Indie project Hermit’s Victory released a surprise LP, Rain at the Boardwalk, on April 3. According to songwriter Tyler Bertges, the album was a little bit of a surprise to him, too. “I wasn’t planning on putting anything out,” he says. “Then everything happened and we’re all stuck at home, so it seemed like a good time to throw some new music out there.”

The album takes Bertges’ signature ethereal approach to music and production, but injects a little extra rhythm to the formula. Tracks like “Poz” and “Key West” settle into the pocket with an emphasis on drums above melody. “I went through a period where I was feeling good and writing more up-tempo songs somewhere along the way,” he says.

Given the current situation, Bertges embraced the isolation through minimalist songs that did way more with less. “Flower” and “Song Eight,” for example don’t have too many moving parts, but they have enough scope to feel like a journey.

Three tracks — “Rain at the Boardwalk,” “Good Times,” and “Rookie Shit” — were recorded with Wolfgang Zimmerman at Rialto Row. The other tracks were mastered by Contour songwriter Khari Lucas.

“I think it’s a little more lo-fi and less refined than the previous albums just because of the rushed process,” Bertges says.
[content-1]Bertges has laid low in recent years, quietly staying active in the music scene since he found himself the focus of criticism over his “slave baby” caricature, which he says came as “a life lesson from the universe.” The questions surfaced by the controversy kicked off years of frank discussions of racism, inclusiveness, and ignorance within the Charleston music scene.

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