There’s something about Edison. There’s an easiness among the trio that would wrongly suggest they’ve been together much longer than their two years. It’s an inviting and commanding presence that draws listeners into their music and their story.
That story begins in 2014 when front-woman Sarah Slaton, multi-instrumentalist Dustin Morris, and guitarist Maxwell Hughes officially became bandmates and hit the road in pursuit of their dreams.
Fast forward two years to the release of Edison’s debut LP, Familiar Spirit. The album sets the landscape for a band that draws from the past while auspiciously looking toward the future. Some of these “familiar spirits” are people and places, including family.
For the members of Edison, their mom’s have served as their biggest inspiration. “[My mother] set the bar for the kind of woman I can only hope to be,” says Sarah. Adds Maxwell, “The wisdom and love [my mother and stepmother] have shown throughout my life has shaped me into the person I am today.”
A Whirlwind Year
Edison has had an exciting year. From signing to Rhyme & Reason Records, to releasing their debut LP, to touring all over the country. Their high-notes include opening for Iron & Wine, and meeting childhood hero’s like Counting Crows front-man, Adam Duritz.
The trio takes all these gains in stride and appreciates each moment. Maybe the band’s namesake captures their spirit best. On their site you’ll find this John Green quote: “Thomas Edison’s last words were: “It’s very beautiful over there.” I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”
Learn more about Edison’s debut album Familiar Spirit, what shapes their lives, and more below.
Sound Dessert: What’s your favorite song on Familiar Spirit?
Sarah: My favorite song is “Tie Me Down” because of the rawness within the recording. It was a brand new tune and the recorded live take closes the album.
Dustin: My favorite tune is “The Good Fight.” We allowed ourselves to use as many tools around the studio that we could for layers and enhancement. It was fun to see how deep we could dig with this one.
Maxwell: “Water in the Well” is probably my favorite song off the record. Every time I listen to it, I’m taken back to the recording studio and get to relive the excitement I experienced while recording this song.
SD: What are some “Familiar Spirits” in your life?
Sarah: There’s something stirred deep within me each time I’m back on the lake in Arkansas where I grew up. There’s familiarity in my surroundings and nostalgia.
Dustin: Mine would be catching up with an old friend and finding that they’re happy and healthy or meeting a new friend. We’re all connected in some way or another.
Maxwell: Every time I head west towards Colorado after a tour, I’m filled with a comfort whenever I see the mountains for the first time. When you are next to the mountains, you always know which way is North. It’s simple, but creates a sense of safety.
SD: How would you describe each band member’s spirit in one word?
SD: What’s been one of the most memorable moments from touring?
Maxwell: One of my most memorable moments was waking up in our van in Kansas City and thinking, “I am so thankful to be here right now; to be waking up in this van.” I was going through some intense personal reflection and realized that all of my failures and victories had led me to waking up in that van that morning. I was right where I was supposed to be.
SD: How do you like to pass the time on the road?
Dustin: Swapping stories with my band mates. Really. These two are the best. We’re all so different, but together we make a certain kind of magic I can’t describe. I also nap a lot. I mean a lot. When not busy with those, I’ve had my hands full with drinking whiskey and learning Spanish.
SD: What does your “we’ve made it” moment look like to you?
Sarah: I personally think you continuously hit those moments, because there’s always room for improvement. “We’ve made it” by having the opportunity to travel and play our music, but we continue to work hard and look to build a sustainable career long-term.
SD: Name a song that makes you want to take action/gets you fired up.
Sarah: Fall Out Boy, “Grand Theft Autumn”
Dustin: Bright Eyes, “To Love and To Be Loved”
Maxwell: TV on the Radio, “The Wrong Way”
SD: What is your favorite dessert?
Sarah: Spring Fling Cake at The Market in Denver. It’s heaven.
Dustin: Pies, Oatmeal Creme.
Maxwell: Gummy Bears.