Coriander plants new album

Almost all college students spend their academic career planning for the life that is soon to follow.

From marriage and minivans, to careers and business casual, the fundamental change into adulthood takes place within ourselves.

“Old Invitations” is the debut album from local band Coriander and explores the theme of life after college. The five-piece band is composed of Wichita State students and graduates who have looked inward to express their struggles with growing up.

“A lot of it, lyrically, is inspired by my first year of marriage,” said Matt Hamer, the lead vocalist and guitarist. “I got married last summer and it’s a lot harder than I expected. It’s not really something that you’re ever ready for.”

Last Friday, Coriander performed at WSU Shift Space, the School of Art & Design’s off-campus student gallery located in the Commerce Street Arts District. Other local musicians, Zsa Zsa Ketzner and Aaron Lee Martin, to celebrate the release of “Old Invitations.”

Coriander’s set started out with “Impossible Germany,” as a tribute to the band Wilco, who had strong musical influence on Hamer. The set transitioned into Coriander’s original material, ending with the crowd singing along with a chorus and the members from the bands preceding them joining them on stage.

Danielle White, of Zsa Zsa Ketzner, said he not only enjoyed being a part of Coriander’s release party, but also personally recorded the album at his home studio.

“It’s a relief that it’s done,” Coriander drummer Adam Lutes said. “But it will be more of a relief when we see how people respond to it.”

The recording started in June and took roughly six months leading up to the release last Friday.

The music video for “These are Fighting Words” was released online before the album. The video was created in a little more than a day.

“That was just inspired by a bunch of stuff I was going through with wanting to put up a fight to be a better husband,” Hamer said.

The music video juxtaposed the more serious lyrics of the song with bright, mid-tempo instrumentals. It features images of a whimsical food fight to lighten the mood but also keep the theme of conflict present.

“I never want to leave someone hopeless,” Hamer said. “But I think writing a song that expresses despair is important. At the same time I don’t think you can leave it there.”

In the same spirit as their video, the band attacks the personal themes with positivity and a level-headed perspective.  

Coriander is another word for cilantro. The band chose the name at random out of the dictionary and there isn’t any intended meaning. However, the word itself fits well with the band’s mellow sound.

“We’re really proud of these songs,” guitarist Michael Endgahl said, “and I think tonight’s show is a really good chance to play them and have people hear them in a good community of music and just jam out together.”