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Brother Duo Eighty Ninety Talk Their “808s and Telecaster” Sound, Production Process, and RSVP Link For Upcoming Show

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Brothers Abner and Harper have been making music almost their whole lives. With their first single, “Three Thirty,” they formed their current project, Eighty Ninety. Receiving a spot on Taylor Swift’s, “Songs Taylor Loves” playlist, with their single, “Your Favorite Song,” the brothers have been on a steady trajectory to success. Writing and producing all of their own songs which have elements across all different genres from pop to indie rock to dance, the duo has crafted their own sound that they self describe as “808s and telecaster.”

 

Eighty Ninety will be  playing a small in-studio show on March 30th at Douglass Recording that will be filmed and live streamed on YouTube / Facebook. You can RSVP here to go in person or RSVP here to watch the live stream.  

 

Listen to “Your Favorite Song” here: 

 

Cliché: How did you get your start creating music together? Was this something you both always knew you wanted to do?

Eighty Ninety: We’re brothers, and have been playing music pretty much our whole lives. We always knew that we eventually wanted to be in a band together. It’s something we talked about growing up. So unofficially, we’ve been playing together for a while now. But Eighty Ninety started when we moved to New York and began working on what would become our first single, “Three Thirty”.

 

I recently saw you perform at the Ludlow House. It was awesome and the crowd was really engaged! What’s your favorite part about performing live?

Thanks so much for coming to the show, and glad you had a good time! Playing live is great because it’s a chance to just channel the emotions of the songs (rather than perfecting them, which is what the studio is for). It feels great and gives us a new perspective on the music that we can take back to the studio. Because of that, playing in-progress songs live sometimes is the final step before we finish producing them. Also, nothing is more motivating and incredible than meeting the people who come to the shows. We did an east coast tour last fall and saw our first Eighty Ninety tattoo — hard to put that into words.

 

You’ve been receiving recognition across the industry, including Taylor Swift putting you on her playlist, “Songs Taylor Loves.” What does it all mean to you and for your continuing success?

Taylor Swift adding “Your Favorite Song” to her playlist was a totally surreal moment for us in a lot of ways. We have so much respect, admiration, and unabashed fan-love for her and her music music (Abner once saw her two nights in a row) that it was definitely a pinch-me moment and also so motivating and inspiring to keep going and trust ourselves to keep making the music we want to make. And having “Three Thirty” connect and go viral the way that it did was amazing in a different way — seeing how many people across the world have listened feels like real evidence that writing and making something so personal can resonate in a universal way. That was really moving. It would be an understatement to say we didn’t expect any of this – we’re so grateful every day.

 

Describing yourselves as “808s and telecasters” is such an interesting and perfect way to describe your sound. Can you tell me a little more about your instrumentation and style?

When we’re in the studio we don’t really think about genre and as a result there are elements of pop, electronic, country, dance, and indie rock in our songs. “808’s and telecasters” felt like a good way to get that across – but also highlights the two things that show up the most frequently. Live, we’re a three piece band (vocals, guitars, drums + samples and tracks) that comes across a little more rock — so that dichotomy is also in there.

 

You write, produce, and mix all of your songs right out of a small space in NYC. What does that process look like for you? How do your songs come to life?

We usually finish a song before we start to produce it. We think of production as doubling down on a song’s emotional core — so we need to be clear on what that is before we start producing. Once the song is finished we talk about a big-picture vision and how we imagine the song coming across. Then we’ll get down the basic (main guitar part or pad) and do vocals until they feel right. After that we slowly build up around the voice and keep pushing until we feel like it’s finished. That last part of the process sometimes takes an afternoon, and sometimes takes weeks.

 

Who are your own musical inspirations, and who are you listening to now?

We’re really inspired by the new artists we see around us – so those two things are one in the same. We have a constantly updated playlist called “Our Favorite Songs” (get it!) that right now has artists like FINNEAS, Muna, Phoebe Bridgers, The Band CAMINO, Yoke Lore, lovelytheband, Des Rocs, pronoun, LANY, Queue, Sorcha Richardson, Aaron Taos, Mallrat, Loote, The Japanese House. And of course Taylor Swift.

 

You’ve said that you love collaborating. Is there anyone specific in mind you want to have the opportunity to collaborate with, and why?

