If Venice Beach’s brother/sister duo Phil & Lu – Phil and Laura Stancil – were to introduce themselves to you properly, they would want to do so by hanging out by a bonfire and playing some songs. Simple and sweet. That’s no surprise, as their debut album Mood Rock brings us songs that conjure up just those images. Need some vibe music to listen to while entertaining friends, cooking, or stargazing? This album is going to be like candy to your ears! Luckily, we’ve got the exclusive premiere of the album in its entirety, due out September 30th.
From the first notes of “Oh, My My” to the last, faint chord of “Brother”, each song will envelope your ears in a feeling of warmth. While “Run Away” is a standout favorite on the album, as it’s got this ethereal, tranquil feeling to it while also bringing in staccato notes and almost frantic instrumentals, songs like “Sea Lies” and “Sad Eyed Boy” are poignant, highly-relatable, and beautiful. The album is absolutely alluring. In fact, we’d venture to say that this album is alluring enough to play on repeat. Decide for yourself below.
We got some time to speak with Phil & Lu about their process and the release.
Is it difficult working with a sibling?
Yeah we bicker all of the time. Get a few beers in us and its “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”. We work well with each other otherwise. It’s a balancing act.
When did you first realize that music was your career calling? What is your music background like?
We started our first band when before we were teens, and also played in a family band growing up. I don’t think it was a lightbulb moment per say, it was just in our blood.
How do you think being from Michigan has influenced your sound?
Michigan has a strong folk and roots music scene, and writing music with acoustic instruments definitely affects our sound. We’re by no means a folk act, but that music runs in our blood.
The instrumentals on “Until You’re Mine” are very unique and beautiful. What inspired that song, specifically?
We were actually making short 30 second clips for a podcast we helped out on, and “Until You’re Mine” stemmed from one of those. The instrumentation itself just came from messing around with synths until we found something that sounded nice and lighthearted.
You admitted that “Oh My My” is a favorite, and was the first track that you finished. How did you know when it was finished?
Definitely a favorite song of ours so far. It’s one of those tracks that we could continue layering and layering onto, so we consciously pulled the plug when new ideas weren’t really adding anything. I think the last thing we tracked was a high, verb’d out piano line on the last chorus. I don’t even know if you can hear it, it’s so buried, but it’s there!
Mood Rock is your debut album. How does it feel, knowing its release is upon us?
It feels very liberating, but it also feels like a sketch of an idea still to come. We ran with ideas quickly and tried not to critique ourselves too harshly. I think people will really enjoy Mood Rock. We’re stoked on the record, but we’re already looking forward to the second.
How do you imagine people listening to your music?
A leather chair would be ideal, but a more likely scenario will be Joe Shmo listening to one or two songs on his phone before clocking into work, and that’s ok. Any listening is good listening.
Do you know the muffin man?
Not well, but we did exchange numbers after a late bar night. We’re caught in a limbo of texts that “we should totally hang out soon!”
What is one thing that you think is underappreciated in this world?
Light beer. Honestly we don’t think any explanation is needed.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
Avoid group shouts in songs.
What’s up next for you guys?
We’re already deep into demo mode on our second record, and it’s sounding real nice. We’re also playing shows in California and the Midwest over the next several months.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Enjoy the record!
Mood Rock is available September 30th.