By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Yes. Growing up my dad would listen to things like the Beach Boys and Beatles, and my mom was really into Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan, that '70s druggy music. I remember the first time I heard "Don't Worry Baby"; I think I was in my dad's car, and it was on the radio. My parents also like the Phil Spector Christmas record and the Home Alone and Home Alone 2 soundtracks, which had, like, the Crystals and Darlene Love. That sound was something I was introduced to at a very young age. It makes me feel very nostalgic. I think that's why I choose to make music that's a modern take on that; I'm a very nostalgic person, and my favorite music is very nostalgic-sounding.
A lot of that music is very melancholy at its core. "Don't Worry Baby" is a good example. I remember as a kid hearing the Beach Boys' sadder songs, like "Wendy" or "In My Room," and liking those best. Did that aspect rub off on you as well?
I'm the kind of person who, for whatever reason, has an easier time writing lyrics if I'm focusing on something melancholy. I think that's something I probably did learn from listening to the Beach Boys and even the Beatles. They have these really catchy, upbeat songs but also slower and darker ones, and even some of the happy and upbeat ones have darker lyrics. I think that's an interesting contrast. It's interesting to write a song that makes people dance, but if you take the time to listen to it, it's actually kind of sad. But I [also] didn't want to make a record of just whiny songs, so we decided to make it more upbeat.