Wild Pink Makes Dreamy Power Pop For All

reppin: queens & brooklyn, usa // tiny engines // 2015 - present

sounds like: the 2002 oakland a’s but for music (referencing the team from the movie, Moneyball staring the handsome Brad Pitt)

last album drop: wild pink (feb 2017)

featuring: john // tc // dan

wild pink | source: wildpink.bandcamp.com

wild pink | source: wildpink.bandcamp.com

In the boroughs of New York, Wild Pink was once upon a time ago a electronic pop group called Challenger. At some point they said fuck it, stripped the electronic and got a bit more power poppy and shoegazey. After a few EPs in 2015, they quickly took notice of some smaller indie labels and have been touring like crazy to get their name out there. Some would call it a “mid-fi” sound because it is the middle something. Maybe? Either way, these dudes give you a lovely sort of vibe as if you are floating down the river in a kayak and then bam, time to handle those rapids in front of you. Whatever you come up with, John, TC and Dan have channeled their inner 90s alternative/indie sound with a modern twist that keeps your ears peaked.

Wild Pink is full of energy and for every darker moment in their music that comes across, you are kind of followed with this warm and cuddly one. It is this cycle that keeps you intrigued and wanting to find out what story they will tell next. I love how John’s voice meshes with the music as it is super mellow and fitting for the constant push and pull they give you. And that voice puts out some lyrics that make you think as they offer thoughts and experiences on love and life.

I had the chance to catch them at Chicago’s Empty Bottle to a decent size crowd on a cold night this past week. These guys do little talking as they let their instruments speak throughout their set. Their simple setup mimics their vibe as they want to give it to their audience straight with the simple goal of just enjoying yourself. Whether that gets you moving on your feet or you find yourself staring into space thinking about how this music impacts you, you leave feeling rewarded. I had a few minutes to get some one liner responses to a few questions. Catch them next time they are in your city.

interview stuff

IMG_20180223_162105_437.jpg

Y’all have been a group for only a few short years. What do you attribute to finding your groove and your sound?

TC and I have been playing together since 2014. Dan started playing with us in 2016 and that's when things started to click.

When you are playing live, what is your mission? When you make eye contact with that fan out there, what do you want them to experience?

I hope people watching enjoy themselves! That's the mission..

What do you want people to get out of your lyrics? Has there been a defined path to how you want those to take in the words and stories?

If the lyrics resonate with someone then that's really awesome. I want people to interpret the words how they wish.

Do you have any corky rituals for pre/post show?

I drink Malort when we're in Chicago

I like to use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

We're the 2002 Oakland A's but for music.

suggested listening experience: mellow weekday night with a few brews // long road trips // convincing friends who only listen to 90s music to branch out a bit

listens: wizard of loneliness // great apes // how do you know if god takes you back // broke on // albert ross

wp // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

interview stuff: TEI SHI

reppin: nyc via vancouver / bogota, colombia / buenos aires, argentina // downtown records // 2013 - present

sounds like: according to Tei Shi - a mood ring

last album drop: crawl space (march 2017)

featuring: valerie

When music is #1 in your life, you chase that no matter what the obstacles are, what anyone tells you or sometimes no matter what you tell yourself. Plus, when you have a voice that can tickle ones spine when heard. Her range layered harmonies, sometimes sounding like futuristic pop, sometimes synthy and other times delicate melodies, pairs so well in all the right ways. Because she pushes the boundary of pop through her brain to your headphones, you get these soothing transportive tracks that sound beautiful. Valerie loves pulling inspiration from all stops in her life and it certainly showed as she put out track after track, all different from the last.

Through the past few years, she has performed live, bringing her music to life on stage, laid down guest vocals on “Holiest” by Glass Animals and put out an EP, “Verde.” Not only did tracks like “Basically” break the mold, but visually her art and videos show she wants to bring you deeper into her world. “Crawl Space” was released this past spring and her sensual and vibrant approach to pop can be heard. Tei Shi was kind enough to share some of her thoughts to her musical makeup, song writing process and how she puts everything into her live show.

Make sure to catch her at Schubas in Chicago this Saturday

tei shi | photo cred: JJ Medina

tei shi | photo cred: JJ Medina

interview stuff

Think about that first moment you knew you wanted to make music...what was that like, what kind of music did you want to make?

