Welcoming the sound of edgy electronica comes the emerging band Moontower. This trio originates from Los Angeles, and have been on the path to creative recognition as they release their first single “William” (which released on April 25th) and have performed for live shows all over Southern California for more than half a year. Before all of the buzz they received though, these guys were doing it all makeshift, redesigning spaces form backyards to living rooms into the musical experiences that people could enjoy and feel connected to. With that all said, Moontower has had exciting opportunities to open for headlining artist like Bad Suns and Yungblud, as well as playing a few festivals!
With Moontower’s first track exposed, they were delighted to find that it has already racked up over 66K streams and has been placed on a Spotify curated playlist “Fresh Finds: Poptronix”. The band itself boasts over 45K monthly listeners, which is extremely impressive for a band that, only until just recently, released one song on streaming platforms!
Now back to the song! “William” is tale about a young man that the band fabricated of their own imagination. The protagonist, William Hollywood, is from suburban USA, but it seems his life is not as monotonous as the white picket fences seem, as like any love story, he embarks on a journey to rescue the love of his life. The story line will thicken and grow as the band continues to release new music, and with each song, we get another piece of the narrative.
With a peculiar image of an orange juice carton as their cover art and the presence of oranges in their press photos, these guys are undoubtedly going to be something fresh, quirky, and above all else, fascinating to watch as they add to the industry scene of indie-electronic music. The song is both epic and mellow. It has a superhero-esque tone and the softness of an indie vocalist. With beeps and other noises incorporated to build the sound, we get a wonderfully wicked and sweet melange of a song that packs a punch like a glass of OJ. It’s got that tang to it when the tempo changes at just the right moments. Right as it gets soft, you get a sick guitar riff to that reminds listeners of nostalgic classic rock music. The well-constructed song demonstrates the talent boys have, who still have more to come.
This track is certainly not their last, and there is plenty of time to see where these three amigos take their musical endeavors. They have a lot in store for their listeners, so until then, keep listening to “William” above and follow the guys on socials: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Mr Koo is the formation of talented musicians coming together to create a group that delivers the 50s style rock and roll, indie-jazz vibes you’ll fall in love with all over again. Today, they release their newest single “About You” (produced by Jack Mullin), and it’s sure to capture your heart by the strings and take you way to some island getaway. It’s a song that’s both relatable and dreamy, placing you in a fantasy of love and longing.
The song itself is a trip on the beach, in the car, in the air, on a boat, strolling through the park–it’s practically everywhere. With a calming energy of its own, you can hear the character in Rodgers’ voice as it is elevated by the bass, drums, and guitar encompassing the track. With hints of twines here and soft beats throughout the composition, you are forced to ~chill~. Though a song about heartaches and memories, it’s the optimistic tone that keeps you in orbit and nodding your head and swaying to the passion in the soft-spoken melody. “About You” is a representation of broken love, with sprinkles of bliss and topped by the perspective of a hopeless romantic still knowing that love exists and that it is just a matter of time before the confusion and melancholia evaporate and love comes back around again.
The band, Mr Koo, was formed this past year (2017) in the city that never sleeps, New York City. Including musicians:
Ollie Rodgers – lead vocals, guitar
Matthew Lau – backing vocals, guitar
Jake Brickner – bass guitar
Drew Shwartz / Nathan Repasz – drums (Nate is the new drummer)
Previously, vocalist Rodgers had produced his very own studio album titled Tropical Weather, and then a single titled “Big Wave Bay”, before becoming a part of this cool band. The group has been creating new songs as they go, preparing themselves for a year hopefully filled with releases so they won’t keep fans waiting.
Rodgers pensively explains the inspiration behind “About You”, saying: “I was in LA last summer doing an internship and was inspired to write this song when I started to doubt that the long distance relationship I was in at the time was going to work out. I remember writing the groovy guitar riff and liked how it prevented the song from being a slow sad one but instead would eventually be really fun to play live.”
There is much to come for this emerging collective of talented young men, and while we wait, we will play “About You” on repeat until given more of their music.
