Call & Response: The Jealous Girlfriends
New band alert! Most of you probably haven't yet heard of this Brooklyn four-piece, but The Jealous Girlfriends are about to make a serious impression on the indie music world.
After playing their first Toronto show last fall they reportedly blew people away at Pop Montreal and caught the attention of Good Fences, a small Montreal-based label that put our the last Memphis album. As the story goes, they were signed on the spot.
Now the band's second, self-titled album is about to hit the streets and it deserves a listen. It's filled with layers of UK-inspired melodies and boy/girl harmonies, fortified with a blend of psychadelic keyboards and indie rock guitars.
The Jealous Girlfriends open for 90's alt-rock survivors Nada Surf Monday night at the Opera House. I had a chance to speak with the band about the Brooklyn music scene, their impressions of our town, and groping strangers.
Keep reading for the complete interview.
blogTO: How long have you been together? How did the band form?
Josh: The band formed over a long long time over a few years. Alex started out producing Holly's solo record but I guess they had so much fun they decided to make a band of it. So then it was a duo. After they made that first record they wanted someone to play drums with them so they could go on a tour that summer. I was interning/managing Alex's studio and they asked me to go out with them. We started practicing and eventually we even go to learn and play a couple of my songs. Eventually it became a headache to have to sing and drum and do all the things we wanted musically so Alex, being the most addicted to coffee person I have ever seen, introduced us to his favourite barista/drummer Mike who then joined to play drums. this took three years to complete. Pretty simple I would say.
How would you describe your sound? What inspires your music and lyrics?
Josh: I have a really hard time coming up with snappy or neat ways to describe our sound. I feel like the thing about our sound is that we like to always try out different sounds...just to do it...we all just really like music a great deal and by the time we have one thing written we are all into different things than we were. So our sound is just whatever we are into doing at the time...which is almost always psychedelic post-punk.
This new, self-titled record is your second. How has your sound changed or evolved for this new record?
Josh: Well, this record is really what I consider to be our first record as the band The Jealous Girlfriends...that is the idea behind it being self-titled. For me, it was sort of to clean the slate. The first record was something that Holly and Alex made and they are still really proud of, of course, but Mike and I weren't even around and it wasn't a true collaboration between us as a band. On this record the writing process changed because alex, holly, and myself all brought our own songs to the table. And if you want a short answer to that, I suppose the new record is a bit more rock.
How did you hook up with Good Fences? Why did you decide to go with a Canadian indie label?
Mike: A friend recommended us to them and then they came and saw us. We decided to go with Good Fences because we like and trust each other.
Brooklyn bands are getting a lot attention here lately (TV on the Radio, MGMT, Yeasayer, etc). Are you a close community?
Mike: There are different cliques I think, and there are just so many bands here. For instance, we know TVotR but have never met MGMT or Yeasayer, but really dig their music. But then we're friends with other bands who do know those bands that we don't know. Basically, it's a huge community of musicians and bands here.
Are there any less popular Brooklyn bands we should be checking out?
Mike: Sam Champion.
You're about to play your second show here in Toronto. How did the first one go?
Mike: We were there at the Drake Hotel last year. It was a really fun show and everyone who was there and who worked there were really nice and cool. We didn't get to see much of the city other than right around the Drake, but we hope to see more when we play the Opera House on April 7th.
What places/things should Torontonians check out when visiting Brooklyn?
Josh: Oslo, Marlowe and Sons, Diner, Moto, Mike's Apartment - you can eat at all these places.
What can people expect to see/hear/feel at a Jealous Girlfriends show?
Holly: Hallucinations/angels/warmth? Or mirages/white light/white heat? Or goofy jumps and bobs/cries of joy/a stranger playing "who's that touching me"?
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