While many records focus on the highs and lows of romantic relationships, this album centers on friendship. “The whole thing is the romanticism of friendship —like Thelma & Louise, you know?” Drake says.
We’re excited to premiere Native Echoes (due August 19), which manages to musically capture the best parts of summer. The band explores everything from ‘60s girl groups to garage rock and punk on this album. If you’re fans of Best Coast and Dum Dum Girls, you’ll definitely dig these guys. We also got the low-down from Kimmy on escaping the boys club, recording during the Polar Vortex, and the beauty of overcast beach days.
How does Native Echoes differ from your debut, Trip Trap Attack?
“Musically, I think it’s some of the same, but definitely a lot more growth has happened in the band since last year. With the first record, we were trying to do fun, surf-y and dancey songs with a little bit of punk and garage music in there. This time, the writing process was different. We recorded everything in Detroit.”
How did going to Detroit help in the band’s growth?
“Jim Diamond mixed our last record, so we were really excited to record with him again. We recorded in the Polar Vortex that happened earlier this year. It was -13 degrees outside. Skyler didn’t even bring a jacket with him. He had a vintage Levi’s jean jacket. That’s all he brought with him. Our producer had to lend him a coat to wear. It was really cold when we were recording. It made us really focus, because we didn’t want to go outside because it was too cold. Working with Jim made it really easy because I didn’t have to explain what kind of guitar or drum sounds I wanted. He kind of already knows and knew. We recorded a song with him last year for a LensCrafters commercial, and after that, we knew we were going to record our next album with him.”
What was the biggest difference being in Detroit as opposed to Florida?
“For me, I love Detroit so much. It has such a historical, musical feel there. There are so many great, musical things that have happened there. The studio I recorded in with Jim — so many great classic garage records have been recorded there. Motown is there. It’s a real city. People are so real there. I love it there.”
What’s the story behind Native Echoes? What theme or stories helped craft the record?
“For me, the songs have a similar theme about friendship. There’s no romantic love song on the record."
There’s a wave of bands that have that ‘60s girl-group, surf-rock sound. What sets you apart from being lumped in with the others?
“Since I’m a girl, and playing guitar in a surf-y, garage-punk band, of course you get lumped in with the same bands. People always compare us to bands that have a girl who can sing and have the same kind of sounds. I feel like each of the bands I know we compared to are so different and have their own amazing thing about them. I think because you’re a girl, they automatically get compared to other girls. I think all of these ladies have their own gifts and sounds."
Do you often find female musician face gender inequality?
“I mean, sometimes. There’s the whole thing, where you go to the venue, and they’re like ‘Are you one of the band members’ girlfriends?’ It’s like, ‘No, I’m in the band. I’m the singer of the band.’ As far as gender inequality, it’s there for sure…. We’ll play a bill, and I’ll be the only girl, or my band will be the only band that has girls in the band.... I think that’s changing a lot now though. I feel like on our next tour there are a ton of shows where there are all-girl bands. I think that’s really awesome.”
On that note, what are your tour plans?
“We’re doing a West Coast tour next month. We’re really excited to be on tour with another band with girls in the band. We’ll be back in New York for CMJ in October.”
What’s the most meaningful track on the record?
“For me, the most meaningful track on the record is ‘BFFs.’ I wrote it in two minutes. I just felt like it was so real — the emotion I had. I think it’s definitely the most meaningful track on the record. It’s about a toxic friendship in a way.”
Do you normally write your tracks that quickly?
“Sometimes, but not too much on this record. Right before we left for Detroit, I wrote ‘BFFs’ and another song from the record ‘Don’t Call Me On The Phone.’ I wrote those songs very quickly and a few days before we left town. We had to cut out other songs on the record because we thought they were so strong. I don’t usually do that too much — only once in awhile. Those are usually the good ones — the ones that happen really quickly.”
Do you think this record is perfect for a beach day?
“I think this record is really good for a beach day. I think it’s also good for an overcast beach day. I personally love those. I’m right down the street from the beach, and when it’s overcast, I know that nobody is going to be there. That’s when I love it.”