Influences: Mighty Tortuga

This week, New England emo rockers Mighty Tortuga return with their fourth EP – ‘The Plague Inside Your Head’. It sees the quintet showcase an introspective five songs that neatly balances the line of emo and alt-indie.

Since their 2019 debut EP, the Connecticut group have been winning over admirers including Fred Mascherino. The Colour Fred and former Taking Back Sunday guitarist produced ‘The Plague Inside Your Head’ and has released it on Heading East Records label.

From the outset, ‘Let Me Down’ and ‘Pallette Knife’ quickly set the tone with driving, intricate guitars and vocalist TJ Redding’s accessible melodies. Whereas ‘Twin Graves’ rides on luscious, sun-swept guitars and reflective lyricism. Throughout there are hints and stylistic nods to those who have come before them. For example, ‘Rearview’ has us reminiscing of ‘Peripheral Vision’-era Turnover. While the EP ends with ‘Roses’ is delivered with the balladic poise of Mayday Parade.

Mighty Tortuga guitarist Jacob Berberich spoke to Already Heard about the albums and bands that have had an impact during the creation of ‘The Plague Inside Your Head’.

Manchester Orchestra – Means Everything to Nothing

‘Means Everything to Nothing’ probably had the biggest impact on the creative vision of this record. To me, it’s the best fusion of indie rock and emo that has ever been done, and sonically it’s what initially inspired ‘The Plague Inside Your Head.’

The Maine – Pioneer

‘Pioneer’ by The Maine had a giant impact on the creative process of this record. Creatively, I felt like we were on a similar trajectory as The Maine were when they made that album. Coming off of their previous record.Black and White, which was a much more polished record into ‘Pioneer,’ which was much more organic sounding, inspired us to make something more indie and less polished.

Transit – Joyride

‘Joyride’ by Transit is a masterpiece of a record to all of us, and a really nice middle ground between pop punk and indie-styled pop rock. Songs like Nothing Left to Lose really motivated us to take a larger step creatively into making a genre-bending song like ‘Twin Graves.’

A Will Away – Stew

A Will Away‘s Stew is an album we’re all huge fans of. Previously working with the producer behind it on our sophomore effort ‘The Gloom,’ gave us a lot of inspiration from their creative process. Similar to ‘Pioneer,’ A Will Away went from a more pop-rock focus on Here Again,’ to a more indie rock direction with ‘Stew.’

Late summer last year, I got an advance copy of the record from one of my close friends and the opening track, The Rock,’ directly inspired our song ‘Let Me Down.’ It really provided a roadmap to trying something new for us.

The Neon Trees – Habits

This is not an album I love all the tracks on, but songs like Sins Of My Youth’ and 1983 are extremely inspiring pop rock/ indie rock blends that were on constant playback while creating these songs.

The Academy Is – Santi

Santi by The Academy Is was a huge influence on these songs. It’s another example of a pop punk band creating a raw indie rock record. Sonically, it is one of my favourite records due to the overly raw experience of what sounds just like a band playing in a room.

‘The Plague Inside Your Head’ by Mighty Tortuga is out now on Heading East Records. Listen on Spotify or Apple Music.

Find Mighty Tortuga on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify.


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