Prepare yourselves music fans; I have some great new stuff for you to jam on to this summer. I always love stumbling upon great music on a lazy day. As it just so happens, earlier this year, on a rainy weekday at the office, I stumbled upon this amazing band called The Vespers. What turned out to be a simple exploration turned into an immense appreciation of their extraordinary craft.
Now, Nashville’s newest music stars, The Vespers are making music magic happen left and right. The crew consists of brothers Taylor and Bruno Jones with sisters Callie and Phoebe Cryar, talented musicians all. Each member has a vast aptitude of instrumentation and provides marvelously worthwhile music to listen to. This past week I opened a correspondence with Taylor, the drummer of the group. He was kind enough to share some thoughts on music and their career thus far.
I started the conversation off with how The Vespers came about. “We were all teenagers that had nothing much else going on in our lives at the time … than our collective desire to play music, so it started with us just rehearsing every day. It’s like having a new toy. You play with it a ton because it’s new [and] you’re learning all the things it can do. For us, that was learning songs [and] coming up with cool arrangements… So we talked about what becoming a real band would look like [and] decided to roll with it. We love every second of playing together so we’ve done all we can to keep going as the years pass.” Luckily, many people have benefitted from their music. The Vespers unleash a uniquely satisfying mix of Americana roots with a dash of pop folk within. Their music is perfect for both rainy and sunny afternoons outside wandering down the street.
Taylor then shared his thoughts on some of the best work they have done to date. “That’s always a tough [one] cause songs are like your kids. Good, bad or ugly it’s still hard to choose between them. The work part that I love the most is the travel [and] live performance aspect of it. The audience is the most real part of the entertainment process [and] we love playing together in front of an audience. It’s the fabric of what we do. We love presenting our music night after night to new audiences [and] feeling their reaction. Each night is a chance to build upon what you did last night [and] get better. That’s the best part of all this to me, that process.” Well-said Mr. Jones, I could not have explained it better myself. As a fellow visual artist, sometimes the most thrilling aspect of the art community is the connection with the people who love it. Just knowing that someone out in the world is either listening to your song with a smile on their face or simply dancing in their room to it must be quite a satisfying thought.
In regard to specific performances, The Vespers remain vigilant on exploring each new gig as best they can. “Ideal is funny because you never play 100% [perfectly and] the situation, no matter how awesome, is never perfect, but it’s our job to do our best regardless. There [are] bands out there that we’d like to open for [and] specific special venues that we look forward to playing, so each time that happens it’s pretty ideal to us.” I am glad that they keep an open mind and look to keeping that flexible journey free. Each new venue, audience and foray into a new song brings with it new experiences. Musicians are sure to learn a variety of skills and tools that will help them excel in their field.
While The Vespers keep an open mind on their music performances, their view on the music world can be hard to place. As Taylor shares, “It’s a double edged sword. There [are] advantages [and] disadvantages to playing in today’s musical marketplace, but it’s the only one we have so we just try to conquer it one day at a time.” Taylor’s simple point is that they have a specific niche that they must keep tapping into all the while. Even though this medium is a difficult one to find lasting success in, especially in modern times, I think The Vespers are well on their way.
My favorite song of The Vespers is Flower Flower. It is a song that would fit perfectly into a family lullaby. Flower Flower has the ukulele as the main instrument supported by the ever pleasing strumming of the banjo. It is such a happy song with a lovely female voice lifting your spirits along the way. Its simplistic melody makes it perfect for a joyful day. As the harmonic chorus breaks through, every listener is bound to have a wide grin on their face as they skip down the path in their garden.
With music being a great segue into new mediums, as all art is, I asked if there were any new ventures that they were interested in. “As a drummer I’d like to collaborate [and] play with other artists that I particularly enjoy. I can’t speak for the other three but I’m sure they all have other musical things they’d like to take a shot at as well.” The Vespers have a ton of influences that help them explore their love of music. “Bands like Switchfoot [and] NEEDTOBREATHE are pretty inspiring to us right now. They’re crossing lots of lines [and] breaking down genre boundaries for other bands coming up behind them… They both have a camaraderie in their respective groups that’s quite enviable. Lots of love in both of those camps it’ seems.” Camaraderie is an important thing in the music world and it is good to see a band that values it.
Upcoming plans are simple and sweet for The Vespers. “We’ve taken some [time] to help Phoebe get used to being a mom so we’re excited to play a bunch of shows this summer [and] fall. We’ve been off for a while [and] itching to come back [and] hit the stage.” I, for one, cannot wait to catch them perform upon their return. I suggest you all peruse their tunes and get ready for when they bounce back onto the scene.
Tied into that mindset, they are taking their next plans for their music as carefully as possible. “We don’t have anything specific in place yet, but as a group we’re kicking around a bunch of ideas of things we’ve never tried. I guess you’ll have to wait [and] see what comes of it!” I am sure it will be something amazing. Until that time, take a listen and explore!