Last winter, singer-songwriter Nick Edwards was living out of his car. At that point, he was used to it – he’d been homeless off and on since he was 17.
One night, he said, he woke from his sleep, shivering from the 35-degree weather, and prayed.
“I was just like, ‘Ah, this sucks,’ ” Edwards said. “So it’s just one of those things where it’s like, ‘God, if you’re willing, will you please make this music thing work? Because it seems to be the only thing that’s been working out.’ ”
Since then, things have started to look up for the now-24-year-old Fort Worth native. He found an apartment in Arlington, mended relationships with estranged family members, and started dating his current girlfriend.
In June, his band Social Age finished recording a four-song demo at Cloudland Recording Studios. On Saturday, Sep. 7, the group will celebrate its first official single with a show at Shipping & Receiving Bar.
Titled “You,” the track honors the band’s indie rock heroes. Shrouded in a velvety-smooth cloak of production, “You” is as emotionally honest as a Cure cut and as inherently danceable as an Interpol banger.
The guys had a blast recording in the studio with producer G.W. Childs (Starbass Laboratories), who happens to be a longtime friend of Edwards’ mother, Sarah. Plus, his mom co-produced the effort.
Edwards said his first experience in a professional studio was awe-inspiring. “I think the coolest thing was knowing how much talent has been in and out of this building,” he said of recording at Cloudland, where Pinkish Black, Sub Sahara, War Party, and countless other local luminaries have laid down tracks. “It was a really sobering and humbling feeling for me, just knowing how far I’ve come as a musician and as a human.”
Social Age began in February 2018 after Edwards, who plays rhythm guitar and handles vocal duties, recruited some friends he’d met playing in different church youth bands. Drummer Spencer Akins, guitarist Daniel Conkovich, and bassist Mike Stipich hopped aboard. Their first mission? To name the band.
That process wasn’t without incident. After deciding on the admittedly gloomier “Sunken Vessels,” the quartet created the appropriate social media pages and began posting under that moniker – that is, until they received a cease-and-desist email from a California solo artist who had copyrighted the name, Edwards said.
The quartet brainstormed new names one chilly night while they loitered on Edwards’ driveway. They spitballed ideas back and forth before they found one that wasn’t already claimed on Spotify or any social media platform.
“It took a few hours,” Conkovich said with a laugh.
Now, with their debut EP in the can, the guys are hoping to release it via a label. Social Age has its sights set on the Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records or Fort Worth’s own Dreamy Life Records. Edwards said the band has its calendar marked for a tentative October release.
Though the EP is yet unnamed, they’ve thrown out a few ideas. None have stuck yet, except for the partially satirical 120 BPMs – most every Social Age song clocks in at that tempo, Conkovich said.
Fans can purchase the group’s DIY band T-shirts. One design by Edwards features the contours of an old-school cubical desktop computer. The other, Akins created: It’s the visual representation of soundwaves from a clip of the “You” recording.
Though they all lead busy lives outside the band, everyone in Social Age shares the same dream: to make a living playing music. Edwards said his experiences living in poverty helped shape him into the person he is today. If he ever hits it big, the first thing he’ll do is buy his mother a house. The rest, he said, he’ll donate to the homeless.
Edwards added that he’s always longed to find a sense of belonging, and he feels like he’s found it with his band. The group serves as his de facto family. They fight and reconcile like brothers. The singer/guitarist said he wants to extend that sense of family to Social Age’s listeners. He hopes that the band’s music will offer solace to the hopeless and a sense of home to the lost.
“I want that to go down on record in history: that Social Age was a group of guys that was for the people and that loved everyone, no matter what their walk of life,” he said, pausing a pregnant beat. “Or choice of music, even if it’s country.”
Social Age single release party
6pm Sat, Sep 7, w/Doll Toy, DTB, and Bishop at Shipping & Receiving Bar, 201 S Calhoun St, FW. $10.