I didn't necessarily have a moment when I decided I wanted to make music. It was a life-long dream and desire that changed and evolved over time, and it still is changing and evolving. I never really had a clear goal or intention of what kind of music I wanted to make, I just started trying different things and eventually arrived at something I thought was good enough to release. In a general sense though, I always knew I wanted to make music that drew from the vast influences I've grown up listening to and that wouldn't sound too much like anything else out there. Something beautiful and experimental but still accessible in a pop sense.

What experiences have you had since then that have allowed you to grow and evolve into the artist you are today?

Just experiencing putting music out there and how that forces you to take yourself a little more seriously, as well as playing live. I've learned a lot by having the opportunity to make music my full time activity now for some time, which has allowed me to really spend every moment thinking about it, soaking in inspiration and figuring out what I want to do next and re-approaching things in different ways. Touring has also taught me a lot and influenced the way I want my music to make people feel.

Tell me about your songwriting process...how do the melodies you make (or those you collaborate with) combat the lyrics your write. What do you want people to feel when listening to your lyrics?

They go quite hand in hand. Usually songs start with a melody and then the lyrics flow pretty naturally after that, and sometimes it's the other way around and I write the lyrics more in poetry form and then attach a melody to them. When it comes to melodies and lyrics I write all of those completely myself and it has to be a pretty isolated process. The collaboration comes once the production and instrumentation are starting to develop. Lyrically I guess what I want people to feel varies from song to song. I'd like for people to have moments that are relatable and hit close to home, but I keep my lyrics vague enough that they can speak to different things or have layers. I'd like them to be interpreted differently by people.

What is the mission of your live show? What do you hope fans can walk away with after seeing you perform?

The aim of the live show really is to bring the album to life. So the show stays pretty true to the recordings and it gets pretty close to the way the record sounds, in my opinion. But there is also more room for spontaneity and improvisational moments. I have a full live band I play with, so there is a real live energy versus the show just being a regurgitation of the album based totally on tracks or anything like that. And there's a big focus on the vocal performance so I think that's one of the main things people respond to, it's a pretty vocally challenging set.

Every post/article I do is drawn from the experience of listening and seeing music. I like to be very detailed and metaphorical. If you had to describe the identity of Tei Shi with a metaphor, what would it be?

A mood ring

suggested listening experience: taking a bubble bath // late night chill dance party // getting horizontal after work

listens: keep running // how far // say you do // bassically // sickasfuck // go slow

interview stuff: FUTURE GENERATIONS

reppin: bronx, usa // frenchkiss records // 2015 - present

sounds like: it’s 2 in the morning, storm outside and you are walking home with a big smile on your face, loving life

future generations | photo cred: Nico Schinco

future generations | photo cred: Nico Schinco

last album drop: self titled (july 2016)

featuring: eddie // mike // eric // devon // dylan

These 5 dudes that are Future Generations are about to be shot out of a canon. Hailing from that big city they call new york, they are already an album deep and hungry to make you smile with their tunes. What started as eddie, mike and eric jamming out in the basement of college housing has evolved into a project that hopes to shape the world of indie pop.

There is something to be said about the balance of a band, the origins of its members and how they divide and conquer. After releasing their self-titled debut about a year ago, they quickly understood that playing to their strengths, even outside of making the music, was key to become kings of the road and gain the fans they know are out there. A successful SXSW this past March combined with hitting cities all over the country have positioned them well for future success.

More than that, talking to these guys made me realize that it isn’t just about the logistics and “getting bigger.” They want to connect with their audience, give them a reason to feel something and have them come out on top after listening to them. They are about to hit the road for a mini-tour this summer (link), with the first stop being in good ol’ Chicago. I caught them on the phone the other week to chat about the journey so far, what they want their fans to experience and the road ahead.

