Introducing Happy Hollows
We recently caught up with LA Synth-Rockers Happy Hollows on the lead up to the release of their latest masterpiece Concordia. You can listen to Concordia and more Happy Hollows here.
"Being independent allows us to make our own decisions about when we release our music and how we release it and that’s quite powerful...."
What is your story in music to date?: Charlie and I met a few years ago after he moved to Los Angeles from Washington, DC, to work on his doctorate. I had just moved to Los Angeles from the San Francisco area. Charlie and I are quite different — he is more intellectual and I am very free spirited — but we instantly bonded over our love of similar music. We decided to form a band together and started playing shows around Los Angeles. When we first started, we focused primarily on playing live and would play shows all the time. We’ve played with a wide range of acts over the years from Julian Casablancas to Kim Deal to Real Estate to Deerhoof.
As time has gone on, we’ve started spending more time in the studio and playing more frequently for periods when we release new music. We have recorded two albums and are about to release our third album, Concordia, on September 8. Over the years our music has evolved form more of a grungy, guitar driven aesthetic to a more polished synth-based sound. But I think our music has always been based in the broader post-punk and college rock genres that have been a big part of modern popular music from the late 1970s through the present day.
Who are your influences in music? And what are you currently listening to?: Some of our main influences are the Pixies, Kate Bush, Santigold, and Talking Heads. We are currently listening to Little Dragon, Holy Ghost!, Parquet Courts, and Future Islands.
How does it feel being part of the independent music scene?: There is a lot of power in being an independent artist. Owning our masters and publishing has allowed us to sustain ourselves as a band for many years. It’s important for a band to have a good team of people working with them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean giving away the rights to your music in every case.
Being independent allows us to make our own decisions about when we release our music and how we release it and that’s quite powerful.
What's been your career highlights to date?: For us it’s all about the music. We love to write, record, and work through songs in the studio. Our biggest highlight as a band was writing and recording our latest album, Concordia, in Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles. It’s an amazing place where the likes of everyone from Prince to M83 have worked on records. It was a great experience. We recorded the drums, bass, guitars, and vocals live and the room was very magical. We also loved opening on tour for Lucius last summer, and touring the UK the summer before that.
What would be your dream collaboration and why? : Our dream collaboration would be with Santigold. We really admire her sound, production, writing, and songs.
What's the story behind your release Amethyst and the upcoming Concordia? : We recorded our previous album, Amethyst, with producer Lewis Pesacov (Best Coast) in Echo Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. We had such a great experience working with him that we decided to record with him again on our next record.
For Amethyst, we wanted more of a “wall of sound” sonic atmosphere. With Concordia, we wanted a more spacious and live sounding record. We mixed Concordia in London with Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Depeche Mode, Interpol). It was a great experience to work with someone with so much experience and knowledge and he really added a lot to the songs.
What do you get the most out of? Studio or Live performance?: We love both the studio and the live aspect of performing very much, but the studio is the most fulfilling. There is no better feeling then creating as a team in the studio, and performing your parts and giving it your all because that performance is forever. It’s great when things work out in the studio.
What's next for you? Future plans?: Next, we hope to play as many shows as possible, and tour to support Concordia throughout this year and next. Our dream would be to tour Japan someday!
You can find more from Happy Hollows over at northnote.com