I'm all about dream pop. Wild Nothing, Beach House, SVIIB: there's something about bands that can make sustained guitar chords and drawn-out synths feel like diving into a crystal clear lake. I know how hippie/new age that statement sounds, but that's what it feels like. These bands craft music that takes the building blocks of rock and pop and turn them into something meditative and peaceful without being Yanni. And on their track "Don't Fight It," Brooklyn dream-poppers Behaviors
capture that tranquil synth Zen but they layer some gorgeous rock guitars over it to wonderful effect.
We had the chance to chat with Behaviors about the single, their upcoming new record, and how one of their members helped to produce A$AP Rocky's last record, and we've got an inkling that these Brooklynites are about to make an impact in a big way.
"Don't Fight It" fits into the increasingly fractured and ambiguous phrase of "dream pop" but it also has more of a rock edge to it despite those tranquil, synth-y surfaces. Were you all intentionally playing against comfort zone of how much "rock" one can get away with in "dream pop?"
Behaviors: I'm not sure if we were 'intentionally playing against comfort zone" exactly. This song came about very organically. Dan S. wrote the dreamy guitar/bass parts which became the basis for the song. The production and arrangement are inspired by dream-pop bands but the vocal styling is inspired by a more classic style.
This sort of sparkling rock/pop has a bit of a Zen quality to it; it can feel like the kind of thing you listen to in your bedroom/dorm room and have deep but chill conversations with your best friends. Are you all as Zen as the music or is there a little chaos beneath the surface?
A lot of the music was written in bedrooms and apartments! Maybe that adds to the zen vibe. We all try to be as zen as possible, but there definitely is chaos behind the surface. This album deals with everything from the stress of moving to a new country, to handling breakups, lost friendships and struggles in the music industry.
What sort of Behaviors are you referencing with the band name?
The name came about after myself and Dan D (bassist) went to a Christmas party in the West Village. We were well into the festivities; I ended up passing out in the street for 40 minutes, losing my phone, credit card and jacket in the process. The following morning when I came to, I buried my head in my hands and said "This all happened because of my bloody behavior." We were looking for a good name at the time, so I suggested "Behaviors" to the boys and it stuck. - Dan S.
Behaviors member Frans Mernick was featured on the last A$AP Rocky record and also helped to produce it. What was it like moving from that sort of work to the psychedelic guitar/pop-rock/dream-pop of Behaviors?
A lot the songs on the Behaviors album were recorded at the same time as the Rocky album. The transition wasn't difficult because Rocky himself is a very eclectic, collaborative guy. I'm always working on several projects at once, so bouncing back and forth is second nature. - Frans
For those who haven't had a chance to hear the record yet, what can we look forward to with Behaviors and the rest of the record when it comes out this year?
We think the record sets the tone for an enchanting listening experience, from the first track to the last. The album was born in NYC and is a direct reflection of the city through our experiences. You can definitely hear where our heads were at throughout our late night recording sessions.