The dry desert air and suburban shopping malls of Phoenix are a world away from the cold and damp of Thatcher’s Britain, but Draa, a young Tempe band with collared-shirts and cool guitars, look and sound like they could have sprung from the pages of a 1987 issue of the NME.
Though the four-piece prefer to distance themselves from the current shoe gaze revival, there’s no doubt that UK indie music of the 80s has had an influence on the dream pop of “Losing My Charm”. The song, a newly rewritten and recorded version of the track that appeared on their EP of last year, is all tinkling guitar chords and the breathy and lilting vocals of MacAndrew Martin.
Watch the video below and read a chat we had with MacAndrew.
NOISEY: You play a style of music that is often associated with bands from the damp and bleak of the UK. You are from Phoenix, the home of dry air and golf courses. How does location/geography/climate affect your music - if at all?
MacAndrew Martin: As Phoenix reaches unliveable temperatures throughout most of the year, we are often restricted to doing things indoors. I don’t find this environment inspiring towards our creative output in any way at all. Arizona feels disconnected from everything else going on, and being in this sort of setting allows you to find inspiration through other sources.
So you started pretty young. Is it easy to get shows?
The band started when we were 17, and now with a few line-up changes and some passing time we range from 18-21 years old. At the beginning, we always found it easy to play shows. Phoenix has an accepting music scene, and gives bands a lot of opportunities to play out. Nowadays we are at a point where we have been focusing more on our music, and less on playing shows.
How did you approach the video?
Working with Freddie Paull was a very comfortable way to film, and everything felt natural while shooting. It’s filmed in Phoenix at The Icehouse, which is essentially an old warehouse building from the 1920’s that was originally used to store refrigeration ice, and is now used as a creative art space.
We recently did a piece on the resurgence of shoegaze. What are your thoughts?
That there’s a growing appreciation for that style of music again, especially here in Phoenix. Bands such as Ride have had their part in influencing us, but with shoegaze as a whole we are definitely finding much more recent inspiration elsewhere.
You are heading out on a little west coast tour this summer. Are there any bands in particular that you are keen to play with?
Yes, with Soft Kill and Underpass. We haven't played with them in a long while, so we are definitely looking forward to heading on tour with them. This will be the first tour Draa has been on, so it’ll be great to play in new places for a change.
Draa’s cassette will be out soon on Funeral Party records.
Catch Draa at these upcomig shows:
July 11 Tempe, AZ - 51 West
July 12 - San Diego, CA
July 13 - Orange County - tba
July 14 - Los Angeles, CA - Complex w/ Ghost Noise J
July 15 - Oakland, CA
July 16 - Sacramento, CA