I am excited to revisit the music of Erin Pellnat...
as the Brooklyn musician is someone I am very excited about right now. She discusses her new single, Neighborhood Boys, and whether there is going to be more material. I ask about her influences and what the music scene is like in Brooklyn/New York; if there are plans regarding U.K. dates; albums that are especially important to her – if there are new artists out there we should keep an eye on.
Pellnat reveals her inspirations and gives some advice to news artists; whether she will be recording any more music with her band, Caretaker; how her father drives her music (Chris Pellnat is a successful artist) – and how she spends her downtime.
Hi, Erin. How are you? How has your week been?
Very busy! I’m a musician but I also have a ‘day-job’ - so I’m always on the run in New York City!
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m an unsigned singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. I am the lead singer of the band Caretaker - as well as doing my own solo music and collaborations with other musicians. I’m a graduate of City College where I studied Jazz Vocals - not sure if you can hear that influence in my music though, but it’s there!
The last time I encountered your music was when I reviewed the track, Dream in Color. How do you feel you have developed and changed as an artist since then?
I am always moving forward...
There is so much great music being created all the time and I always want to be part of that - to contribute to what is happening in the culture in my own way. I think my musical style is constantly evolving based on what I hear out in the world and who I work and collaborate with.
Neighborhood Boys is your latest track. What is the story behind the song?
This song is about class and love...
You know how, if you ride a bus; each bus stop is in a different neighborhood?! Some neighborhoods are wealthy, some poor. The singer is secretly in love with a guy from another bus stop – and, hence, a different socio-economic class.
It seems like, when it comes to subjects about love and life, you take an original approach. Do you think a lot of songwriters lack unique flair and real depth?
I think there are so many wonderful songwriters out there I admire so much – sometimes, it’s because of the depth and resonance of their work; but, other times, it’s because they can write so simply and straightforwardly - with no apparent 'flair' at all.
I don’t think there’s a lack of depth or flair: it’s a matter of what kind of song it is.
Is there going to be more music coming this year?
I’m always working on new music; both with my band and solo so, yes, expect more!
What sort of music did you grow up listening to? Were you raised in a household that promoted broad and eclectic music tastes?
Yes. I was definitely exposed to all types of music growing up: from Rock and Reggae to County and Classical.
Your father is a successful and established musician. How much have you learned from him?
My dad is a big influence and a huge supporter of me and my music. I think, what I’ve learned most from him, is to be yourself and let everything flow from there…
Brooklyn, where you are based, is still one of the most sought-after spots for new music. Has the landscape changed over the past few years? It used to be famed for its awesome Hip-Hop and Rap. What kind of music is favoured there now?
There’s still plenty of great Hip-Hop and Rap in Brooklyn - and tons of great Indie-Rock. The scene continues to change with all different types of music - some gets more attention than other types - but it’s all happening all the time!
IN THIS PHOTO: Citris
If you had the chance to select the three albums that mean the most to you – which would they be and why?
Simple Things by Zero 7, Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt and Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz and João Gilberto.
These three records were seminal in terms of introducing me to the possibilities in very different musical genres.
Is there any advice you would give to fellow artists coming through right now?
Stay true to your vision but, since music is a collaborative art; be open to others contributing and helping you shape your vision.
What tour dates do you have coming up? Can we see you in the U.K. anytime soon?
Unfortunately, I won’t be coming to the U.K.
Right now; I’m working on a new Caretaker record - after which, we’ll be doing more gigs in Brooklyn.
Do you have any ambitions of resolutions for this year at all?
It’s a new year and my goal is simple: I hope to make lots of great music!
Will you get any downtime at all? How do you spend your time away from music?
I love hanging with friends in Brooklyn and watching movies. I know that may not sound too exciting but, sometimes, you need to just put work aside and chill out. It’s important to step away, recharge and come back to music with fresh ears.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Equus by Blonde Redhead
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