Photographs by Marc Gabor
Text by Joseph Tirabassi
The first thing I noticed was the coat. A burgundy corduroy knee-length trench that bled Carnaby in its heyday. It was in the possession of Aaron Pfenning, the leader of the band Rewards and a founding member of Chairlift, the Brooklyn group that rose to prominence after the release of their debut full-length Does You Inspire You. His outerwear was conspicuous amongst the bundled-up crowd of about two dozen who had gathered early in front of the Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch his show with Warpaint later that night. As Rewards, Pfenning steps out on his own, though followers of Chairlift won’t be disappointed. There’s plenty of the whispered melodies and intrinsic grooves that define his better-known act. His music has found fans at DFA Records, who are releasing a single in the coming months, and he’s taken his solo project on the road with Brandon Flowers and We Are Scientists. The soft-spoken Pfenning has a way with rainy day pop, but in person, he’s affable and talkative about everything from John Carpenter movies to his connection with Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion to the culinary delights of Britain.