Common Ivy cultivate pulsing arterial beats with soulful instrumentation.

We sat down for a brief chat with them about their debut album, Common Ivy.

What are the main differentiators for Common Ivy? How does the band reinforce those factors?

Most notably, the fuse of electronic and indie-rock elements differs from the acoustic-psychedelic elements we’ve previously focused on. We’ve also approached the music making process differently; rather than recording live as we’ve previously done, the songs from our most recent album were composed in studio essentially layer after layer. Through this process we delved into electronic synth-pop sounds as well as the inclusion of brass instruments unlike that of our previous endeavors, which attributed to the fuse of the elements mentioned above. We want to continue pushing ourselves to incorporate a varied usage of instrumentation, which is notable in both our production and live performances.

What was the conscious method behind the development of this new artistic identity, after the dissolution of Boondock Brothers?

We wanted to pursue a different sound/musical direction as a whole in addition to taking a hiatus from live shows and the music scene to focus on the foundation of our new identity. This required the three of us to hone in on our own individual foundations to mesh into what is now Common Ivy through means of extensive studio time with each other, personal time, and planned trips. It almost felt as though we had spent a year in a basement and with isolation comes focus. This played a pivotal role with regards to our development.

You recently released a short film/music video with Bad Barista films. How involved were you with the conceptual development of that piece, and what went into the development of that piece as a whole?

Although the script was written by our good friend and short film producer Ismael Cosio, we were considerably involved in the tone and vision of the film. In order to keep our vision consistent, we handpicked the female protagonist for the film (Mariah Viorato). Since Mariah knows us on a personal level, particularly Michael who played her male counterpart, she was able to portray her character in a way that encapsulated our vision within the context of Ismael’s script which articulates the struggle of a man simultaneously dealing with the dissipation of a close relationship and the anxiety that caused it.

Any notable plans for the future?

We plan to create more content: music and music videos. We’re currently working on our third music video for “WTLGO,” a song off our most recent album and we’re already recording our second album. We’ll be releasing the new album during the final quarter of 2018 and will be touring South America during the late spring playing primarily throughout Mexico. In the meantime, stay tuned for local shows TBA.

Who are the top 5 bands influencing you right now and why?

  • The XX consistently make excellent chord structures which we take into consideration when writing our songs. They embody a sense of simplicity whilst delivering penetrating emotion in their music that speaks to us.
  • Frank Ocean is a massive influence; his lyrics weave melodies in a way that simultaneously fuses elements of R&B & Pop and even pays homage to Motown. His ability to pivot in songs is something we play close attention as it provides influence to us when composing both vocal melodies and lyrics.
  • New Order’s timeless contribution to fusing rock & dance music serves as a sonic guide for elements of our sound particularly the distorted, story-telling guitar riffs that hook you while making you contemplate the meaning of life.
  • Yeek is a newer, upcoming artist who’s combined undertones of hip hop & indie rock in a way unlike any other artist. The manner in which he blends these two genres in addition to making excellent use of dynamics are two things we take into consideration when writing some of our new material.
  • The way Gorillaz incorporates a variety of instrumentation & blends genres is inspirational. The versatility of this group is relatable to us and how we seek to emphasize the blend of sound from brass instruments, synths, guitars, to electronic beats.

Most importantly, what all these artists deliver which we wish to evoke in our listeners is raw emotion.

Common Ivy’s eponymous debut album is available digitally now: Spotify | Bandcamp | Facebook

By Brian R. Strauss