Toronto Rockers DECIDER Prove Their New “Underwriter” Single Is A Sure-Fire Investment

Not every act introduces itself to the public by holding up a mirror to their innermost delusions. But Decider aren’t just a pretty fearless bunch: Like any skilled financial analyst, they’re good at weighing the angles. The Toronto-based duo of Eric Wood and Jake Israel have made the canny calculation to sign in to the music scene with their brooding single “Underwriter,” a recorded testament to the mental bargains we strike with ourselves just to keep keeping on.

With the composed solemnity of a grand tragedy, the song confronts us listeners directly, challenging us to acknowledge our most self-salvaging habits:

So you
You level out
Just to hide the pain
You push it down
Go underground
And throw it all away
But you should know
You’re not the same
As you were before

“Underwriter’ is a ritual statement, a plague we all share,” the duo says. “That thing that we tell ourselves that makes it alright, though its effects may be short-lived.”

And what about that enigmatic title?

“We all struggle with the cost of living. Some see that as a financial statement, while others share a voice that persists, a mantra that calms, or a wound that never heals. We may never be perfect, we might have to fight the pain of existence, but the underwriter of your consciousness is forever the judge, jury and executioner of your experience.”

That’s pretty heady stuff, but this pair have the musical goods to back it up. Fellow guitarists Wood and Israel complement each other to create a sound that’s Spartan yet never, well, under-written. Clean, unadorned arpeggios create a solid foundation for Wood to emote his scalpel-sharp lyrics—sentiments made all the more affecting by the gradual insinuation of string-section notes that are drawn out to the point of heartbreak.

The track is a tantalizing sample of Decider’s eponymous debut album, a nine-track manifesto that seamlessly blends elements of rock, alternative and progressive music into a unique sound tailor-made to convey the duo’s particular preoccupations. Hints of iconic artists like Incubus, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters and Big Wreck get swept up in an expansive soundscape that encompasses themes of love, loss and the triumph over adversity. Songs like “Mine to Lose” and “Tempted” – both of which have also been earmarked for single release – share thought-provoking visions of adoration, temptation and the very nature of being human.

Co-produced by Wood and Israel and mastered by the legendary Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel, Decider boasts a polished feel that showcases the duo’s raw talent and undeniable chemistry. In addition to their shared six-string duties, Wood lays down some haunting keyboards and Israel contributes understated yet firm bass guitar. And they aren’t afraid of relying on technology to embellish their efforts either: The album makes judicious use of state-of-the-art digital instruments and the latest remote recording and monitoring software.

The finished product is the culmination of four years of meticulous work, from writing and arranging to recording and mixing. “We’ve literally poured our very essence into this debut,” the group says. “The themes we explore on the album—we’ve lived them. We are living them.”

And they’ve been doing it for a long time. Wood and Israel grew up in the same neighbourhood, knew the same people and even attended the same schools. They just didn’t happen to meet until much later. But their similar musical tastes and love for the “craft of creation” created an instant and lasting bond. Over the years, they’ve been in bands together and cheered each other on when they weren’t.

Now that they’ve found their ultimate configuration and purpose as Decider, they can finally make good on the twin goals they’ve ways harbored: to create music they themselves would like to hear, and to amass a body of work that will stand the test of time. To Wood and Israel, the ultimate aim is to use their music to tell a grand, overarching narrative.

“The notion of a thematically rich and emotionally resonant story that explores the journey through the highs and lows of the human experience—hope, despair, redemption, reverie—really resonated with us. It gave the story we’re telling some substance.”

The next chapter in that story is a trio of music videos Decider have produced for “Underwriter” and the other two singles. For that endeavor, they’ve relied upon Israel’s extensive experience in videography, media arts and graphic design. They’ve even turned to Generative AI to develop the entire sequence in the infinite-zoom music video for “Tempted”. But whether they’re in the studio or the editing bay, don’t worry that technophilia is going to eclipse their interest in spinning a very flesh-and-blood yarn.

“Decider is a choice,” they explain. “A dichotomy of good and evil, the temptations we face, and the love we nurture.” And if you think that looks good on a balance sheet, just listen to how great it sounds.