Rewards is Aaron Pfenning, producer and songwriter from Brooklyn, NY. Pfenning co-founded the band Chairlift in 2005, wrote and produced the Chairlift major label debut Does You Inspire You, and recently released the Rewards single "Equal Dreams" (featuring Solange Knowles) on DFA Records.
As a member of Chairlift, Pfenning pulled double (and triple) duty - playing multiple instruments, writing songs, producing, and contributing vocals for the band’s major label debut. That comfort with musical multitasking made a new solo effort seem like the natural and logical next step to take. Pfenning assumed the name Rewards (a moniker he’s actually used since 2003), spent the better part of last year touring with We Are Scientists, Brandon Flowers and Warpaint, and released three broodingly romantic singles (“I Used To,” “What a Loser” and the achingly beautiful “Two Cardinals”) that made a host of listeners take sudden notice.
Less opaque and murky than its predecessors, “Equal Dreams” starts with upbeat percussion, great big handclaps and a creeping bassline that sounds anything but melancholic. The synths he weaves flicker around Solange Knowles’s silky, sultry vocals and give the track a palpable sensuality. An instrumental version accompanies it, and rounds out side A. On “Asleep With the Lights On,” Pfenning half-croons, half-whispers huskily and breathily, then stacks his vocals on the hooky chorus. A reverb soaked guitar - provided by Lightspeed Champion, aka Blood Orange - plays the song out in a sequence of jangly, echoing, vaguely lonesome tones.