Hello and welcome to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… getting you a little bit closer to the buzziest new acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.
Growing up in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and now living together in Brooklyn, the duo - aka Dan Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz - have released their debut album ‘How It Ends’ today.
“As best friends, we know what’s going on in each other’s lives and we’ve been there for most of them,” Jordan says. “We’ve been saying for a while that we should write around these experiences with our families.”
“Everything feels like it still connects back to the influence from your parents,” Dan adds. “You watch two people being in love or falling out of it and realize what that does to you. It affects who you are and the relationships that you have now.”
Exploring theses themes in their brand new LP, we sent them over some quick fire questions to find out a bit more about them.
Describe your music to us in the form of a Tinder bio.
“Looking for a Sunday Funday ;)?” But for real, someone had ‘Some Samurai’ as their Tinder song once it was probably our peak.
What’s your earliest musical memory?
One of my earliest memories is of my mother singing Stevie Nicks in the car. She was always singing Fleetwood, Heart, Led Zeppelin… Those were the bands I grew up listening to.
Who were some artists that inspired you when you were just starting out (and why)?
We took a lot of our recording ethos from Feist and Mac DeMarco… sort of an interesting combination, but it helped inspire us to do things in a less conventional way. We have yet to record in a traditional studio setting and we are still pretty weary. Also, that first Coldplay album. Great songwriting and everyone knows it!
You’re from Newburyport in Massachusetts and now live in Brooklyn! What do you think of the music scenes there at the moment?
There are too many great bands in Brooklyn. We just recently finished recording an EP for this band Work Wife - we got to see them play a single release show the other week, and seeing our parts and our work elevated by their live performance was a super cool moment for us. We run a recording studio with this band Bloomsday. They kill it in the live scene here and I highly recommend checking them out as well.
Are there any other artists breaking through at the same time that you take inspiration from?
In the last two years, we made the decision to really commit to music and go for it career wise. Knowing the kind of sacrifice that entails, and the sort of lifestyle, I have so much respect for anyone that is making the effort. Right now we are just happy to collaborate and meet people whose music we listen to casually. We just played a show with Runnner and Al Menne (from Great Grandpa) - perfect example of artists breaking through that inspire us.
Who would be your dream collaborator?
There are a handful of artists that we both really loved when we were playing music together in high school. Grizzly Bear, Gotye, Alvvays, Sufjan… Any of these artists, I think we would kill just to meet and chat with them.
Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to this year?
We have an album out September 23rd, which is definitely the right answer, but we wrote and recorded that almost a year ago so at this point we just want to get back to recording more. We got our start in music as studio kids so it is definitely where we feel most comfortable. This November we’re gonna lock ourselves away and get some more music down.
If people could take away one thing from your music, what would it be?
When we get together to write or record music, that is a really special and almost sacred time for us because it’s a designated time to let out our pent up emotions and thoughts. I am very much an advocate for therapy and mindfulness in general. I think if listening to our music can do the same for someone and help them get in touch with their emotions, that might lead to them living a more fully realized life and thats so cool to be a part of that. With this album in particular, we talk a lot about what it was like to grow up as a child of divorce and the lasting impact that might have. There could be a 9 year old kid going through it, or a 40 year old adult with pent up resentment, and maybe they listen and find some healing in this album. That would be the goal.