SXSW Interview: Neighbor Lady

As we push through the final weeks before SXSW, we’ve got another interview; this one’s from Neighbor Lady, who will be working with Park the Van. In fact, they’ve got a brand new single to share with you today, so I wanted to make sure to include that new jam below. They’ve got a couple of showcases (Park the Van/Athens in Austin), and I reckon you can find them at some day gigs if you look hard enough. Read on and enjoy the new hit!

ATH: Whats the name of the band/group? Where are you from?

NL: Neighbor Lady, Atlanta via Athens, GA.

ATH: Describe your groups sound.

NL: Twangy, dreamy indie rock. Lots of dynamics and very intimate.

ATH: What was your most recent release? Any planned releases for 2022?

NL: Our last release was Maybe Later in 2018. We recorded our follow-up record at the beginning of 2020, but have obviously been waiting to put it out. Dont want to let the cat out of the bag too much here! 😉 Suffice to say, yes.

ATH: Everyones been focused on the negative aspects of the last few years? What are a few good things that came about for you as an individual or the band as a whole during the last two pandemic-stricken years?

NL: Since we knew we wouldnt be releasing the music wed recorded before everything shut down, we were able to take our time and let the recordings shift and grow before finalizing everything. We ended up re-recording a lot of what wed done initially and connected with an engineer who we really admire to mix the record, all things that werent in the initial plan. We are excited with how everything turned out!

ATH: Why play SXSW? Whats the draw for the band? What about this festival will bring you to Austin?

NL: We have a lot of friends and family in and around Austin so were always looking forward to coming to town, sxsw or not! Weve known several folks playing the Park the Van showcase with us for years at this point so were looking forward to seeing them and also looking forward to meeting new friends and seeing new bands.

ATH: Lets say your band has booked an official showcase at a pop up venue somewhere in the middle of 6th street. The lineup features thrash metal, hip-hop, spoken word, and you. The sound is horrible, the lineup is not your style, and the crowd is growing antsy. How would your band deal with such a situation?

NL: We honestly love situations like this. Neighbor Lady is a very transparent band that packs a lot of power into the simplicity of the sound. We think everyone can relate with Emilys songwriting. If this were a scenario we found ourselves in it would be far from the strangest or most difficult show weve ever played. I think we feed off this sort of challenge and were always just playing shows because its fun for us anyways. So frankly this sounds awesome.

ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town, but if you could create your own perfect festival, who would you have playing? Would it have a sick name? Where would it take place?

NL: Years ago we played a festival called Music Tastes Good in, or rather on, Long Beach that was pretty sweet. It was a combination food and music fest and the lineup was insane. New Order, Janelle Monae, Big Thief, Blake Mills (with a cameo by Cass McCombs), Parquet Courts etc. I think if we were to organize something ourselves, it would probably look something like that but maybe in Georgia?

ATH: What has everyone in the band been listening to, or, what plays in the tour van/car/bus?

NL: Our guitarist Jack produced and plays in a new band in ATL called CDSM that just released its first single and its been stuck in my head for a week, so that. Our bassist Payton was going to fly to Ireland to go see Ichiko Aoba. Jack and Emily just went and saw our Austonian friends Sun June and Daphne Tunes in Atlanta. Currently listening to Alice Coltrane, but saw a new band from Savannah last night called Basically Nancy whos a super heavy kind of grunge all female trio. Were always listening to all types of stuff. Nico Uhry, Floating Points, Judee Sill, murder podcasts, Thich Nhat Hahn

ATH: Theres been a lot of discussion about Spotify and streaming and all that these last few monthswhere does the band stand? Whats your solution?

NL: We would obviously like to be compensated for our work so we agree something needs to change. Were all part of the UMAW and contributed to the Justice at Spotify campaign, however I think we all still use spotify, sooooo yeah. Whether streaming services just need to be more expensive or some sort of redistribution of how royalties are calculated, were really not sure, but man itd be nice to get a check!

ATH: The band gets to create their own food truck to take on the road. Whats it called, and what are you serving?

NL: Emily and Jack eat a lot of grain bowls and Emily is a pickle aficionado, so I think their truck would be pickle focused bowls and salads, Ive spent way too much time thinking about what this would be called, but something adorable. Payton legit plays accordion during service at a killer Italian popup in ATL called Gigis, so Im thinking Gigis just gets a truck and Payton keeps his accordion gig. Andrew loves Chinese noodles and would do some sort of Western Chinese style noodle situation. Or we could do all three concepts out of the same truck and just have pure chaos, that sounds fun!

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