Be sure to follow the band on Instagramand Facebookto find out more about their live performance dates and what the band is up to!
The next Mr Koo show is at the Delancey in NYC on June 8th! Make sure to check it out!
Billy Raffoul is an artist determined to share with the world his music that breaks hearts and helps feed the soul. His raspy and melodic voice will carry you away and will have you wanting more of his music.
That’s the only way you can describe the voice of the 23-year old singer/songwriter, Billy Raffoul. I had a chance to chat with him as he is on tour with ZZ Ward. Raffoul has accomplished a lot and is excited to keep continuing this path of creativity with each day that comes. The artist from Ontario, Canada, spent most of his youth with his professional musician father Jody Raffoul and his painter, writer, and teacher mother. With a steady background in the arts, there was no doubt that this young man was destined to find his way into the scene himself.
It was a pleasure to hear what Raffoul had to say. Soft-spoken and kind-hearted, Raffoul gave honest answers with pauses for thought, chuckles, and assertion. With his few releases out, we will be expecting a project out soon.
As young as he is, he has never let that phase him, especially since being surrounded by a musical and artistic family who have always been supportive of Raffoul’s endeavors as well.
He recently released his acoustic rendition of his single “You Be Love”, which you can watch below. There’s something to be said when a voice can make you feel both safe and protected while also make you feel strong and forceful. His voice is corse, broken, yet strong all at once. It makes a perfect combination of something between a modern-day Bruce Springsteen and Jeff Buckley along with a bit of Hozier.
Raffoul had also released his new single “DarkFourDoor” which you can listen to now below.
The touring artist explains, “I spent all of January in the studio, in Los Angeles, so we really didn’t have any time for rehearsals. So we kinda just jumped into it after having 6 weeks off of each other. This tour started on the 30th, Salt Lake City, and it’s been amazing…it’s all very natural getting back to our first stretch after being away from each other.” He mentions happily how he has been able to get a lot of exploring out of this.
On tour Raffoul’s favorite snack aired towards the healthy side. “I love apples. My grandparents owned a fruit stand that they would sell during the summers in my hometown…so, I love like fuji apples. And for junk food, it would be peanut M&M’s, that’s my go-to. Today, we found a Tim Horton’s. Whenever we find one we always feel pretty happy.”
Of course, I wanted to ask how this mysterious, edgy character would describe himself, or I guess how his friends would describe him, to which he replied, “I guess it depends on the friend”. He then continues “I definitely have some sort of OCD”, chuckling. “Speaking for myself, I’m definitely determined, definitely very determined.”
The popular singer/songwriter of the track “Issues”, Julia Michaels, often writes with Raffoul. “We started writing 3 years ago, we’ve done so many songs together and in January we were writing together again. She’s great to work with, it’s kind of anything goes…I think it’s a really great dynamic…She was one of the first people I co-wrote with” comments the guitarist.
I then asked him of all the songs he has ever written, which would best describe him. “Ummm, I don’t know which one best describes me.” He pauses for a moment, laughs and you can feel how he thinks to himself about some of the songs he has written. “I have a couple favorites off the new album, but there’s one in particular called “1975” that is one of the oldest tracks off the album that I really like”.
The artist tells us that there’s a lot to be excited about including “a lot of new songs, lot of new stories”. He’s looking forward to showing people how he likes to write and the sound he likes to share.
I had to ask about how Raffoul is able to keep that majestic mane of his so in tact, to which he laughed and replied “I need to wash my hair right now.. it’s always ‘where do I buy your music and then followed by what kind of conditioner do you use?’ haha, it’s never really one kind of conditioner, I always say it’s whatever the hotel has.” He laughs again at his honesty.
What was great about this whole conversation was how real and authentic it felt. Raffoul has nothing to hide and is true to himself and his fans, and we can appreciate the authenticity he exudes.
