reppin: charlotte, nc // bright antenna records // 2011 - present
sounds like: a big wide, classic black umbrella in a storm, helping you get through it and keeping you dry
last album drop: the electric man (march 2017)
featuring: drake // michael
When the lights get bright behind Flagship and those crisp guitar intros kicks in followed by those delicious vocals, your ears really give you no choice but to see where they take you. Hailing from the East Coast that is Charlotte, the duo of Drake and Michael have been at it for quite some time and it is really starting to make sense for them. “You always have about a decade of work before things really make sense,” according to them. That night, I learned that not only can these dudes and their bandmates put on a stellar show, their humility is forever in tact and their hunger to have an impact is even greater. In what could not be more Wicker Park, I scooted behind Subterranean to have a chat with the duo under the L.
Personally, the new record, “the electric man,” is a mixture of a sense of comfort combined with the reminder that there is darkness that still exists. It allows me to go to this state of mind where there is vast imagination, a place where you can kind of run wild. Michael backed that up when explaining how they landed on this sound: “I’ve actually spent the last few years finding comfort in a dark vibe and realizing that life has a lot of negativity. Then, I can finding comfort in understanding that. That may have something to do with our creation of our recent music and is certainly what is going on in my mind. The vibe between the two has done wonders too. “We have definitely moved closer together over the years, as far as making music. What we tried to do on this album is trying to accept the negative realities of life, but also trying to be hopeful,” Drake added. You can immediately recognize the connection between music and life that these two hold close to their hearts. Isn’t that what makes music so special. Michael likened it to accepting the bad in life. “You spend your time growing up and trying to change the bad, but you eventually realize that the pain is part of you and growing up, it makes you,” he explains. “The quicker you realize that, the quicker you accept yourself.” Too many of us get caught up in trying to turn every little bit of bad into good, and sometimes, you just have to let the bad be part of your makeup. Music is a great parallel to remind us all that everyone goes through shit all the time. “Acceptance of things you can’t control is finding peace with yourself. Finding comfort in the darkness,” as Michael beautifully puts it.
These dudes bring a few buddies on tour to play with them, but one thing is apparent as they play live: there is a personal connection the band is trying to create with audience members. The live set is so important to them. As Drake states, “If I’m asking a question or making a statement, I am trying to use body language to mimic that and create a conversation. I think that is what we are trying to achieve.” Part of that comes from the notion that his writing is very much drawn from personal experiences. “Anyone can take those lyrics and apply it themselves and maybe not even pickup on what I am talking about at all.” Michael has a very unique approach to taking his creations to the live stage, “I like trying to get people to the place where I was in when we were recording. Playing that live and using that thought to push to the audience, maybe trying to get them feel that same rise and fall.” That is how you dig beneath the surface and truly connect with fans in my opinion.
So what is next? Currently, they are touring with indie rockers In the Valley Below and will be hitting Chicago on July 18th at The Empty Bottle. Whatever city you are in, swing by for an incredible and personable show with dudes who just want to kick it with you after.