When high school friends Dan Ryan and Greg Wellham went to Towson University to study jazz guitar, their musical ambitions were clear. “My first two years, I was like, if I’m gonna get good at this, I will only listen to jazz and I will only make my entire world that. I was, like, very serious,” Ryan remembered.

By the time the pair graduated in 2013, however, they’d started their own band Super City as dual singer-songwriters, making cerebral indie rock that utilized their jazz training. “When we started writing together, it wasn’t jazz. But we were trying to do a lot of textural guitar stuff, and that was kind of the foundation. And then we just started becoming songwriters and writing really well-structured songs,” Wellham added.

In 2014, the duo released Super City’s debut EP, but they soon expanded into a five-piece lineup that has remained unchanged for about a decade: bassist Brian Brunsman, who they met at Towson, guitarist/keyboardist Jon Birkholz and drummer Ian Viera. The quintet, who will perform Saturday at Creative Alliance, piled onto a couch at a local Starbucks to discuss their most recent album, “In the Midnight Room,” with frequent inside jokes and tangents about the band’s strangest moments on the road.

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After two self-released albums, “In the Midnight Room” is Super City’s first effort backed by a label, the Kentucky-based SofaBurn Records. The album kicks off with “Getouttahere,” a dynamic uptempo track that illustrates how far the group has come from its early aversion to distortion pedals in favor of “clean” guitar sounds.

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“The original loose concept that we had was all of the cool-sounding things will happen from the two guitarists cleanly interacting with each other, no pedals. That was our first limitation that we set for ourselves. Then we were like ‘Wait a minute,’” Ryan said.

“Flash forward to Jon’s pedalboard being the biggest pedalboard I’ve ever seen,” Viera added with a laugh. “Accurate,” Birkholz deadpanned.

The “Getouttahere” video, co-directed by Ryan and Danny Siebenhaar, features a little of the band’s dance moves that have become a signature of Super City’s live performances. And the band’s synchronized onstage dances were inspired partly by the footwork required to trigger those guitar pedals, as well as seeing the choreographed movement in concerts by other alternative acts like St. Vincent.

“That’s kinda how the choreography was born, in a way. We all had these intense pedalboards, and I was doing all these elaborate switches. And I would find myself more efficient if I was dancing the whole time,” Ryan said.

Each member of Super City has their own home recording gear, and members play in other bands including Soul Cannon, BODEGA, Adjective Animal, $100 Girlfriend and the Lunar Year. Though many of Super City’s songs start with Ryan or Wellham, everybody contributes to the songwriting, even helping finish lyrics. “The music comes together very quickly, but lyrically, you don’t wanna write something that you’ll regret for the rest of your life,” Ryan said.

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All that bustling collaborative energy is felt on “In the Midnight Room,” which was assembled at Baltimore’s Wright Way Studios. Band members would often make demos of newly written songs at home in a fit of inspiration, then polish the demo and overdub more instruments at Wright Way. “That’s kind of our favorite thing to do, because you’re capturing ideas in real time, and mixing different recording qualities. You get something really special out of that,” Wellham said.

“It’s got this kind of scrapbook-y feel to it,” Ryan added.

Wright Way’s Steve Wright, who mixed the album, relished the challenge of creating cohesive tracks from disparate sources. “When they approached me with the idea to marry the different fidelities, I was all in,” Wright said. “The first song we did together was combining three full separate recordings of the same song: an iPhone demo, an eight-track experimental analog version and a full band version in my studio. It was a great experiment and it started the conversation to what was possible.”

Super City’s name isn’t self-aggrandizing, but Wright thinks it fits his high opinion of the band. “I always describe Super City as a sort of supergroup. They may not come from famous bands, but they have all the elements of veteran musicians. They are all amazing studio musicians. They are top-notch producers. And their songwriting shows a maturity beyond their experience.”

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With some good luck and fortuitous timing, Super City got an early career boost from a burst of popularity for the first song Ryan and Wellham ever wrote together, 2014′s “Find You.” After the band sent the song to WTMD, they unexpectedly found it not only in the local station’s rotation but also featured in a Baltimore-themed episode of the nationally syndicated radio program “World Cafe.” Super City was one of a handful of new acts featured alongside the city’s more established names like Dan Deacon and Beach House. “Find You” was subsequently featured on prominent Spotify playlists and now has nearly 3 million plays on the streaming service.

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Despite the success of their debut single, Super City doesn’t always play it in concert. In fact, during a lengthy 26-song performance at the Ottobar for the new album’s release party in the fall, the band skipped the track, opening the set with three unreleased numbers.

The band loves playing live, and are still a little bummed that Super City had a 30-date tour booked in March 2020, right when COVID-19 put the entire live music business on pause. “That was so much work, and then it didn’t happen,” Wellham said, shaking his head. But the band have continued to go on shorter trips out of town, and Saturday’s Baltimore performance is the last stop on an eight-city tour.

Super City has started to pick up a following outside its home base, though, with New York, Atlanta and Cincinnati being some of their favorite places to play. Out-of-town fans have even started to recognize the unreleased music in the band’s sets. “We’ve got one fan in Nashville that is, like, so dedicated. He wrote a song that’s comprised entirely of our song titles. Last time we played Nashville, he was calling out songs that aren’t recorded at all, because we played it last time and he remembered very well,” Ryan said.

The pandemic also probably contributed to the long gap between 2018′s “Sanctuary” and the new album, although they released several nonalbum singles in the intervening years. “There’s always one to two albums’ worth of unreleased material that is pretty close to finished,” Birkholz said.

With some of those new songs already in their live repertoire, the band anticipates the next album arriving more quickly. “We know that the next record won’t be five years later,” Wellham said.

“We’ve got the spreadsheet ready for it and everything,” Ryan added. “That’s pretty sexy. Super City’s got spreadsheets!”