Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer struck up a friendship as high school freshmen in New Orleans, La. While attending Louisiana State in Baton Rouge, the two formed The Eames Era with three classmates in 2003. The dissolution of that group in 2007 led to a return to New Orleans where Joyner and Widmer started writing songs as Generationals.
Baton Rouge-native and Eames Era producer Daniel Black (The Oranges Band) invited them to record their debut Con Law at his Washington, D.C. studio Bent Black in 2008, where incessant coverage of the presidential campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain, and the issues dividing the candidates’ viewpoints, gave rise to the band’s name.
New Orleans-based label Park The Van (Dr. Dog, The Spinto Band) released Con Law in 2009. Its retro vibe clearly bore the infuence of Phil Spector’s mid-century pop, but Generationals’ influences always ran the gamut, with pieces of britpop, dance and electronic poking through the trumpet stabs and Abbey Road compression on their analog 24-track recordings.
The band maintained their obsession with tape recording on 2010’s Trust EP, produced in Austin, Tx. by freak-folk mastermind Bill Baird (Sunset, Sound Team). Trust saw the band drift away from the Brill Building origins of Con Law in favor of a new wave sound that owed more to The Sugarcubes and The Stone Roses than the Ronettes.
2011’s sophomore LP Actor-Caster revealed a band zeroing in on their strong suit: efficient pop songwriting. All ten of its taut, bright songs found their way into the band’s setlists as they hit their stride with a live confidence earned by relentless touring.
In 2012 a renewed and refreshed Generationals completed work on Heza, their debut LP for Polyvinyl Records, in their hometown of New Orleans. On Heza, Generationals aren’t so much shedding their old skin as growing more comfortable in the one they’ve always inhabited.