The Well Pennies’ ‘Oh My Blue Sky’ Premiere: ‘There’s Life and Light All Around Us’

76

The Americana duo’s new album, ‘Murmurations,’ arrives Jan. 25.

The Well Pennies moved midway throughout the nation to a brand new home sight-almost-unseen, believing fortune to be on their facet.

True to their title, their needs have been granted.

"Ha, yeah, we have been a bit nervous at first," says Bryan Vanderpool, who, with spouse Sarah, shaped the Americana duo initially of the last decade in Massachusetts earlier than relocating to Los Angeles and, now, Des Moines, Iowa.

"There's a land seize occurring in these rising cities, and homes have been promoting too quick for us to attend till we moved right here," he explains. "Sarah's dad and mom went to dozens of homes, phone-in-hand, exhibiting us round till we discovered this place. We wished a home that might accommodate our studio build-out, so we had some particular issues we have been in search of.

"It labored out nice, although. Sarah's dad made positive the plumbing and electrical-type stuff was in good condition and Sarah's mother made positive it regarded good."

The tandem (which takes its title from the Tom Waits song "The Fall of Troy") launched a self-titled EP in 2012 and subsequently loved a highlight on the covers album Beatles Reimagined, on which the pair's makeover of "All My Lovin' " was launched alongside remakes by the likes of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It adopted with its debut LP, Endlings, a group of lushly-produced pop/Americana, in 2015.

On Jan. 25, The Well Pennies launch their second LP, Murmurations. Their four-year break between albums included their transfer to a home that now features a dwelling studio, the place the act information not solely itself, however different artists, having settled right into a wealthy Midwest music scene.

Packed (and unpacked), fortunately, within the journey have been The Well Pennies' trademark harmonies and present for melody, in addition to lyrics, usually drawn from the pure world, that, even when cautious, encourage.

Summing up the act's sunny outlook, Bryan sings within the new set's "The River," "The partitions will tumble, they all the time do / The rivers rise … and so will you."

Bryan shared insights forward of the brand new album's launch, as Billboard completely premieres one of many LP's most buoyant tracks, "Oh My Blue Sky."

Why did you title the brand new album Murmurations?

A murmuration is that this superb show that occurs when a flock of starlings create patterns of shapes as they fly collectively. On its personal, the starling is just not notably noteworthy, however simply by doing what it instinctively is designed to do, it turns into part of this miracle of nature. Animals and nature simply are what they’re and do what they’re born to do. And there's one thing so liberating within the considered dwelling like that.

The concept actually impressed us to look at ourselves and the type of artists we’re, at our core, and take away any stress or expectations from ourselves or society of who we must be and to find what’s the precise fact. We're studying it's in all probability a lifelong course of.  

The title of your final album, Endlings, was equally nature-themed. That appears to be an enormous inspiration for you.

Nature is one thing we care about a terrific deal and one thing that we attempt to guard as a lot as we will. Just the imagery alone is inspiring, but in addition what it usually symbolizes. When the world feels chaotic, there's one thing so calming about seeing nature proceed to do what it does, day after day. Small, uneventful issues like listening to birds chirping within the bushes, watching squirrels run round, seeing the clouds within the sky. It's superb how little moments like that may present some much-needed aid and easy reminders about what's vital.

In listening to the brand new album, it was positively definitely worth the four-year wait. And, it appears like that was a busy time. Why did you resolve to maneuver to Des Moines from Los Angeles, and to your new dwelling recording amenities, Golden Bear Studio?

Practical causes, for essentially the most half. You can truly afford to be an artist within the Midwest. In Los Angeles, the hire is so costly that many artists should work a number of jobs so as to simply dwell there. We bought to the purpose the place the band needed to flip down alternatives as a result of we couldn't afford to maintain taking day off from work every time a gig got here up. We wished to have the ability to journey extra, purchase a home and most significantly, construct our personal recording studio.

Los Angeles is a humorous place. It has its professionals and cons for working artists, however one thing we by no means may recover from is the deep-rooted feeling of desperation that hangs over the business. The artwork communities in giant cities generally really feel like a sport present the place there can solely be one winner. And that type of competitiveness doesn't nurture encouragement and assist of one another, whereas smaller cities like Des Moines have gotten locations for artists in search of that sort of welcoming neighborhood. 

In phrases day-to-day life, not simply professionally however personally, how does your new locale examine to Los Angeles and, earlier than that, again east? More open house? More peaceable? Less loopy drivers?

We've all the time pursued music in large cities and it's superb simply how a lot one thing like visitors or discovering parking can management your life! Now, we’ve got the power to do the issues we wished we may do extra of again in Los Angeles. Chefs, designers and artists of all types are transferring out right here for a similar causes we did, so it's rising actually quick.

The big-city exodus has created a melting pot of wonderful eating places, music venues, artwork galleries and boutiques, with half the bills. Really, the most important distinction day-to-day is that in Des Moines we solely have one Trader Joe's as an alternative of a dozen.

And then, as a result of we're surrounded by farmland, we will take a drive 15 minutes out of city and be surrounded by nothing however large sky and rolling hills. This is beginning to sound like a tourism promo….

As a DYI, indie act, you appear to be maximizing alternatives with the house studio, the place different acts can document (and even sleep over!) How is that going?

We find it irresistible. We've all the time been very within the technical side of recording, so it made sense for us to transition into recording our personal materials. It additionally turned one other approach for us to make a dwelling as artists.

We're premiering the joyful, try-not-to-handclap-along-you-can't "Oh My Blue Sky" from Murmurations. What background are you able to give concerning the music? Was it impressed in any respect by your transfer?

Definitely. Iowa has large open prairies the place you’ll be able to see the sky for miles throughout you. And the sky, for us, is all the time symbolic of prospects and hope. We usually write songs to cheer ourselves up. The music was written as an encouragement for once we're feeling discouraged or apprehensive or simply struggling whereas we attempt to determine who we’re and what place we’ve got on the planet.

Depending on the information or no matter is happening in everybody's lives, it may be troublesome to seek out one thing optimistic to carry on to. Sometimes one thing small like seeing a reasonably sky reminds us that there's life and light-weight throughout us.