Polaroid Fade: Crafting dreamy tunes inspired by Jersey Shore vibes

"The group of four has been passionate about playing music for nearly all of their lives, with Giuliani finding her love for singing at a young age and taking singing lessons for about seven years." - Photo via Ama Wick

Surrounded by the sound of crashing waves traveling across the coast, the band Polaroid Fade pens all season long at New Jersey beaches. 

Polaroid Fade’s song inspiration stems from taking in the atmosphere of closed shops on the boardwalk and walking through shorelines. The dream pop band influences listeners to explore the beach more and bask in it, not only in the summertime. 

The group of four musicians is composed of lyricist and vocalist Nicoletta Giuliani, beside junior psychology and philosophy major and backup vocalist and bassist Grace Halter. Rowan alum Tyler Bronn, who was a part of the first group of students to graduate from the Rowan Music Industry Program, plays guitar alongside local drummer RJ Hill. 

Having recently finished writing and recording an album set to release under the Rowan Music Group label, the group released the single “Fisher Gardens” on April 12, teasing their current untitled album in the works. Giuliani ties her hometown’s name into the song title, with the message having a specific meaning. The group encourages listeners to know that no matter what, as long as you know who you are, then everything is going to be fine. 

“We’re hopefully working on an album, it’s all written and recorded, we’re just trying to figure out when to release it. We just released our newest single ‘Fisher Gardens’ last week, so we’re just working on some new music. I mean, we have a couple of albums written already, it’s just figuring out when to release them,” said Giuliani. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Giuliani began writing music with her father, who plays in a Genesis tribute band. Bronn had been attending his band’s shows and encouraged Giuliani to form her own group. Bronn brought Halter to practice after they had played in a Pink Floyd tribute band together. Halter introduced Hill to become a stand-in drummer for the group and has been a permanent member of Polaroid Fade from that point on. 

“Nicoletta and her dad found me, and then I found Grace from the Pink Floyd band, and then Grace knew RJ who was supposed to be a fill-in, and then RJ’s been here ever since,” said Bronn. 

The group has been passionate about playing music for nearly all of their lives, with Giuliani finding her love for singing at a young age and taking singing lessons for about seven years. In school, Giuliani has performed in musicals, and Bronn was in the marching band during his high school years and is currently teaching high school music classes. Halter began playing piano when she was four years old, and bass when she was 12, and now teaches music lessons. Bronn and Hill both have a background in playing guitar and drumming. 

“I started playing drums when I was ten. I first started on the Rock Band video game. I just got a feel for that and got it for Christmas. I think I’ve been gigging since ten years old, so up until now I’m still gigging, I’ve just been drumming my whole life,” said Hill. 

They find inspiration from their favorite band The Sundays, while also bringing back the essence of groups including The Blondes, The Smiths, and The Cure. 

“People want to see bands again, and it’s cool, there’s a lot of solo artists, and that’s awesome, and we love that stuff,” said Bronn. “Bands exist, we’re playing instruments live, there’s no click tracks or anything. It’s real.” 

Performing their original songs across New Jersey beach towns, including Ocean City, Asbury Park, and Atlantic City, the group continues to play at the places where they draw their largest influence for their music. Last summer Polaroid Fade played with local musician Molly Ringworm at the Ocean City Music Pier and early this month at the Anchor Rock Club in Atlantic City. The group has another shore-based concert on July 2, at the Wildwood Arts Pavilion. 

“It’s fun, and everyone thinks I’m not having fun because I have a face, but it is my favorite pastime and I love it. Sometimes it’s weird. It’s great but it’s weird. You look out and people are singing, and you’re just like, ‘woah,’” said Halter. 

Polaroid Fade continues to embark on their musical odyssey by releasing promotional singles and performing at shows across the New Jersey and Philadelphia area. They have cultivated a group of fans who listen to their songs and recognize them outside of performances. 

“I was at American Eagle making a return once, and the girl was like, ‘Are you Tyler from Polaroid Fade?’ I was like, this is dumb, I don’t like this store. I thought it was one of Nicoletta’s friends, and then she was like, ‘I don’t know who that is,'” said Bronn. 

While solidifying themselves in the local music scene since they were formed in June of 2023, they have played gigs recently in Glassboro. They performed at the Main Street Music & Arts Festival this month and at a house show at The Matte House in March. Signed under the record label Rowan Music Group, the organization helps the band advertise and promote their singles. 

“They did all of the work, like putting it in with the distribution system that they use so they distributed it online and everything for us. The label played a big role in that, and they did incredible with it,” said Giuliani. “Their communication skills are incredible as well, and the fact that I was able to sit down and have conversations with Sam and Grace, it was amazing.” 

The band continues to book shows for this summer and is performing close by, about 10 minutes from campus on June 9, at the Core 3 Brewery in Clayton. On April 25, Rowan Music Group is hosting a Union Firehouse Show in Mount Holly where the band will be performing with other sets from bands and musicians Shark Earrings, Madhavi Devi, and Slim Dogis. To see the band continue to venture throughout the local music scene, follow the band on Instagram @polaroid.fade to stay up to date on when they post their next performances where they will take you on an ethereal journey. 

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