“I’m excited to really grow this thing in music and I can’t wait to explore more of the world and meet more people and play my music. I feel like we started with a very solid base especially at the last show with the songs … and we’re all, me and my crew are very happy. The goal is to do it on a larger scale, so hopefully, maybe in the future, we’re getting to perform in bigger venues and climbing higher and having our own headlining shows” he says with enthusiasm.
There is no doubt that this will happen as the cards have already been placed in Raffoul’s favor. There is never a question of success when there is true talent behind the music.
This fun indie-pop rock sextet is just what the doctor ordered. Reminiscent of a younger Walk the Moon, these guys control the microphones and airwaves with their sound of pure dancing joy. Sub-Radio is a band to look out for this year as they are creating some really amazing pop-dance music that will bring any body to the dance floor. The band is currently finalizing their upcoming EP and released on of their singles off the album today, “What Are We”.
The track is layered with 80’s dance feels, like that of Two Door Cinema Club and include the charisma of a high energy rock band. The band singing in unison together in the background of the lead vocalist’s lines create a beautiful up-tempo, feel-good song. The music itself is enthusiastic and fluid, and the electric guitar constructs beautiful divots within the composition. The song itself is a powerful track that is about understanding love and what a connection between two people really means after all.
Sub-Radio has already toured the North East, performed for the Cherry Blossom Festival, Celebrate Fairfax, and Firefly 2017; there is not intention of stopping now. With a momentum building, the guys cannot wait to release this highly anticipated project, since the circulation of their 2016 album Same Train//Different Station.
So press play to the single above and dance into oblivion with this worry-free, hypnotic record by Sub-Radio.
The guys are currently on tour now, so be sure to check out the dates for a show near you!
SUB-RADIO TOUR DATES:
Jan 20 - Gypsy Sally's - Washington, DC
Jan 27 - 622 North - Blacksburg, VA
Feb 03 - Reston Craft House, Reston, VA
Feb 23 - Rockwood Music Hall - New York, NY
Feb 24 - Tellus360 - Lancaster, PA
Mar 10 - Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garden -Washington, DC
If you haven’t heard of her yet, she will be popping up on your radar soon. Saint Sinner is a young, indie-pop artist with a lot of soul and a lot of love for her music. She just released her version of 311’s single “Amber”.
In this rendition of the popular track, she brings sweet, dark tones. With an Amy Shark vibe and a reggaeton twist to this track, it almost becomes the ghost of the song’s past, resuscitating it with an amber hue to posses the “color of its (the song’s) energy”. It’s a swirling lullaby of guitar plucks and seductive vocals caressing you as you drift away into sweet bliss. An interesting fact of the song, making it unique, aside from the fact that it’s sung by the force of the female artist, is that this will be a Soundcloud exclusive because it was recorded on her phone at a Guitar Center!
What should we expect from this songstress? We should be expecting more music at the end of the year, so we get the chance to experience more of the mysterious sultry voice that is Saint Sinner.
Who is Saint Sinner? Well, let’s take you back a step. Saint Sinner grew up in a extremely conservative Christian family. As she grew up, she was never truly attuned to music, graduated high school early, and checked out of the states to pursue a life in South Africa. In what was a self-reflecting and growing experience, she identified herself, fell in love with a woman, and picked up guitar, slowly building her musical capability.
The 21-year old intends to grab attention and to continue to be a designer of sound. “This is what feeds me as an artist. Creating calm in chaos”, says the now at peace artist with a mind filled with exotic and eccentric ideas.
The artist is living in Southern California, on the path to paving a new genre of her own with the velvety vocals her talent provides and the impact she plans to create.
“My name is Jaymes Young, I’m originally from Seattle, Washington, and I make music.” Meet the mastermind behind one of the most beautiful album’s of the summer, Jaymes Young (also James McFarland). Though a man from Seattle, he moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to continue doing just what he said he does, to make music.
“When I grew up, there was a lot of music in the house, my parents played all kinds of music. I mean I was just inspired by the variety and they listened to music while they cooked, while they cleaned, every time we were in the car. So, I think that was the first catalyst.
