Ed. Note: We’ll be running spotlights on all the artists playing our second anniversary show, Aural States Fest II, over the coming weeks. First up, Brandon talks with Caleb from Lands & Peoples, and I drop some fresh, raw demos from the newest act to be playing the fest: Jack Chick.
There’s little sense in me trying to sum up the sound of Lands & Peoples, other than to say that whenever they try their hand at something, the results are pretty fantastic. They can veer from Grizzly Bear-esque chamber pop with “Ukulele” and then shift gears to pulsing electronics and lush harmonies on “Awake,” all the while managing to sound like no other band out there.
We talked with the trio’s frontman, Caleb Moore, a lapsed blogger for this very site, about their possible upcoming LP, their ever-changing sound, and the wonderful ligature that is the ampersand.
AS: I read on your Tumblr that you were in the studio back in December, and that the result was either going to be an EP or LP. What did you decide?
CM: We are shooting for a full length LP, which will (we hope) be released by an “actual label,” and eventually (sexual favors) make it to vinyl. Also want to mention that in addition to the full length– we’re doing a 7″ split w/ our friends THIN HYMNS. They make amazing, beautiful music and they’re from Chicago.
AS: What’s it going to be called?
CM: We have to have a band seance before any big decisions such as that are made. No freaking clue!
AS: I’ve found it’s really impossible to pin you guys down to any one genre or aesthetic. How do you keep evolving your sound?
CM: We just can’t fucking help it– it’s good and bad for us. On one hand, we all have an immense appreciation for music that stays pretty tight in one aesthetic. I think that’s one way to really make an album an album. Wavves, Beirut, Nite Jewel, Washed Out, Beach House– they’re all different from one another, but have a VERY consistent sound on each album.
But also, we think diversity within a record/live performance can be really important and have a palate-cleansing type effect. So, for now it’s happening because we can’t control it, but one day maybe we will have a very specific sound? Seems hard to imagine for me.
AS: Maybe I didn’t poke around the right corners of the internet, but I didn’t see too many interviews with you guys. What’s your backstory? What inspires you guys, musically or otherwise?
CM: That’s a big question. Back story is that i made the L&P myspace to post some weirdo audio experiments that I’d been making w/ my computer, loop pedals, and stuff. Then i started writing songs– Amanda and I played for the first time in my old apartment in Charles Village above Donna’s. She sang harmonies on “Isabella” with me at a tender lil house show that I curated w/ buds of mine.
Beau was there that day too, visiting from NYC and playing a couple of his songs. Amanda and I kept playing, and I finally convinced Beau to move down here from NYC. Mostly because NYC sucks hard– errrr it can be a challenging place to live for anyone that’s not rich as fuck .. err.. Baltimore is cheaper.. shit. I don’t know. Point is, it worked out very well for him. We’ve all 3 been playing together since he moved down about a year ago, and we’re now toying with adding a bass player!! Whooohoooo!
AS: Your first EP was called &, and you make a point of punctuating your band name with an ampersand. Do you have a particular fondness for the ampersand? Why?
CM: Yes, I have a ‘&’ tattoo on my chest, the only one so far. They are just oh-so-pretty to me. Such a satisfying line to follow, and to draw. I got it w/ my friend Kate in order to seal our bond as super-friends forever, under the eyes of God, and the hairy tattoo artist that applied da ink.
AS: Who are you looking forward to seeing?
CM: EVERYONE. But, specifically I’m super pumped to see Height w/ Friends for the first time, whom my friend Mickey raps with. Also, True Womanhood and Dustin Wong both put on really great, interesting shows, and are nice dudez. The other people I’m actually very inexperienced with– so that will be fun to see a bunch of new Bmore music for the 1st time.
Jack Chick are a project that has been simmering and gestating for some time now. And I would’ve been none the wiser if not for my conversations with Jack Moore, El Suprimo head honcho and member of Mopar Mountain Daredevils (whose release in 2009 I highly recommend). While Mopar Mountain are on hold, Moore (keys) is joined by fellow Daredevil Derrick Hans (drums), and boyfriend-girlfriend duo Chrissy Howland from the Degenerettes (vocals, bass, keys) and studio whiz Rob Girardi (guitar).
With such a strong pedigree, it’s no surprise that their darkly swirling, experimental vision of psych is gripping. Their ever-evolving sound is remarkably atmospheric for being so weighty (check out some of their raw practice demos above). I can’t wait to see what surprises they have in store for their debut live performance at the fest.