For Amanda Spring, it all came to her in a dream: "I have a really good friend that I used to play in a band with, and she's an Elks member. I had a dream that I saw her and I said, 'What bands are you into?' And she said, 'Oh, I only listen to Elks Lodge bands—only Elks member bands that tour at Elks Lodges.' I said, 'Okay, but what's your favorite one?' and she said they're called 'Heart to Elk.'" Spring continues, "I was so interested that when I woke up I was actually kind of bummed that it wasn't a real band."
For the five years that Point Juncture, WA has existed, three were spent with their collective heads bowed as they tinkered, experimented, tried, failed, and eventually created the full-length album blessed with the moniker triggered by a dream—Heart to Elk. In the scheme of things, to devote a lion's (or in this case, an elk's) share of your time on a mere 13 songs might seem like a lopsided way to partition one's time, but the end result—Heart to Elk, in all its glory—is their justification.
"We were learning how to record, so we'd scrap something in favor of trying a new idea; that's not something you can do if you're in a studio," explains Spring in regards to the band's home-based recording method. "It's an energy that benefits from being refined and making mistakes. We have a lot of songs we've played live only once. Once! It might rear its head again three years later in some way or another." Or, as keyboardist Victor Nash simplifies it, "We have a long attention span."
Of course this devotion, no matter how many years dedicated toward crafting it, is to be expected from Point Juncture, WA. Their half-decade run has been peppered with countless local shows, well-planned jaunts across the country (the band packs their own vegan food in a cooler, thus avoiding the Red States' aversion to all things soy), a pair of previous self-released recordings (2004's self-titled debut, and 2005's Mama Auto Boss), and an identity as one of this town's most consistent acts to stand proudly beneath the banner of indie rock. But in the looming shadow of Heart to Elk, little of that matters. Far eclipsing their previous efforts set to tape, along with their captivating live presence, the album radiates with the soft sound of elegantly assembled tunes, the product of a very close-knit outfit of friends and bandmates.
Perhaps a Yo La Tengo comparison is required here, but Point Juncture, WA have carved their influences into something entirely their own. The gentle vocal interplay between Spring and Nash—especially on "New Machine," the stars-aligning moment of the album, where every note, every word, sounds like perfection—anchors the majority of the songs on Heart to Elk, while the other half of the band, Skyler Norwood and Wilson Vediner, flesh out the band's textured sound. Recently their elaborate song-building structure and deliberate pace caught the ear of Seattle label Mt. Fuji Records, who will sweep up the self-released Heart to Elk next year and give it a rightful home on record store shelves the nation over—a move that will further cement the legacy of the Point Juncture, WA crew as an act not fading from the horizon anytime soon. Or, as Nash puts it, "I feel like we'll be in this band for years, not only as fun, but as punishment, too."