Today, Young is a Please Rewind/Atlantic Records recording artist with a full-length album on his list of completed achievements. The album is titled Feel Something (released June 23, 2017), and it’s an alluring rendezvous to the erotic desires and haunting dark corners in love. The album is now available on Spotify and the album has thus far accumulated over 30 million streams since its release!
So, we had the chance to catch up with Young before his opening act for the pop-duo phenomenon Oh Wonder, at the House of Blues in Boston, MA. This sensual songster, caught us by surprise because we knew his emphatic and vivid lyrics from his music, but instead we were introduced to a very soft-spoken, down-to-earth man.
A man who has had recognition from sources in the industry such as EARMILK stating, “The release of Feel Something will no doubt solidify him as a major player in the pop market in years to come”, and Ones To Watch claiming that “The album name and title track, Feel Something, fully encapsulates the core essence of his music–raw and honest interpretations of life and love bundled in a quality alt-pop sound.”
We wanted to learn more from the strikingly stunning voice behind the music. “I think, I had been living in this house for almost 2 years, during part of the writing process, and I was sort just striving for different sounds than the sound that I previously reached out for. It wasn’t necessarily one artist or one experience, it was kind of a myriad of experiences and kind of looking for styles and sounds that I hadn’t really done before”, admits Young.
So, from the curation of this project, curiosity built as to which song was the one that resonated with the artist himself. “That’s hard, the title track was literally just the most explanatory for the whole album… It set the stage, and it explained everything I wanted to say during that whole writing process.”
With his live show only a couple hours away, we wanted to hear what exciting novel concepts and plans Young and his team had planned for his adoring fans. “I mean we’re doing a shorter set than usual (35 minutes), we’re changing it up a little bit. The songs are not exactly as they are on the album and same with previous releases. Some of them are, pretty close, but we’re kind of taking a different approach, we kind of wanted to make the music feel really organic and be perceived differently live.”
And those were exactly the emotions we experienced during his set. His music captured an aura of its own, commanding the full-packed crowd (it was a sold-out show that night!) and making heads sway side to side and bob front to back. The music wasn’t exactly the way it sounded off the studio productions, but it was exquisitely redefined and revamped for the sake of truly immersing oneself in the music. It was as if the whole room was cast under his spell and were really experiencing the performance with him. It was mystifying to say the least.
“I’m doing what I love for a living so that’s the best part for me, but of course there’s its pros and cons. I don’t think I could do anything else”, confesses Young on the topic of what is the best part of being in the music industry.
I then asked him what one word would be to describe him, and he told me very honestly, “Hungry”. #Tourlifestruggles.
We followed with what would be one thing he would want to do, that he has not done yet or where would be a place that he wishes he could perform that he has not yet? “Oh Wonder is doing a show in Israel, and we’re not on that, but that has always been on the bucket list.”
So, to be a little more spontaneous and in the moment, I asked him “If you had to write a song, right now off the top of your head, what would it be called?” He replied, “Fuck Traffic”.
We ended the interview with our favorite wrap-up question… of course. Jaymes Young is “#OntheVerge of … writing a lot of new music”!
Oh Wonder soon followed after the amazing performance by Young, and the crowd was most certainly well-prepared for a night filled with more music to come. Young has much more in store though, so that being said, stay tuned for more this year from the alt-pop creative. Thank you, James, for a wonderful time.
… is what people tend to relate this stunning songstress’s music to. I had the chance to ask the influential contemporary pop singer/songwriter LÉON about her music and herself to give a face to the music. Who is this vibrant voice behind the music? Her name is Lotta Lindgren, who was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden.
The vocalist is best known for her melodic voice that also contains a hint of melancholy, though she sings these upbeat and bright songs. Her hit single “Tired of Talking” from her debut EP of 2015 Treasure, has hit over 53 million streams on Spotify only demonstrating that though she is a small act, she makes a large impact on the listener.
She recently released a new single titled “Body“, which is a 60’s pop-esque song about living forever young and questioning love.
