For local band Souther, Columbus has been a city of opportunity.
When frontwoman Carly Fratianne moved back from Los Angeles and recorded her first EP under the Souther moniker, she wasn't writing for anyone in particular.
"I wasn't even thinking of making an EP intentionally," Fratianne said.
It all began with the guitar. Before anything else, Fratianne considers herself a guitarist, and these sounds shine through on the debut Souther EP "Is For Lovers." The songs are chock-full of big, clean spring reverb tones and bluesy riffs, some of Fratianne's favorite expressions from her main instrument.
"(Guitar) was the way I learned to express myself for the first time," she said. "It was so visceral and also so comfortable."
Soon after releasing "Is For Lovers," Fratianne joined drummer Jack Lynch and bassist Alex Randall to complete the full Souther lineup.
"It's the first full band I've ever been in," Fratianne said.
She references the experience fondly, citing the Columbus music scene as "collaborative" and centered around "the craft for the craft's sake," which she didn't find apparent in LA's cutthroat music environment.
This sense of collaboration is crystal clear when listening to Souther's most recent EP, "Blume," its first effort as a full band.
Although Fratianne still writes most of their songs in solitude, the other band members bring out a unique, fully realized sound that the three of them never would have been able to envision alone.
"(The 'Blume' EP) was much more premeditated," Fratianne said.
Souther's plans for the future go above and beyond anything the band has done before. The band is coming up on its biggest show to date and is in the process of recording its first full-length album, "Creature."
"The new LP is more of a happy medium between impulsivity or spontaneity and being locked into what we've done before," Lynch said. "There's been a lot more room for experimentation."
"Creature" also will be Souther's most collaborative album to date, with the inclusion of musicians and collaborators from outside the band, a first for Souther.
The band hopes to be able to release "Creature" early in 2019.
You can catch Souther in concert Sunday, Dec. 9, at Express Live!, 405 Neil Ave. in Columbus, during the CD102.5 Holiday Show Side B.
The show also will feature the Front Bottoms and Manchester Orchestra.
James Harker helps write the weekly In The Record Store column, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.