In recent years, the Brooklyn group honey forever cultivated a sound that falls somewhere between the britpop movements of The Charlatans and the more dreamy beats of Wild Nothing. Built around the tangled creativities of Liv Price, Aida Mekonnen, Steve Vannelli and Jack McLoughlin, their sound is a curious and often hazy distillation of countless influences, broken down and reshaped by the elemental reactions at the heart of their shifting dynamics.
Their first EP Raised pre-mortem was released in the spring of 2020, but any further group recordings have been delayed by the ongoing pandemic, though Price and Mekonnen have continued their independent rhythmic explorations from the comfort of their homes. Last year, they shared “Satellite” and “Number One Fan,” two songs born during the lockdown isolation. And now the band are back with a new double single, offering “Could I Come Here Alone” and “I’m a Winner, I’m a Loser” as further proof of their growth as songwriters and purveyors of sincere vaporous emotions.
“Could I Come Here Alone” opens with shimmering guitar lines, light synth decoration and a laid back percussive hit. And it’s all anchored by hazy vocal ruminations about going beyond memories of failed relationships and trying to find new ways to process various experiences to change the associations you hold that bind them to those romantic relationships. past. It’s a deviously persuasive track, one that doesn’t pound on your head with its message of reclaiming your identity, but lets you come to your own conclusions about how you want to handle things. It simply provides a starting point for the healing to begin.
Inspired by the purchase of a vintage amp, “I’m a Winner, I’m a Loser” is grounded in the feelings of numbness we feel as the world constantly beats us down, personally, professionally and otherwise. way that matters. It tackles its emotional density in a different way than its companion single, using underplayed martial rhythms and gently swirling guitar notes to replace the mental fog that often settles over us when we do our best. just to survive. As the song progresses, cymbals begin to rise and peak, driven by a voice calling out the shadows. Come closer, he said, and rest just a moment before continuing on your way.
The group explains: “Essentially our whole creative process for this group of songs was based on us wanting to see how far we could go on our own. This release feels like an unparalleled representation of us, our influences, our style.
Listen to the songs below.
We sat down with Liv Price for a bit to explore the influences, processes, and personal experiences behind these new songs. Check out our conversation below.
I listened to your new double single and found the songs inhabit a remarkable cross section of genres and experiences. Can you tell us a bit about each song? What inspired you to write these songs?
Price Liv: Thank you very much! Aida and I split songwriting 50/50, depending on what was going on in our lives at the time; and this double output is the perfect reflection of this.
The title track “Could I Come Here Alone” was written by me, Liv, and is about the particular emptiness felt when trying to stay friends with an ex. In my most recent experience, we broke up during my “laid back girl” phase, when I was trying not to seem bothered by anything, so my thoughts were in constant conflict with my actions. The lyrics show me how to remove that person from the center of my life…knowing that I have to start giving places and things meanings independent of my memories with that person.
“I’m a winner, I’m a loser” comes from Aida’s brain. Originally inspired by the purchase of a small vintage harmony amp (the song was originally titled “1959 Harmony”), the song was written during a time of personal turmoil. It sort of describes the metaphorical shift she was going through. “I felt really good sometimes and tried to lean on that positivity by going out with friends, lest the feeling be fleeting. After the party and the shows, there is a kind of void. This n isn’t a sustainable or good way to live, and I didn’t feel like I was getting what I needed to feel happy in a deep, meaningful way. It was this feeling of emptiness – feeling stuck in my job, in my affair with an ex, in my writer’s block.
Tell us a bit about your creative process.
When it comes to songwriting, I think Aida and I tend to prefer independent (vs. collaborative) songwriting. We’ve written songs together before and loved the way they’ve come together, but I think it comes more naturally to us when we can fully realize something – at least in its skeletal form – on our own. So those two songs, and really most of our songs, were written from the confines of our bedrooms.
The production/creation process, on the other hand, was based on the fact that the band wanted to see how far we could take things on our own and without any other influence. All of the songs we released this summer were produced by Jack and recorded at his parents’ home in Baltimore. In the past, we’ve always relied on outside producers to help shape our sound, so this release feels pretty authentic to our influences, our style. Between the DIY setup of our recording space and the lack of time and financial obligations, we could really experiment verbatim and have fun with instruments we wouldn’t normally think of incorporating, like the banjo, pedal steel , toy pianos.
And then our very good friend Kyle Joseph graciously and patiently took all of our ideas and mixed them into the mixes you hear now, followed by mastering by another good friend Jennica Best. We are overall very proud of how it all turned out and hope this signals what is to come from us.
Which artists have been your biggest sonic influences?
We all grew up listening to very different things, and maybe in some way that’s what helps shape our sound. I grew up listening to harmony-laden folk and rock (a la The Hollies; The Roches, The Monkees, Fleetwood Mac). Aida grew up listening to more new wavey stuff, like David Bowie, U2, The Chameleons, The Smiths). I know Jack is a big fan of Blake Mills production styles.
So it’s really a mixed bag. We’ve all come to love each end of the spectrum.
What would be your ideal line-up and the ideal location for a dream concert?
It’s really difficult. I’m thinking of a four band bill (including us) which I admit is a doozy. We’ve all seen Ohmme lately and were totally blown away, so they’re front and center right now. Fountains DC is absolutely killing it right now too, so I would like them on board as well. And then maybe also that the Radiohead project The Smile would be headlining? We’ve been obsessed with this record since its release a few months ago. It would be crazy. I would like this to take place at Irving Plaza since I recently saw this totally nonsensical guest list for an OK Computer exit show that Radiohead did there in the 90s. A full circle moment, in somehow. Yeah, that would be really fun.
Anything else on the horizon for the band?
We just headlined the Mercury Lounge for the first time, which was really scary but cool! Hopefully we’ll do more of that and maybe finally get out of bounds in New York to play some gigs. But we’re happy to take a step back from acting and just focus on writing and recording. We have roughly an album’s worth of songs, so we’re eager to come up with new ideas regularly and regularly.
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