Adam and Darcie are a husband and wife team from Provo, Utah. Having released their debut The Valley Where I'm From, a couple of years ago, they recently signed to Irish record label Indiecater Records. Their new album California Trail is out on July 24th.
The new album is out next week. How do you feel in relation to it and, perhaps, the public reacton to it? Confident? Nervous? A bit of both?
Adam: The process of writing, recording, and producing the album was a wonderful yet demanding journey, so having it done and ready for people to hear (and hopefully enjoy) is a good place to be. I guess I'm also cautiously optimistic. These are some of the more personal songs we've released, but I hope they will resonate with others in a way that is unique and personal to them.
Darcie: We've put a lot of time and emotion into the album and I'm indeed proud of it. That doesn't mean I think everyone is going to listen to it exclusively for the rest of their lives. I just have no reservations about it. I'm proud of it start to finish.
How would you compare the two albums? Are you more proud of this than your first, or do you just see it as a separate entity to The Valley Where I'm From?
A: They both have there own merits, but to compare them I'd say that The Valley Where I'm From was more of a collection of songs whereas I think California Trail is more of an album in the traditional sense of the word, with overarching themes and interwoven stories going on. I would also say that The Valley Where I'm From was more minimalist while California Trail was given more time in regards to production and arrangements.
D: The Valley has some definite personal highlights for me, but as an album I feel like California Trail is a more complete creature. And it's certainly a clearer reflection of where we are now in our lives. I hope as we continue to produce music, I feel the most connected to the recent project.
You seem to have a revolving stage of supporting musicians. Does this ever get confusing or do they all slot seamlessly in?
A: It's actually really nice in that everyone who plays with us is also a dear friend. And musically they're all very gifted so it's makes the changes fairly seamless. Sometimes the transience contributes to an energy that we'd consider a good thing.
D: Anyone who has played in the band is like family, so I love the time we get to spend working with the different individuals. Most of us are still in transitional phases of life (finishing degrees, having children, pursuing careers) so no one is completely permanent, but they are all incredibly quick and intuitive musicians so the only challenge I see is not having enough parts to go around.
You're being promoted in Ireland by Indiecater Records. Tell us something about the label and how your connection with them came about?
A: We found out about Indiecater through our friends The Very Most. We came to find that the other bands on the label were also great and the support from Indiecater was sincere and enthusiastic. In speaking with Kevin we found that we were on the same page. He believes in the music he promotes and his the process from there is undiluted. It's also very much in line with Village Ten Collective, our label in the U.S. who share a similar approach and musical values.
D: Indiecater has been really supportive of us and I feel so comfortable with Kevin on our side. His is the response I want everyone to have with the album.
Indiecater are an unusual record label in that all of their releases are digital. Is this something you approve of, or do you still hanker for the days of vinyl and cassette tapes?
A: Digital releases are great in how rapidly they can broaden the reach of the music, and in that way we love it. I still appreciate physical copies, especially in regards to the artwork and the whole album experience. But I see them as options that are different and equally valid.
D: I love that with a hard copy, if that's how people listen to it, they experience the album as a complete work. But the reality is, few people still use their hard copy; they just digitize it immediately and typically end up picking which songs they hear. While I hope people enjoy the songs as a related collection, I feel like digital is a beautifully practical way to do that.
Being a husband and wife team while on the road, is there times where it gets slightly,(ahem), claustrophobic?
A: A lot of great bands that we've had the privilege of playing with (Johan the Angel, Canoe, Drew Danburry, etc.) are actually in similar situations, with families and the like so we help each other out.
D: Adam and I are pretty chill so the husband and wife dynamic never suffers but it's not always easy with kids. They deserve their space and routine. But as Adam said, it's the best when we're working with other artists who genuinely get that. And surprisingly, most do.
You seem to have taken, if I may say so, a rather low budget approach to recording by committing almost everything to a laptop. In the future may you decide to go for a big studio production?
A: Yeah, that's true. We also record in the spaces we live (living room, bedroom, etc.). And you can even hear our son a few times in the background on this album... it's very subtle but we don't mind its presence. I also remember the circumstances of most of the parts we recorded, and doing it in our home adds some additional meaning for me.
I can see the advantages to a bigger studio production, but for now I really appreciate the creative opportunities that are afforded when you do things without major scheduling and budgeting restraints.
D: For me, the main draw to a big studio production is allowing us to focus on our performances rather than the intricate art of producing. I prefer a slightly lo-fi sound to a polished one, but producing and engineering an album is its own art and it'd be brilliant to see what another mind could bring to our music.
I was just wondering Darcie, if there was ever a time you got upset at the band being monikored Adam and Darcie? Did you ever throw a Paul Mcartney-esque strop and shout, "It should be called Darcie and Adam!"?
D: Quite the opposite! I'm not shy, but I can get embarrassed if the focus is put on me. When I'm just singing on stage, I wish I had an instrument to hide behind. I've suggested a name with more anonymity but Adam and Darcie stuck. I truly do love to talk about our music and get to know people who like it, but I've always said I want people to love the music not me!
Is there any plans to tour the album internationally?
A: If the opportunity presents itself we would be ecstatic.
D: As the ever worried mother, I'd really want it to be well planned so we're not crashing on the floor of someone's flat last minute. But again, as a mother I'd love nothing more than to experience Europe through our music as a family. And all our friends who've toured across the Atlantic have said that most Europeans are so warm to the music in comparison with our furrowed-browed countrymen.
What would you describe as the highlight of your career so far? What are the other ambitions you have left to fulfill?
A: The highlight to me has been the reaction of the people I really care about and respect. Like when an artist I really admire praised our music. Friends and family I respect have also reacted in ways that have meant the world to me.
D: The one ambition I'm holding out for is to provide a life for our family through Adam and Darcie. But it's already so rewarding that even if our fan base never grew beyond what it is, we'd keep doing it for years to come. Releasing this album is the highlight for me. I'm just happy that this part of me will be out there for other peeps to experience.