural, and it felt like something we hadn’t felt in a while.”
Now, seven years later, Turnover are releasing Myself in the Way—a continuation of the sonic blueprint they’ve harvested as their own, a full adoption of how the foundations of pop music run like electrical currents through the wires of emo lyricism. It’s the holy text of danceable melancholy, arriving like a deluge only for Turnover to harness it into a heart-stopping aesthetic. The band has grown up. They’re making records about the fears of not being meaningful partners and providing for your loved ones, no longer hiding behind the tropes of universal sadness. After years touring with pop-punk and post-hardcore acts like Have Mercy and New Found Glory, Myself in the Way is an electronic disco record, which feels like an unfathomable destination on a trip that began with blistering 2010s alt-rock riffs.
After consistently churning out an LP every two years, Turnover took extra time for themselves and put their own personal lives into focus before making their fifth record. “I think we were all a little bit less fully consumed with the band, almost by necessity, but I think we were happy for that opportunity and embraced it,” Getz says. “We didn’t have a timeline, because we were like, ‘Well shit, man, there’s no end in sight. We don’t really know when we’re going to be able to go in and record. We don’t know when we’re going to be able to go on tour.’”
The band had gotten swept up in the familiar industry cycle of record, release, tour, and repeat, which proved to be a hectic process that they were happy to abandon after their last album, 2019’s Altogether. When the time finally came to make Myself in the Way, their motivations—to make compositions emblematic of their own sonic passions—remained the same, but the act of songwriting and recording came accompanied by a newfound freshness, as if it were 2013 again and they’d just awoken from a much-needed reset. “We were just writing and having a good time. It felt really natural, and it felt like something we hadn’t felt in a while, writing a record in a certain way, the energy around it,” Getz says.
For the first time, a Turnover record welcomes outside collaborators into the fold. On lead single “Myself in the Way,” Brendan Yates of Turnstile provides vocals. “We came up playing with them because they’re from Baltimore, real close to home, so it felt really natural to ask him and he was super down,” Getz says. “Brendan’s pretty into disco-type shit, so it felt like a cool [track] to ask him to be on.” Turnstile’s latest record, Glow On pairs particularly well with the indie-pop, electronic trajectory Turnover has been on for nearly a decade. “[The collaboration] probably makes more sense now than ever. It’s perfect timing,” Getz adds. Elsewhere, Getz duets with Temple of Angels vocalist Bre Morell on “Ain’t Love Heavy,” the band’s grooviest work to date which sounds as if The Avalanches made a song for Saturday Night Fever.
“We were all just doing our own thing, and we naturally gravitated toward this similar space and the songs are a result of that.”
When Turnover released Peripheral Vision and Good Nature back-to-back years ago, perhaps no one could’ve envisioned a world where they’d be making electronic music plump with string sections and drum machine loops. Before 2015, when they were still under 20 years old, Getz and company were listening to Jawbreaker, Saves the Day, Title Fight, and anything that sounded similar, which pigeonholed them on Magnolia. “It was post-Peripheral Vision when everyone [in the band] really started listening to more music—I would say that’s when we started thinking we would probably never make a record that sounds the same, because there’s always going to be new music to be inspired by.” Though the band still listens to Title Fight, it’s soul music and resplendent 1970s nightclub theatrics that inform the thesis of Myself in the Way. Some bands are happy just playing it safe in the comfort of their own continuity, but Turnover prefers to endure by defying the boundaries of their own discography.
Turnover is no longer a batch of Virginia kids trying to make it on a fresh record deal. They’re still kicking it with their OG label Run for Cover, but they’ve long proved that they’re the real thing, making some of the best music of their career, and having a blast not giving too much of a shit about the intentionality of it all. “I feel like I learned to balance my life and myself a little more, so in a certain way I was less precious with the creation of [Myself in the Way], which I think led to a more natural and organic songwriting process,” Getz says. “We were all just doing our own thing, and we naturally gravitated toward this similar space and the songs are a result of that.”
Before making Myself in the Way, the band realized they’d become too consumed by their jobs as musicians. When the title track dropped, Getz spoke about embracing a mindset that puts providing for loved ones into the foreground and letting go of any ego that might dismantle that generosity on the backburner. The heartbreak and loneliness he once needlepointed into his lyrics are no longer there. He’s newly engaged and on the edge of becoming a family man, and he’s more interested in writing about what fears are entangled in this new chapter of his life. The band has bigger things going on at home than making records, and taking that space for themselves is a reason that this newly focused version of Turnover has come into being.
“Getting back to the basics of taking care of our own mental health and our own lives outside of music, it leads to more organic and more natural songs.”
“Getting back to the basics of taking care of our own mental health and our own lives outside of music, it leads to more organic and more natural songs,” Getz says. “It’s like [that] Drake line, ‘I’m so rich that my music’s not even relatable.’ It’s not that we’re so rich, but if all you do is tour and play in a band, how are you really going to write music that people who work a regular job relate to?”
Myself in the Way is, in some ways, a comeback album for Turnover. The record has the same kind of magic that tumbles out of Peripheral Vision and Good Nature, sounds that beckon hope amidst the tangents of poetic sadness. And though they’ve already started assembling the stems of their sixth LP, Getz and the band are excited to live in this moment for as long as they can. They might mess around and make a jazz record, or they might opt for retreating to the coziness of 3EB-core. As Getz puts it, the band “have finally shed the cocoon of being an alternative rock band.” Turnover no longer feels obligated to rush into the arms of familiar, melancholy clichés soundtracked by the same-old chord progressions. They’re much more comfortable admitting that they don’t have all of the answers while nose-diving into the beauty of something new. FL