How the artist got engaged with music to begin with was from her already heavily-music involved family who were all musicians. “…so it was pretty natural to me to start playing instruments and sing very early on”, says the pop star. “I just never thought of doing anything else than do music, so I always attended schools where I could meet other people who wanted to be creative too.”
The creative herself has big dreams, and those dreams take her to hoping to one day perform at Madison Square Garden- a truly magical experience for any artist.
I wanted to learn more about the artist and so I decided, with songs as passionate and moving as hers, what would possibly be the most relatable song she has written in her career? “At the moment, I’d say it’s the next song I’m releasing. It’s called ‘I Believe in Us’ and is about something I went through very recently.” A very exciting confirmation from the LÉON herself that good things are to come.
If there was anyway to describe the sound of this talented young artist, it would be that she calls to mind the voice of the legendary Stevie Nicks. It’s almost as if she re-incarnates her sound and brings it new life and meaning in our day and age. The indie-soul-pop composer is able to portray her deepest and most personal thoughts in her writing, making the music something worthwhile to the beholder of the song.
LÉON went on to tell me how her most favorite part of her musical journey has been touring and how it’s the moments she gets to meet the people who listen to her music, “and that’s when all the songs really come to life. And I get to travel with friends and see places I’ve never seen before.” However, the best part are seeing her fans, singing new music, and going to new places.
On tour with her is her opener, the wonderful indie-pop artist Wrabel. “Wrabel is incredible. I got butterflies in my stomach when I found out that he’d join me on this tour. We wrote one of my songs together, “Surround Me”, and hit it off in the studio. His energy is so positive, I’m very lucky to have him on this tour.”
Speaking of traveling on tour, the artist being from Stockholm, Sweden, was an intriguing factor to see what her take on its music scene is like. Most especially because so many great artists come from there! “There are so many amazing songwriters, producers and artists over here. It’s a big community of us, but in a very small country. Everybody knows about each other and there’s lot of creativity going on here which is really inspiring”, she explains.
If she could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? She admits, “there are so many I’d love to work with. Daft Punk would have been incredible, I grew up listening to them. Sing a duet with Adele? Haha I’m allowed to dream!”
LÉON will be hitting Boston, MA as one of her tour date stops and will be performing at the Paradise Rock Club on October 25th! The last time I had seen her live was The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA and the show had blown my mind and carried my heart. “Boston is one of those shows I’ll always remember. The crowd was crazy and so fun to sing with, and this lady was standing on the balcony doing weird things during the entire show…. But I’m planning to see a little more of Boston when I go there this time.”
The artist is extremely rooted to her fans. I had noticed that the star has a Tumblr account that engages a lot of her fans, and so I wanted to know more about that and what drew her to the platform. “I have a strange relationship with social media. I’m not a huge fan of how exploited people are today. When it comes to Tumblr I’m still not really 100% sure of how it works haha, but I like that you can post photos and share music and quotes that you love.”
The Columbia Records signee would consider her music to be the color “red” and her life mantra would go along the lines of trying to “be present.” She is trying to live the music life she loves and has built for herself and turn it into a life lesson to “take in certain moments in life, and not just quickly let them pass me by.”
Now, if our girl wonder was given a chance to make her own dream day and live it up in the present moment as she so wishes, she said she would be most likely “Snorkling in Thailand or somewhere in the Caribbean and float around in the water. Get a sun tan, drink beer on a beach. Totally carefree!” Sounds heavenly.
So what’s to expect from LÉON? “More music.” The artist has been hard at work all year long in the studio and music and is excited to share what is to come.
“Very excited to release my next single, and hopefully you’ll like it a much as I do!”
Be sure to see her while she’s on tour, you won’t regret it! Tour Dates Below:
I had the chance to speak with the magical and mysterious indie-electronic duo, RKCB, or also known as Riley Knapp and Casey Barth, to hear beyond the music that they put out. Our conversations trekked various topics that provided a crazy and fun momentum for the interview. Whether discussing their music and recent releases, or their favorite songs, spirit animals, ideal days, and hidden talents, the guys had plenty to share.
