Standards and Blanks

Standards and Blanks


Erratic folk music. Traverses extremes, alternating suddenly between the intimate and the ostentatious, the calm and the explosive, the restrained and the improvised. The competing themes of sarcasm and confessionalism dominate


A band that is more erratic than it is any one genre, Standards and Blanks’ music cuts across extremes, shifting suddenly between the intimate and the ostentatious, the calm and the explosive, the restrained and the improvised, the confessional and the sarcastic.

The band shirks traditional pop-song form in favor of something looser, more linear and organic. Many songs are composed in two halves, each with a radically different texture than the other (see: “Everything Meant Exactly What I Thought It Meant”). At its most basic, Standards and Blanks plays guitar music. The songs are projects in layering guitars and creating fullness and then stripping that all away and appreciating the relative minimalism of a single guitar and a single voice.

While the band likes to describe its music as Albert Ayler, Roy Orbison, Jim O'Rourke and Kyp Malone all taking a road trip to Raymond Carver's grave, it's probably more akin to some confused mash-up of Bob Dylan, Destroyer and a heavy dose of nostalgia and sarcasm.

Spearheaded by songwriter Asher Schranz (frontman for The Ready Set, which has opened for Hella and Pattern is Movement, among others), Standards and Blanks is comprised of four recent graduates from Wesleyan University (although Schranz records most of the music himself). While young, all the members are already seasoned live performers. The band is primed to make its New York debut.


I Gave You Money

Written By: Asher Schranz

I gave you money when you went away. The tolls of the day, muffled dismay. I saw the way for a moment.

To feed the fire I will trace in the sand images of desire: deflating lungs, your songs unsung. When I was young it was the dead I admired.

Everything Meant Exactly What I Thought It Meant

Written By: Asher Schranz

Your house broke apart as the earthquake started. It crumbled in my hands. And you sought refuge from the shards that pierce your muscles and they disband.

Mold a seaside hostel as the tide is low. We’ll live here and we’ll starve. I’ll mine the fossils to find old crows. We will release them from their ghosts.

In the day I carved wood into sculptures of things I used to own. By the morning I had rebuilt the pieces of the life I lived alone. Then we gathered in the night to breathe our truths to each other under the light.

With our backs to the coast and our face to the wind, I looked at your clothes, held your tired limbs. And then swam from the shore and drowned all my sins until the water glowed and the air was thin.

The History, The Heat

Written By: Asher Schranz

The history, the heat, the part where we in dark agree. You walk the streets and then you walk until your knees can’t hold your body.

I will look towards the sky. It beams with the brightest light that stings the crests, anoints the blessed and I touched your breast and it startled my discretion. I weep to make sense of my aggression and ache to feed to you my confessions.
I know it’s not what I promised. I forgot and carved it in my wrist. I will wake to the flash of a fist and I quaked as I tried to resist

I will wait until I meet you later today, buried in grey. There you tumble towards my way – a big display, you plie.

I jumped to crack the concrete. I jumped to feel the heat.

The heat: the heart it beats on the meter that I know. I drew the rhythm in the snow and lit the flames and watched the lawn glow. And the fire sang the song - the words were wrong - but we still felt like we belonged in the Forest where we lost the subway. The coldest, the pain as we raise, ablaze, towards the leaves of the iron trees. And I have called on the wisdom of each who recalled with a swig of his rum the fall of our bodies into the cavities of the slums.


1. "The Heat, The Heart" (2007) - 6 song EP.
2. "The Answer is Yes" (2006) - 9 song CD (released as Asher Schranz).
Both are self-made and self-distributed very minimally (under 100).