Earlier this summer I was rocking out to an old band, Ivy, which many of you might still remember. Feeling ambitious, I decided to follow up and see if any of the musicians were down for a little chat. Luckily, I received a reply to meet up with Adam Schlesinger (from Ivy and Fountains of Wayne) regarding his new project, Fever High that pairs up two talented musicians; South Carolinian Anna Nordeen and Oregonian Reni Lane. After listening to their stuff, I became intrigued and accepted a chance to learn more about this fresh musical sensation.
Meandering my way west towards the Hudson River on a slightly cooler end of summer evening, I lingered outside of Adam’s studio building waiting for the two rock stars to meet me. I sent a text alerting Anna that I was the guy out front wearing and rocking out the maroon shorts. A few minutes later I turned my head to see two ladies, Anna and Reni, waving hello. Anna looked relaxed and ready to go while Reni had her bag slung in front of her with the guitar on her back, prepared for any music inspiration to come. She too looked totally at ease. Why are all musicians are so calm? We took the elevator up and met Adam at the door.
The studio, actually one giant loft, was the perfect place to relax, create some music and enjoy good company. Complete with a foosball table and an elaborate soundboard surrounded by instruments, Anna and Reni were right at home. As they happily slid onto the comfy couch, I grabbed a chair next to Adam and we began. I first brought up their song Tantalized that got my attention from the beginning. I was curious to hear how that sound came about. Adam states, “it all happened so fast and it turned into something else. Sometimes when you start writing you start off with a feel that turns into something else. We started with tracks first; with Fever High a lot of things are track driven.” Anna chipped in, “it is one of those songs that is reminiscent of when we were young, when things were natural and exciting.”
To give you a glimpse of what they mean, lets break it on down. First off, I love the tune. It starts off with an intense groove that is immediately linked with a poppy tune filled with bouncy air. As the ladies sing, the listener is thrown into a world of harmonies and nice vibes. I feel like this is the kind of song that would be perfect for a solo dance party at home, clothing optional. Each lyric sung by the duo is powered by echoes that only enhance the flow of the song as the listener’s foot continues to tap the floor. Its simplicity is partially why it is so perfect, it is that happy song that we all need for the upcoming fall. Hell, it might as well be an anthem for feeling good all day, everyday!
Thankfully, this is not their only magic they have yet to bring out to the world. Reni shared, “Our EP set to drop this October, it is kind of what we are all about, remembering to have fun and being free. The spontaneity of interests is how we came together really quickly, we had all these things in common that is something that only happens in NY.” That was a topic that kept on returning several times during our conversation. Both ladies actually never met but had the same group of friends. Eventually, fate allowed for them to connect. Although, Reni suspects that they had met before but they simply did not remember. Naturally, both of them looked straight at each other with suspicious eyes and began to grin. You could tell they genuinely liked being around one another. Once that partnership began, Reni stated the obvious, “It felt like we were dating, speed dating.” Well, they are a musical match made in heaven. Everything aligned for Fever High to happen.
While they currently live in the most diverse city in the country, they are able to stay close to their task at hand as Fever High. Reni explained, “[There are] so many characters in the subway.” This lead to an intense discussion followed by much laughter about the influence of NYC’s various characters and places that can inspire a song at a moments notice. “I feel like whatever project you are working on you have to have a clear intent because there is so much riff raff and it is easy to go this way or that [followed by] we want to do this type of music or that type of music.” Fever High’s focus remains strong, however, both Anna and Reni declare that they simply want to have fun playing and making great music. Their cheerful demeanor and passion is obvious once they got caught up in various topics.
We continued our discussion about music in the modern day with Adam’s thoughts. “All musicians like different types of music, it is not so much your inner style but what you are in the mood for. All of us have done different types of music and people seem accept the variety nowadays.” This then lead to a brief humorous talk about their own process in creating their music, of which I inquired about possible jam sessions. Anna instantly chimed in, “We should have more jam sessions, and we have had some intense tambourine sessions!” I smiled said that those definitely count. Reni then shared her happiness with working with Anna and Adam “[Doing this has given me the] opportunity to do things I don’t normally do, I played trombone for instance.” Once Adam discovered she could play the trombone, he knew they had to include in their music and performances. Adam then shared the difference between the artist and the people just winging it. “[Today] musicians have to want to do it. That lottery mentality that was there for people in the 90s; ‘I’ll write a good song, sell a few million albums and done!’ [That does not work anymore.] You have to really want to do it now and hopefully you can make stuff happen.” Reni then stated confidentiality, “I was not thinking about making money going into this.”
As the future for Fever High begins to gradually take shape, the crew remains eager to begin touring. “We would love to tour soon as possible.” Reni states. Anna follows up, “I just want to go across America. I have never SEEN America, only seen the coasts.” Well, I have high hopes that they will do it; see what I did there? These ladies will be sure to grace us with their presence as their music begins to permeate every space staring with NYC. This urban jungle can only lead to even more unknown adventures for them. At the moment Adam mentions, “we have lots of music and may release another EP later or make a full album, we are trying to juggle a lot of things simultaneously.” It is an exciting time for them all.
Our final conversations were hilariously satisfying as we went on to plan Halloween songs for the band. They declared that there are so many other holiday songs, but too few Halloween tunes save for Monster Mash! Perhaps that will be a niche they can fill? Along with ambitious music projects, the ladies are chill people. Both are professional nappers and Anna went on to give us an in-depth schedule of her days. “I am a big napper and I like to hang out with friends a lot. I go to mediation class and hit the streets.” That prompted lots of laughter from the room with the mockery of Anna’s comment on hitting the streets. Our laughter ended with both of the ladies looking and sighing together, which unleashed a whole new wave of amusement. It was like watching something from a comedy film, simply divine.
To end, we lingered on Anna’s Polish accent while visiting Green Point, talked about The Muppets, sign language and you name it. Anna, Reni and Adam were simply a pleasure to talk to and I loved every minute of it. All I can say is be sure to listen to their great tracks and keep an eye out for when this crew becomes your new musical friends. They will be a sight to behold and hear as their sounds grow from perfection to something beyond. Enjoy it folks!