Thrushes craft gorgeous noise pop and swirling dream rock. Opening with the cavernous drumming of “Aidan Quinn” on their debut record, into the revved-up, fuzzed out Jesus And Mary Chain-esque “Heartbeats,” and carried through the nods to Dead Can Dance in “Loyalty” and haunted claps of guitar thunder on “Ghost Train,” to the final feedback soaked fallout of “The Hardest Part,” this is the sound of blood on blood.
Guitarist Casey Harvey had been pestering Rachel Tracy about forming a band for years. She finally relented in the summer of 2005, agreeing to play bass, and they recruited vocalist/guitarist Anna Conner during a pickup baseball game and drummer Matt Davis shortly thereafter. Having cut their teeth in the formative Baltimore all-ages indie scene of the mid-nineties, they were itching to make meaningful music again. Several practice sessions in, they realized there was real chemistry and Thrushes was born.
* Anna Conner – vox, guitar
* Casey Harvey – guitars, fx, noise, vox
* Rachel Tracy – bass guitar
* Matt Davis – drums
Anna took some time out to talk to TDOA writer Amy
TDOA: Anna, as a female vocalist, who do you draw influence from?
A: I love Hope Sandoval’s voice, but also like Kim Deal’s simple style. I like the attitude of Joan Jett.
TDOA: Your “philosophy” is simple: Music should be beautiful. Can you elaborate on that? Who else do you think is living by this philosophy?
A: I guess as a band we push toward that, but beautiful can be interpreted in different ways. Being able to show unabashed emotion can be beautiful…not being afraid to put all of your heart into what you’re doing is beautiful. A really lovely song should make you sigh and day dream a bit. That’s more of how I see our band. Other bands that do that are certainly The Jesus and Mary Chain… they have some really beautiful music. I think Band of Horses are kind of following that philosophy. I’ve always been a Catherine Wheel fan, too.
TDOA: The cover of “Fade Into You” is beautiful. I’m a huge Mazzy Star fan, so what inspired you to cover this song?
A: That is a song that we all just loved through our teens and even now. It’s a perfect love song, and just never gets old. We thought it fit what we were doing with our music already.
TDOA: I read that two of your band members are married – how has that changed the dynamic, if at all?
A: There isn’t any change. Casey and Rachel were together for years already before they married. I’ve only ever known them as a couple, and they are the same as before they made it official.
TDOA: So you guys are from Baltimore. As a Wire fan, I must ask you this question: What did you think of the show?
A: I love The Wire. I think people from middle America who watch The Wire are probably terrified of visiting Baltimore, but that’s not really how most of Baltimore is…it’s not all murder and drugs. It’s certainly a part of life in some parts of Baltimore, and I think that’s an issue most cities have. They are many great things about living here. I thought it was funny that some of the lead actors in the series took dialect coaching to try to get the Baltimore accent right.
TDOA: I also read that you guys were supposed to be picking up from where Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine left off – is that comparison daunting?
A: I don’t feel at all pressured to fill their shoes or try to proceed with what those bands started. They are prolific bands and to be compared to them is quite a compliment. If what we are doing makes people feel the way they do while listening to Mazzy Star or Valentine, then I think that’s awesome.
TDOA: What was the reception like for Night Falls? It seems like it would’ve been a darling among shoegaze/dreampop fans.
A: I think the reception has been good. A lot of the Night Falls songs are a bit faster than the Sund Come Undone songs. It was nice to progress a bit, and our fans seem to like it.
TDOA: Many of your videos are self-produced, live performances. Are you all looking to do some different types of videos, or is this just your style?
A: You know, I don’t think we’ve ever commissioned or asked to have videos made. All of the videos were made by fans. They’ve approached us and asked to use our music or asked for our time to shoot us. Our video style has really been determined by them. Who knows what future videos will look like.
TDOA: On that, did you guys do the “Heartbeats” video yourselves? What was that creative process like?
A: A man named Kevin Doyle came up with the idea for Heartbeats. He’s a playwright based in New York. He liked our band, and came up with a whole scenario for the video. He came down and we shot all of our performing parts at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. It was a long day, and we played that song dozens of times. I think that was our first time that we, as a band, were part of the video process in that we were part of the filming. He shot the other bits himself with some actors in New York, I think. It was fun working with him. He’s very positive, and a very talented person. He seemed to really care about the song and being able to represent the song in the right way. I love the way it turned out.
For more information about the band, visit: http://www.thrushesrule.com/