If you want an act that can do it all, then here they are. This is a band built from scratch, all home-made, and based on the most organic and raw ingredients to create the soundscapes that penetrates through our bodies and electrifies our nerves leading to the most stunning sensations. Mixing their talents of sound and voice, this rhythmic production duo is the whole package.
For those who are not familiar with their music, there’s something in the way they comfort and arouse all in one riff and are able to compose a beat in an array of chaotic instrumentals, that are just remarkable. They’re the perfect example of over the top without being obnoxious. They’re overwhelming in the most exciting way, and their music manages to send chills down your spine. They posses an energy that ebbs & flows to the progression of their hypnotic music.
What is RKCB music, you ask? It’s music that actually permeates through the speakers and physically touches you.
The guys started off letting me know where they originated from. Knapp is from Phoenix, Arizona and Barth from Boston, Massachusetts. As I spoke with them, I got to know a little more about the genesis of this pairing, which Knapp explained had happened as kind of an accident. “RKCB kind of happened with us meeting in school, writing one song, which was “Comatose”, deciding to put it up online, and it built some heat from there…” Both coming from thoughtful, experienced musical backgrounds, this enabled the guys to better understand each other. With Knapp in a few bands and Barth working on solo projects, the two came to a collision that burst into something larger than life.
When I asked them where they got the notion for their sound, Barth went into this profound dialogue of how their inspirations stemmed from having a fond connection to the music of artists like James Blake and Rhye, and other “emotionally potent and visceral music and electronic sounds”. But he also then realized that the last decade has consisted of some major EDM/Pop, high energy movements as well and saw it more as an opportunity to bring those worlds together and make something entirely new. “We thought about what’s going to compliment the song, the lyrics, and what sounds are going to put the listener into this world that we want to create.”
Barth continues on with this kind of knowledgeable acceptance of what they have defined their music as, and with a settled mind explains “we’re both trained on multiple instruments- we’re both drummers first- and finding some really unique sounds is something we love to do all the time. Take natural sounds of piano, drums, guitars, anything that sounds like the instrument, whatever, and then take that instrument and manipulate it and turn this into something almost unrecognizable, so that can turn the mystery into almost something like this world that then when you write a song it can be a really visceral experience.”
The hot rhythmic-exotic sounds that RKCB produces are riveting compositions made to move the body. In that same vein, the guys noticed that as a result of their music, a whole dance community was in fact in motion from their songs, and so it only seemed right to dedicate a piece to all the choreographers and dancers who felt their records. As a result, the three-part epic visual ‘Alone, With You’ was designed. How the whole video concept for the three songs in this visual escapade came about was from the collaboration with the creative directing and production duo called Cue the Bird, and it stemmed from this place of the dance collective’s inspiration. (You can read more about the video HERE, and watch it below.)
“It’s pretty crazy how the dance community reacts to our music and puts out videos all the time and we’re blown away by that whole thing…So, Cue the Bird came up with this whole crazy fucking thing, and it was this gorgeous narrative idea, that went along with those three songs, and it was kind of everything we were hoping and envisioning for”, Knapp adds on.
Just the fabrication of this whole concept is majestic af, and these sexistentialists were able to bring these three songs (“Vice”, “Bloom”, and “Naive”) of erotic beauty to life. What is sexistentialism you ask? Allow the guys to explain their philosophy…
“It’s funny, Riley actually came up with it. We were trying to come up with what was a single word or phrase that would capture the mood of our sound and our songs”, and at first Barth wasn’t too sure of the term, in fact “I [Barth] really didn’t like it, and I was just like ‘ah, let’s think on it,’ and it was just one of those things that stuck with me for the next couple days, and I honestly actually totally forgot about it, and then I had thought that I had come up with it at some point, so I came back to him and was like ‘dude, what about sexistential?’ and he was like ‘I just pitched that like two days ago’, so that’s when we knew, oh ok cool we’re both coming from the same place, it just felt right… It’s something that can grow too, it doesn’t just mean one thing to us and it can be many different moods.”