If anyone from that playlist that we just listed wants to collab in any way – our studio door is always open!

 

What can listeners expect from you coming up in the near future?

We’re in the final stages of finishing a new EP. The plan is to start releasing singles soon – and not to stop.

 

Read more Music articles at Cliché Magazine. 

Brother Duo Eighty Ninety and Their “808s and Telecaster” Sound, Production Process, and RSVP Link For Upcoming Show: Featured Image Credit: Mallory Turner 

Ace Reporter Has Arrived

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Brooklyn’s Ace Reporter recently performed at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey at one of the venue’s final shows. Their set featured songs from their album Yearling, released in late February, and lead singer Chris Snyder’s voice mesmerized the crowd from the first to last note. Now, typically their ability to entertain would be a cause for celebration. However, after listening to their album on acereporter.bandcamp.com, it’s hard to decide which sound is superior: live or digital.
Yearling contains ten songs and each song differs from the next. “Bronze,” is slow and sexy, “Aesop,” is a Coldplay-meets-Imagine-Dragons track, while the groovy “Untouched and Arrived,” is a headbop worthy tune. This diverse quality frees listeners from other autonomous trends and enables them to fully appreciate the album. In addition to the various melodies, Ace Reporter features complex lyrics and wordplay in their song titles that not only draw listeners in, but establishes a fan base.
Still, the key difference between the album and live performance is the energy that Ace Reporter envelops the audience in. Chris Snyder’s voice alone is enough to swoon an audience, but his stage presence and interactions with the audience creates an intimate performance. Their live show was stripped from the very electronic sound that was featured online and sets a down to earth mood for all to enjoy. So, whether it’s digital or live, Ace Reporter has a sound to suit all ears.
Photographs courtesy of acereporter.bandcamp.com

Do You Have Art Displayed in Your Heart?

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Pouring your heart out it is usually done when you love a person, place or thing to death, but just like anything else there is an art to pouring your heart out so that it doesn’t spill all over the place and miss your target completely. On June 21st, a rising street artist from Jersey City, New Jersey named Ability was featured at NYC’s The City’s Dream Gallery to show us exactly how he puts the art in heart. At first, Ability appears as a regular Jersey City resident, but upon closer inspection, he reveals himself to be a young man who is enthusiastic about his work and puts everything he can into what he does. Sometimes jolting out of his seat, as if hit by a bolt of lightning, running around with wild enthusiasm, Ability comes off as one of the nicest Frankenstein monsters you’ll meet, and thinks the same about the people he meets. This is what made his show Put the Art in Heart so special. All of your weirdness was exposed and no one thought anything of it as long as you were there living and enjoying the moment.
Ability shared the space with a friend of his to offer stencils, acrylic-based paintings, drawings, and mixed media pieces, relaying images of a brain and heart duking it out in a boxing ring, Brad Pitt breaking the rules he had set about Fight Club, dragon fossils, monsters from Monsters Inc. creeping through the doorway, and Chinese fortunes glued on tiny canvases accompanied with images of koi fish, chameleons, and many other animals. It was truly was a treat to walk around the gallery tapping my foot to the sound of a jazz band who got to study and play with the likes of Mulgrew Miller, who had recently passed away.
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When I wasn’t busy looking at the art I took time to meet and greet a few people who were around and met other local street artists, and guys and gals in their 20’s with long hair, short hair, and custom made t-shirts talking about everything that shown under the moonlight, which was growing bigger and bigger every second that weekend. People were outside smoking cigarettes, taking walks to find his street art put up in the area, and some just standing inside smiling to one another as they stared at paint that was already dry.
If you don’t like jazz or think street art shouldn’t be on canvases, stop signs, and sheet rock, Ability gave you the opportunity to go out on a scavenger hunt to find some of his artwork on the streets while offering t-shirts with logos like “I hate this shirt,” and “Younique,” as well as prints of his work as prizes. It was a pleasure to work with the young artist who I am extremely grateful for bringing people together for a common purpose. To appreciate art and send a message to mankind to live peaceful lives among the masses was what this show was all about, and you can see that the love just didn’t pour out of Ability, but it sprayed, projected, dripped, illuminated, and was even yanked out of him.