INTERVIEW STUFF

A few of you have been writing together for some time. What has the journey been like to land on your sound. What kind of different past experience, both in life and music, led you to here?

eddie: Earlier in our life, we did not know what kind of music we wanted to make. Basically we were creating music in the basement of our dorm spots and we had heavy influences form BadBadNotGood. We were playing a jazz foundation with hip hop beats and integrating Eric’s guitar in there. We always tendency melody and catchy hooks so we kind of gravitated towards that and when we started releasing music, people started liking those songs more. We started listening to more indie pop music so naturally we started wanting to make music like that. It has never been a conscious decision for us, but more what we naturally do in making what we like.

me: Do you find that kind of drives the music more, with the passion for that music you truly love?

future generations | photo cred: Nico Schinco

future generations | photo cred: Nico Schinco

dylan: Yea, of course. I think what is good about us, is that we can really grab influence from anything and we try to integrate that into our songs. It just always kind of always end up sounding like our band. I think the great thing about playing indie pop is that it is versatile. We’re lucky we can do these multiple different things.

mike: The early days and what we drew even comes down to what we have access to. When Eddie, Mike and Eric were writing these songs in the basement, we only had access to certain things, especially the instruments they were playing. "Stars," for example, is a very heartfelt, kind of big ideas song, but it was written in a capacity that was limited.

devon: I think the challenge that was achieved and overcome was being able to arrange this really interesting indie pop song over heartfelt lyrics. If we had gone to a music school or something, I think a few of our songs could have come out different. When we were recording the album, as a bass player, the song "coast," that lower bass synth was going to be the only bass part. I come from more of a punk, more of a rock background. Let’s put in some bass that is more throbbing eight notes. That is just the way, we are always willing to add new stuff, especially on the new record. It is like writing a song sophomore year and seeing what it sounds like senior year. You can even go back and listen to the demos and you can really hear the progression. Even our new songs, we saw a ton of punk bands at SXSW, and that got us in a tempo to play those types of songs.

me: A few weeks ago I saw a great punk show at the new House of Vans and I got on this crazy punk tear after it...I have a very in the moment kind of way how I like to consume my music, so I get it. There is a certain relationship beyond just the music..being at the show, belonging and such.

devon: There is something about seeing punk live, that infectious energy. Always involving the crowd. As we go forward and try to cultivate a fan base, that kind of community and having people being able to relate, almost on a scene level, is something we want to achieve.

Lyrics are a big deal to me. What do you want people to feel and experience when they listen to you all sing?

eddie: For me, I write all the lyrics and it is the last thing I usually do for the song. The music typically informs the lyrics, pretty much every time. I hope when people listen to our music, they kind of get the same feeling I have when I was writing the lyrics. Relationships, recognizing a moment or exploring who you are as a person...that is kind of what the themes and vibes are of the album. This latest song, “one more problem,” is about a relationship and recognizing the feelings of someone else during a breakup. When I listen to music, I interpret how it means to me and I want our fans to feel the same way. I think that is way more important to me. That doesn’t mean the lyrics are specific to my life, but I do leave them vague.

future generations | photo cred: Nico Schinco

future generations | photo cred: Nico Schinco

The road so far...how does that play as you move forward? What recent experiences have been ah-ha moments, maybe there have been some awesome fan interactions that have kept you pushing. What is all about for you? How do you grow as a band?

eddie: I think we have plenty of time to grow, we are constantly trying to do more. We are constantly trying to more, whether it is playing shows, being on the road, writing new music...music is pretty much everything we do, we all live together. When we play these shows, we are influenced by the other bands playing with us and you get to see people you would have never met before. It makes you kind of just want to go back and write more music and prove yourself and play more shows.

I unfortunately missed you with Savior Adore back in November...however the Cubs were in the playoffs so I have my reasons. When I see you play in a few weeks, what is your live show like. When you make eye contact with someone, what do you want them to know?

We have a vibe on stage that definitely connects with people, but seeing all these other shows just makes us want to get better and better. We are always trying to find that thing that is going to surprise the audience. We just want to get on stage and have as much fun as everyone else is. It is a two way street because we think people are going to like, but we like and we have doing it.

I always use funny metaphors to describe bands and artists i write about, what would you use?

Future Generations music is like when you’re at a party and you go to the backyard to roast a J and you notice a group of guys in a deep discussion and you go over to join them and realize that they are talking about why one restaurant doesn’t have a Michellen star. I have no idea what that means but…

I think our song, “thunder in the city” is exactly how people listen to our music. That song is about walking home at 2 in the morning, it is about to rain, it is summertime. You just feel good about yourself and life in general. There is like a storm all around you, but you are just walking through it with a smile on your face.

me: Hell yea guys, stoked to see you all when you come in and looking forward to seeing what else you guys can accomplish along the way.

suggested listening experience: cruising through your city on a summer day // staying home on a rainy day // when you are looking for a smile

listens: stars // grace // one more problem // coast // you've got me flush // thunder in the city

fg // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig