After releasing their great debut album Careers in 2014, Beverly went non-stop touring, even without Frankie Rose – one of the founders of the band. Drew Citron talked to us about herself, the band nowadays and their brand new album, The Blue Swell.
Tell me a little bit about yourself! What did push you into music?
I’ve always listened to music. I grew up in San Francisco. My parents listened to a lot of folk and that sort of stuff and that’s what I grew up listening to. I grew up listening to the Beach Boys, the Beatles… and then I started going to shows in high school and there were a lot of great bands in the Bay Area and the late 90’s and the early 2000’s. I moved to New York and I started writing songs when I was 19 in high school and then I continued to do it and started booking shows. I started playing in bands and it was a pretty organic thing how it happened.
You always seem to take this band in a very natural way and not rushing anything with your music, which is great. What’s your daily motto of being a musician?
I’m always working like I’m always doing something, if it’s not writing or recording, it’s doing stuff with the business side and trying to book shows. I’m always pushing things forward and I’m always thinking of new ways to do things like collaborating with artists or new designs… There’s always stuff to do and I love it. It’s my most important job that I do. Just trying to stay positive and keep working.
Frankie Rose started this band with you, but she left even before you went on tour for the first time. How much did the departure affect the band’s dynamic?
She moved and decided that she didn’t want to tour, and so I just ended up putting together a live band to tour the songs because I was really proud of the record and I wanted to play it. It was just a catalyst for me to work harder and make it happen. I think we did and that has grown into something that idealize on its own now and it’s a completely different line-up.
The Blue Swell feels like a fresh start for the band. What were the main elements that set apart your first album, Careers, from this new one?
I would say that with this new album we tried to do more raw recordings and get as many live elements as possible into the songs. We really kind of beat it into the ground like production wise. We just worked on things until we couldn’t stand it anymore. We really put 110% into this album, the first one was great but a little bit more rushed in our process of recording it. This new one was definitely not rushed, it was a more deliberated work I would say.
How was it like to work with Scott Rosenthal (The Beets, Crystal Stilts) for this new album?
He’s really smart and he’s been in countless indie bands for years, like a very, very long time and he’s been playing in bands. He’s pretty easy going, but has actually a lot of opinions that come with years of experience and he will put his foot down if he has an idea that will definitely make our recording better or a live performance better. I think we’ve been able to sort of learn a lot from each other and it’s just making the band better and it’s really great.
Why name the album The Blue Swell?
The album art has that water imagery and we were sort of just thinking of a wave metaphor and also a melancholic feeling, which you’ll find in many of the songs. I think it’s pretty much what is about.
If I didn’t read about it, I wouldn’t believe that the album’s artwork was a painting, it’s so realistic. Who did the artwork?
His name is Robby Rose and the layout and all of the design was done by Eileen Conlisk. They’re basically just die hard music fans and I met them at a show last year. They’ve come to a lot of Beverly shows. We got to talking and he said “Come to my art show. Do you want to play?” It didn’t work out, but I ended up looking at his website and I just really thought he was an incredible figure painter and I thought “This image is really powerful. I would love to use it for the album.” He let us use it and it was great.
Your second single, “Victoria”, was co-written with Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart). How did that collaboration happen?
He’s my friend and I toured with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart last year. I played keyboard with him for the live shows and he’s just always writing music. He wrote a bunch of Beverly demo ideas and I really liked this one. We’ve always talked about collaborating and so we made it together.
What’s the story behind “Victoria”?
It’s sort of a story about a girl who does a lot for attention and maybe an unrequited love from a friend.
The video for “Victoria” is really great and it was shot by Jacob Graham of The Drums.
Yeah, Jacob makes these amazing puppet videos and it’s called The Creatures Of Yes. They’re really great and I love them. I just saw all of them one day and asked him if he wanted to do a music video and he said yes. It just worked out perfectly. He shot all of that footage of me in his bedroom with different cameras and had like a little analog/digital converter and put it all on his computer and made the video.
Overall, what track stands out the most for you off this album?
I think the track “South Collins” is my favorite – it’s the song that has the new video coming out – because I’m really proud the way the production sounds and how well it turned out. I think there’s nothing that I hear about it that I wish I could change.