For Marina City, it’s time to make a few changes. And the first of three singles — Friday’s release of “Trust Fund Baby” — is only the start.
The song, a pop-heavy number that dives deep into the miscues and miscommunications of modern dating and relationships, is the reveal to a year of the band’s efforts to revamp, rebrand and redirect the band’s trajectory since releasing “The Crush” album in early 2020.
“Just a couple years ago, when we were writing ‘The Crush,’ we knew we wanted to change the sound. We knew we wanted to experiment with stuff. We knew we wanted to go bigger,” said Ryan Argast, Marina City’s lead vocalist.
“Trust Fund Baby” doubles-down on the band’s reliance on pop influences as a driving force behind the music. It’s bold and brash, but it’s catchy as hell and faces down situations many of us have experienced.
“When we came up with ‘The Crush,’ we knew that we liked a lot of that stuff. But we’re always redefining or experimenting with our sound,” Argast said. “We felt like we could confidently say, ‘Oh, this is a Marina City song.’ It has all the Marina City elements that it should have. And it’s the next progression.”
The new song is launching a new phase for the band — Argast of Oswego, Plainfield’s Matthew Gaudiano, Eric Somers-Urrea of Chicago and Arlington Heights’ Todor Birindjiev — as members announced last weekend bassist Aaron Heiy is stepping away to new opportunities and Marina City forges ahead as a foursome.
“Everyone’s friends, everyone’s great,” Argast said. “Sometimes there’s a new chapter, and he’s got a new chapter in his life and we’re supporting and excited for what he does with it. And I know that he feels the same way with us.”
Since they have been working toward this new change since October, the band isn’t missing a beat.
“Everyone can sleep well knowing that we know we have this, we figured it out,” he said. “And Marina City continues on.”
In addition to releasing the three new singles (and accompanying videos) every few weeks, Marina City is looking ahead to a new album out this summer and the expansion of their merch into more of a lifestyle brand, dubbed MAR.CITY. Bringing higher-end products into the mix, they hope to bring even more fans into the ever-expanding fold.
The new offerings include spring bomber jackets, knitted caps and other more upscale looks, with plans for even more around the album release this summer.
“We want our merchandise to feel like you’d want to wear it even if you don’t listen to the music so much,” Argast said.
It’s not a surprising move for a band that spent much of the pandemic traveling around the Chicago area for outdoor “Road Show” gigs on fans’ front yards, writing personalized Valentine’s Day songs for couples and otherwise staying connected with their musical audience.
“We’re not the biggest band in the world, but our fans are mighty, and not being able to interact with them in the usual ways is hard,” he said. “We are excited to be able to interact with them in new ways.”