Eric and I saw local band Golden Curls open for our friends Oil Boom last weekend at Plush. GC’s Sarah Downen and Noah Blackwell describe their sound as “woozy pop,” a fitting description evoking feelings of pre-caffeinated mornings and sunrises. They only just started making music together via the internet in the summer of 2011 and they’ve already got an EP of their mellow electronica that sounds like a product of a much more seasoned band. This duo has the potential to accomplish some really cool things. They’re playing with Quilt and Young Magic at the Firebird on July 25th, a show I most definitely recommend seeing.
Golden Curls were happy to do this interview for OffAirSTL:
I’ve read that you two initially started making music with each other via the internet. How did that work exactly?
Being a college student in a small town about 200 miles from St. Louis makes it difficult to collaborate with the people you want to collaborate with (in person.) We were both used to using the internet for music making since we’ve been doing that for 3 or so years with another band called Bear (the Ghost), whose primary member, Robert Ritter, lives in Cincinnati. So when I started writing a new song (“Moon Maiden“) that I really wanted Noah’s help on, I just emailed him the demo and asked if he wanted to help. This was before we were Golden Curls. Se he sent me back a bunch of ideas and new tracks to add and before we knew it, we had a full song.
How did you two meet?
We technically went to the same high school, but it was Bear (the Ghost) that really introduced us.
Well for me [Sarah], I took piano lessons as a kid and started writing my own songs to avoid the challenge of reading music. It was easier and more fun to just make up a new song instead of learning one.
[Noah] I wish I had that ‘aha!’ moment, but alas I don’t. I guess you could say I was restricted in my musical tastes growing up, so when I was opened up to what was actually out there in the world, I took every chance I got to explore and try out new music and sounds.
How would you describe your “woozy pop” sound to someone who knows very little about music?
Woozy Pop takes the elements of a lush dream-like state, almost to the point of dizziness, hence the term ’woozy’. However, I like to see it as mixed imagery of when you’re in love with someone and it makes your knees weak. If you marry the two, it becomes a flurry of delicate bokeh, to where you find yourself with your heart in your throat.
What inspires your music?
Images from our childhood (movies) , left-over feelings that never were, fuzzy afternoons, whiskers on kittens etc…etc…
I know you’re relatively new on the scene, but do you have a favorite gig story to share? Or just a favorite band-related story in general?
The time where we were mixing ‘Imaginary Love’ in the car on the way to Middle of the Map Fest. I can’t say I’ve ever done that with anyone before. It was crazy because we were still practicing our lines, and figuring out who would sing this and that. Creative-on-the-go, you could say.
Are you working on any new material?
This summer we’ve been focusing a lot on our live performances, but we’re still making time for new material. It’s interesting writing songs in between shows because we’re really in tune with how things should sound live and what the audience will enjoy and respond to, whereas before, it was just whatever sounded good in the headphones. We have a few nearly completed songs and a lot of little ideas to play off of. It’s a little backwards, but I feel like once I head back to school in the fall, we’ll be able to focus more on the new material. Plus we are really excited to be crafting and exploring new sounds for our full length album.
Do you have any friends in the St. Louis music scene you’d like to namedrop?
We played a show earlier this summer with Middle Class Fashion and Katlyn Conroy of Cowboy Indian Bear (from Lawrence, Kansas). We’re close friends with James Bishop (formerly of Say Panther) although he moved to Cincinnati and started making music as “Fathers,” (which we totally recommend). We also played a show with Josh Hawkins’ band, “For & With.” Other than that, we’re still making our way around the scene and meeting as many people as we can.