With a new name comes a new page for San Francisco-based indie pop band gloomy june.
The band released their new single today – and first under this new group name – titled “Save Anyone,” and the track is the beginning of a new journey and many exciting things to come for the group.
gloomy june often finds inspiration in nostalgic feelings, their home town of San Francisco, and their queer backgrounds. The members of the group draw from meaningful life experiences, many of them from a world that felt more free two years ago, especially for indie artists and their beloved house show venues, or self-improvement, or personal relationships when writing their music. A sound self-described as, “a beach party tinged with melancholy,” gloomy june found band-name inspiration from the early summer fog that can often be found in their city, which creates a unique feeling for many.
The band consists of lead vocalist Alexi Rose Belchere (she/her), guitarist Devin Nelson (he/they), bassist Jack Sundquist (he/him), and drummer Ash Hyatt (they/them).
We got to ask the members of gloomy june about this new chapter in their career, the new single, tour, and much more.
So how did gloomy june come together and start making music?
Alexi: gloomy june started as a recording project between Devin and me, and Jack and Ash joined later. Jack, Devin and I were making music as a group called The Y Axes, but after Ash joined we saw an opportunity to change the name. We mostly changed it because no one could spell our name right, but we also felt like Ash joining was a good reason to refresh.
I see y’all are San Francisco-based. What’s the indie pop scene like there these days, and do you find it caters to your specific brand?
Alexi: I’m a huge fan of the Bay Area music scene. I think this city makes it hard for art to thrive, so that bands that do come out of it (Small Crush, Destroy Boys, Carpool Tunnel) are dedicated and incredibly talented. It’s sort of an easy funnel to Los Angeles, so a lot of great local bands (Tino Drima, Spooky Mansion, Field Medic, Derek Ted, etc.) wind up down there. At this point I’ve come to think that California is one big music community, one big vibe. gloomy june fits with all bands and no bands in some ways, because we’re pop with hints of heaviness, so we can fit on a lot of playlists and bills, but we’re not easily lumped in with other bands. SF is very eclectic though, so I’m sure a lot of bands here feel the same way.
So you’ve got your new single, “Save Anyone,” dropping today, 3/17. What’s the inspiration and backstory behind this track?
Devin: “Save Anyone” coalesced around the opening guitar riff which I initially messed around with mostly because it was fun to play. For the choruses I aimed to write an optimistic evolving melody over a base of melancholic chords, combining a pop hook with an emo punk edge. I gave all that to Alexi and she did a great job translating the mumbled melodies I sang into my phone into actual compelling vocals. Once we brought it to the rest of the band, everybody got excited and we ended up playing it much more intensely than I originally intended, but it had a lot of driving energy so it stuck.
Alexi: I was inspired to write the lyrics when my partner was forced to move away because of the pandemic, and when I say I was “inspired” I mean heartbroken and trying to console myself, overwhelmed by the upheaval the pandemic had caused everyone. I remember watching Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky livestream, and when I heard the phrase ‘Don’t you waste the suffering you’ve faced; it will serve you in due time’ in “Get Your Wish”, I immediately wrote the chorus for the song.
Where was it recorded and who helped produce it?
Alexi: We made the song at Hellam Sound with Aaron Hellam- it was recorded in a combination of Dryw Owens’ backyard studio in Sacramento and Aaron’s home studio. We wanted to work with Aaron because he’s a surgeon when it comes to quantization, tone, and harmony. The songs we made with him are so crisp and clean but still with a live energy we wanted to capture.
Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?
Alexi: You can look out for an announcement about that next month! We can’t wait.
What messages or feelings do you typically try to convey in your music?
Alexi: Most of my lyrics are me trying to think something through, and usually about some kind of anxiety I’m dealing with. “Save Anyone” and the upcoming songs I’d say are more inward-looking, trying to suss out the toxic parts of my life that lead to that anxiety. Because they were written during the early stage of the global pandemic, they’re also nostalgic for going out to concerts and house parties, even nostalgic for social drama.
What does a dream gig look like for you?
Jack: Our friends singing the lyrics back to us and rocking out harder than we are.
Devin: I oscillate between a rowdy house show with good vibes and opening up for one of my favorite bands. Luckily, we’ve already been able to do both! I’d really like to open for the band Mew.
Speaking of gigs, you’ve announced your spring tour as well. While I’m sure you look forward to all of them, are there any specific dates that jump out to you for one reason or another?
Jack: Definitely Pouzzafest on May 20th! It’ll be the first tour that we’ve ventured outside of the states. We’re also excited to go back to Bellingham on May 12th.
Ash: +1 to all that- I’m also excited to hit honey latte in Pdx and see all the Portland homies!!
Devin: I’m excited to go to Canada, it feels like a proof of concept for touring more internationally. We’ve always wanted to go to Europe and Japan so maybe in 2023?
What’s one or two things other than your instruments you absolutely have to have with you while on tour? Any lucky or meaningful items? Specific food/drink?
Jack: Huge fan of Topo Chico, Yerba Mate, and all the Iced teas the road has to offer.
Ash: Sunblock! I have too many tattoos to protect. And all the hygienic products because it gets smelly on the road after a while and I like to smell good 😇. Also a playlist. And a bathing suit bc you never know when there will be a pool at the hotel!
Devin: I’m the weird introvert in the band, so books. I’m not the biggest fan of audiobooks or digital documents, so a big stress when packing for tour has been deciding how many books I allow myself to bring.
If you could ask one question to one of your idols, what would it be and to whom?
Jack: AFI, let’s tour? Or Chvrches??
Alexi: Can I sit in on a recording session? Want to write together? (I’d really just love to see how they work). My idols are Danny Elfman and Dia Frampton from Meg and Dia, so either way I’d be pretty afraid to actually ask and kill their vibe.
What might the rest of 2022 have in store for gloomy june?
Jack: We have a whole year’s worth of material to release, so it’s probably best to follow us and find out!