Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Music Weird interviews Suburban Living

Like print-through on a tape reel, the echoes of the '80s reverberate through today's indiepop. Take Suburban Living, for example. 

I don't want to contribute to, as Liam Sprod says, the "over-theoretisation of music," so I'm not going to use the word hauntology here. I'll just say that Suburban Living sounds kinda '80s-ish and kicks ass. 

I've never been a huge fan of dream pop—it's too dense and heavy for me. I'm a pure-pop guy at heart, so that's why I like a lot of these bands like Suburban Living, Twin Cabins, Craft Spells, Wild Nothing (the first album), etc. They manage to be dreamy and poppy without getting lost in the fog. I'd call them "dream-pop lite," but that sounds disparaging. If I wrote that, I would mean it only in a good way.

Suburban Living is Wesley Bunch of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Suburban Living discography so far consists of only one EP and singles, but they've attracted quite a bit of internet attention. 

Those echoey guitars, retro synths, drum machines, and washes of reverb hit me right in my sweet spot. I hope they play the Midwest soon so I can see them live. 

Music Weird interviewed Suburban Living on March 3, 2014. 

What have you got in the works?

I’m currently recording my full-length in Virginia Beach. I hope to have it released sometime this year. Hopefully, I can get a single out by late summer or early fall.

You have some tour dates coming up. With just an EP and singles so far, what else are you playing live?

We’ve been playing a lot since I started Suburban Living.

I’m playing a lot of new songs. Probably almost half the set right now is comprised of songs off the full-length. It’s great to be able to play a full set of material and have a backlog of songs we can play. I remember starting the band and having to do covers just to make sure we filled up enough set time.

The guys behind one-man bands are usually pretty introverted, but you had to put a band together to play live. Was that painful?

Yeah, I can be really introverted when it comes to rehearsals and playing live. 

I’ve got a handful of friends here in Virginia Beach who are willing to play in my band. I’ve been lucky to lock down a pretty solid band for the past year, which has been great. I want to keep it that way. I hate switching members out, but it’s cool that I can always reach out to my friends and, almost always, they’re down to play.

Will you use the band in the studio?

More than likely. I can’t play drums, and I’ve got some great drummers in Virginia Beach that I want to have record some stuff for the full-length.

Your video for "I Don't Fit In" is great. Did you have any trouble finding women to appear (half naked) in it?

Thanks! That video was pretty impromptu, and my director found a lot of the people to be in it. I was really detached from a lot of the planning. I basically just got a call that was like, “Hey, we’re shooting the video this day, be here at this time, we’ve got a lot of people involved.”

What's the indiepop scene like in Virginia?

Well, I’m from Virginia Beach, about an hour-and-a-half southeast from Richmond.

Richmond has a pretty good music scene. The label who put out my 7 inch [Dialog] is from there, and I’ve got a lot of friends in bands up there. 

Virginia Beach is cool too. We make the best of what we’ve got, which is a small scene in comparison to a lot of neighboring towns. 

What are you listening to these days?

I’ve really been into a mix of things. I’m still listening to a lot of '80s pop stuff: Prince, Heaven 17, Madonna. But I’ve been into a lot of more current stuff like Pity Sex, Fear of Men. And the new Dum Dum Girls is great.

Why hasn't Captured Tracks signed you yet?

Ha ha! Not sure. I’d imagine they’ve got enough singer-songwriters-under-a-band-name kind of bands right now. Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Craft Spells, et cetera. Great label, though. I’ve checked out their new record shop in Brooklyn and it’s great. They’re doing awesome things.


Favorite Friend (No label, 2011)
  • Summer Breeze / Attractive Smile

Give Up (No label, 2011)
  • Give Up

Cooper's Dream EP (No label, 2012)
  • I Don't Fit In / Give Up / Prom / Float in Clouds / Cooper's Dream

Always Eyes (Dialog, 2013)
  • Always Eyes / Video Love / Club Kids

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