Knapp then chimed in, “ya, the whole point of our music is basically we want to be different in the writing and we want to feel different and sound different and we want to be just overall a completely unique experience to what listeners are used to. And I think we’re trying to do that by adding a little bit more depth and a little bit more, not vagueness, but hide a little bit more normal and natural feeling behind these more complex and abstract things, so that you kind of have to dig deeper, but once you get there it’s worth it, for this whole unique experience, and it means whatever it means to you.”
At the end of the day, the guys want to be able to connect with people, and more importantly, connect worlds and people that would normally not meet nor would go out of their way to communicate. They want to build the conversations. “The reality is we’re all going through generally similar stuff, we can really feel pretty similar things at the heart of it, and all we want to do is make the bridge to connect those feelings, connect those dots, because what we found is that we want to bring a certain amount of emotional intelligence to our listeners through our songs, so people feel safe listening to our songs and can bring themselves to say, ‘you know, that is actually how it’s feeling, and I’m wanna stick by that.’ And maybe it’s not a hashtag and maybe it’s not a fucking social media post, but it’s something deeper and something we can all actually have a discussion about.”
On that same level of respect and understanding, the guys delineated what the best aspects of being a duo truly is to them. At the start of it all, Knapp and Barth were a songwriting-production duo, and so that meant meeting a lot of people, or as Knapp put it “blind-dating”, and having that person by your side through the process was the best part for them. “Just being able to go through that with someone is super valuable. We both write and we both produce, so we kind of tag team it, and there’s not as much fatigue, and there’s a little bit more energy, and a little bit more camaraderie as opposed to just going to a creative situation, you know kind of risking that.”
Barth further explains Knapp’s last point, “You definitely get to take more risks because you’re bouncing ideas off the wall and if something doesn’t work for that particular session or the vibe is just different, depending on who’s doing what, you can always switch it off.” With the amount the two have done together already, it is not surprising that they understand when it is the right direction they are hoping to pursue and when it just isn’t and that things need to change. RKCB consider themselves completely self-sufficient in terms of writing, producing, performing, mixing and mastering. “It both helps and hurts us because we get a little bit in our heads sometimes.” Barth chuckles and then the two laugh, as if they are reflecting back on these instances.
Throughout the conversations between the three of us, you can’t help but notice the joy and synchronization between the two, who seem to affirmatively recognize that they are two individuals, bound by one passion. Being so fervent about their music, there can be moments when they reach an intensity of making sure that what they hear individually and collectively, is what they want the product to be. “I think there’s this third brain between us that we both understand what that is”.
I challenged the producers to then describe each other using one word, which caused quite a hysterical uproar. The two thought hard, laughing and cursing as they were searching for the perfect adjectives. Knapp then came to the conclusion, deeming Barth as “deliberate”. Following that, Barth distinguished Knapp as a combination of two words “active” and “passionate”.
The guys have recently released a single with the former Disney channel star, and the now budding alt-pop artist, Bridgit Mendler, on a track titled “Diving“. The song actually landed a spot in the ever-so-popular Spotify New Music Friday playlist, and they explained that it was one of the most fluid, fastest experience with a song. Another shocking note about the track was that the vocals in the finished product are just the demo vocals that they had originally received from Bridgit’s team! No alterations!
“We find that often too that there’s sometimes a magic in that room, in that moment, at that time, when we’re writing a song that it’s so fresh that you haven’t been able to overthink it and sometimes you just write the song and cue the vocals and there’s a magic in that room… ‘Naive’ was like that too”.
They then mentioned the benefits of being an independent artist.
“At a label there’s so many different people so many opinions and you have to get it this way, and a lot of the time a demo or a demo vocal might be the right move and it’s whatever the right emotions and stuff are then.”
The band has worked with other great artists on some amazing collaborations, such as Opia, Steve James, and Ariana and the Rose.
I always love asking weird questions for their artists to describe their music by, and so I had to ask the question of what spirit animal would their music be if they could define it as such, to which Knapp seemed to be pretty confident about a Centaur. ha!
