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The relationship between art and the surroundings that shaped it is a paradoxical one. Let an environment shape something too much and it can no longer stand on its own. Do the opposite and the environment seems like an afterthought, lacking conviction when taken as part of the experience. Philadelphia’s Nonfiction built their debut EP Same Pain in a cabin in Narrowsburg, New York, a hamlet with less than 500 residents. A trivia fact like that might mark it as a reserved, quiet experience, with more unsaid than unraveled. The reverse is luckily true: it’s a big, loud rock record that portrays existential dread on the same plane as cavernous, massive tone. In only seven tracks, Nonfiction ventures from smoky, backroom alt-rock swagger (“Get Off”) to caustic post-punk (“The Lake”) and back again, all delivered with a pop sheen betraying the record’s humble origins. Nonfiction is a band impervious to cabin fever, and they’re ready for you. -James Cassar 
 Photos by Hannah Altman