He had a heart for pop-punk, with its big hooks, crunchy power chords, and tight harmonies, but Sundressed was mostly a solo, acoustic enterprise. So Hedges took another route, one more in-line with other influences of his, channeling the indie-folk of Bright Eyes or Rocky Votolato.
But over time, Hedges began recruiting other players — like Garrett Tretta, Forest Waldorf, and others — and the group’s sound grew louder and faster, echoing the emotional punk of Hedges’ favorite bands: New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, and Saves the Day.
“I grew up loving [pop-punk] but also loving Bright Eyes,” Hedges says, polishing off an iced coffee at Cartel in Tempe, brushing his long blond hair from his face as he speaks. “At first, I didn’t know how to write for a band. But as time went on, it just kind of happened that way.”
Hedges says he considers
And like those bands,
At 29, Hedges spends a lot of time thinking about how to write the right kind of songs, honest and healthy ones.
“I think about that a lot, actually,” Hedges says. “A lot of the earlier [Sundressed material] was really personal stuff about getting sober.”
Hedges has been sober for nearly eight
“A lot of people [reached] out to me saying they were going through addiction stuff,” Hedges says. “It makes you want to touch on dark subjects but
And while A Little Less Put Together sounds more mature than many records in its genre, that isn’t to say it doesn’t indulge in heightened emotional fare, too: “Lime Light” explores theatrical angst, “Feelings Mart” is a classic outsider anthem, and “Mill and Broadway,” about the dissolution of a relationship and moving on, is “the most honest breakup song I’ve ever written,” Hedges says.
The record demonstrates how classic emo themes might translate to the nearly-30 set. While Hedges says younger fans tend to “get it” right away, he believes the record could resonate with fans of the early- to mid-2000s material that inspired him.
“It is kind of
He’ll have a chance to test that theory out soon. The band’s scheduled to play an upcoming Emo Night in February at the Echoplex in Los Angeles. But he’s not above winning the crowd over with a sure-fire pleaser.
“We might have to start with ‘At Your Funeral’ or something,” he jokes, laughing.
Chances are, one of his
Sundressed is scheduled to perform Saturday, December 17, at Crescent Ballroom.