Next came the question of from all of these incredible singles they have released, which would be their favorite? It seemed as though the boys knew the answer to this one already.
“Mine is definitely ‘Elision’” says Barth calmly and thoughtfully. “‘Elision’ I like ultimately because that was the third song we ever wrote together; it was the first song we wrote together that I was just like ‘alright, fuck it, I’m gonna take a lot of risks and see what happens and see if it’s cool’ and just pushed my writing boundaries as much as possible.” You can really hear that in the single. “It was definitely kind of like an experiment for me, and then it turned into kind of this thing that we really fell in love with, and then it got brought to life when we started playing it live. Like it was kind of like a ‘sleeper track’ in terms of people listening to it, but it had a cult following of its own. For a small group of people, that was a favorite song of theirs but it definitely wasn’t the song that people know us for…then once we started playing it live and it became this like funk jam in the middle of our set and it just lit the whole place up and I kind of just fell in love with that moment”.
Knapp then expresses the love for his song choice. “Of our release songs, mine is “Baptize”. We have one coming up that’s been my personal favorite for a while, so that’s going to change my answer, but for now it’s “Baptize”. I remember it was so different from “Comatose”. I remember sending it to my mom and totally thinking she was going to shit on it” he chuckles a bit and jumps back in “and then she responded ‘this is amazing!’ and I was like ‘wait, you like it?!’
His voice begins to fill with an air of excitement, like a kid in a candy shop, “I really liked it and I remember think like ‘how did this happen? How did me and Casey make this song?”
The guys who are in synch with each other for almost every tune, to create these stunning tracks that fill the spaces and voids with sound, admitted that much of their success comes from the loyalty and trust between each other and their bandmates. “We have an amazing band, there’s this level of trust that no matter what happens, we’re going to be good. Ya it helps, I’ve actually known our drummer since we were in high school. There’s this total, trust total respect and then there’s just this raw passion that comes out in all of us and you know we all have different projects going on, but then we get on stage it’s really a unique experience.”
Aside from the fact that RKCB is always surprising us with their music, we find even more fun facts about Barth’s hidden talent! “haha, they [fans] might already know this, but when people ask me ‘what would you be if you couldn’t play music or if I were to be something else?’ I’d be a bartender. I love making craft cocktails.” He bashfully starts to laugh at himself and his other art, but you can totally tell he really does love it. “Some people are worried how passionate I am about it.” RKCB even prepared drinks for their Spotify session show in Boston a few months back, sad I missed out on that!
So, I had to know, how would the perfect days for the guys go?
“I would wake up, drink coffee (it just immediately appears in my hand), and I’m actually staying in an AirBnB that’s on top of a mountain, and I walk out and there’s a paragliding instructor there. He’s like ‘hey man, we’re gonna go down to the beach’, and then we paraglide down to the beach, and then we drink on the beach and grill… and that actually sounds really nice right now, I’m getting lost in it.”
He sighs with longing.
“Paragliding onto a beach grilling.”
Barth then jumps in, painting the pictures of his own getaway day. “I’d wake up”, he takes a moment to ponder where he will be and then says, “actually, probably at my house, where I am right now. I actually like where I am, I like my house. I’d come out, and put on some music, some ambient electronic music to help wake me up in the morning, and then pour myself some homemade cold brew, and walk out to my lemon tree, pick out some lemons, line up some cocktails for the day, and maybe go out to some local spot and have brunch or something. Then I’d come back and…” he thinks more and then comments “and maybe grill, grilling sounds really nice and making cocktails. Ya, hang outside, in the garden, taking care of my plants.”
Pretty idealistic, huh? They know how to chill; they’d be pretty fun to hang with.
With excitement, the guys were happy to relay the information that their upcoming single is part of a bigger sort of project that they are going to be talking about in the coming weeks, but it’s going to be a twist on their old stuff that will garner a fresh, unique EP for listeners to explore. So far, they have hinted to us that it should be releasing in a month. So, that is something to look forward to!