Earlier this year, amidst a busy street corner of New York and seeking shelter from the rain, I sat down with emerging indie band Marble House to chat about their upcoming EP “Demons”. The Brooklyn quartet began as a bedroom project by singer Gabe Friedman which organically grew into a fully fledged band with gradual additions of guitarist Nicole Pettigrew, drummer Danny Irizarry and later bassist and keyboard player Javier Vela.
When I met them, Marble House were still unable to label themselves, and much of our conversation was surrounded by talk of genre. If I label their sound, their merging of atmospheric riffs with understated complex rhythms and moody basslines are something fusing experimental, indie rock and dream pop. But who’s to say this is at all accurate. Genre is complicated so some possible new genres could be : Mood-groove? Post-progressive? Alt-dreamwave? Psychobabble? Intel-tronica…?
Nicole praises Alt-J as a “band that has let themselves totally go into exploring all corners of the musical earth” and Gabe clarified later that sonically, they would not compare themselves to Alt-J, but they aspire to let themselves go in the same way when making music. “Like when you hear an Alt J song, you can tell a song is an Alt J song. If someone can hear a Marble House song, and say ‘oh that’s a Marble House song’, that’s our goal”.
Perhaps their love for experimentation is due to the range of influences the members brought to the table. Gabe was into indie alt rock to electronic: from Foals, Radiohead, Bombay Bicycle club to Sampha. Danny— heavy double pedal metal from Puerto rican band Puya to Killswitch Engage. Nicole— grew up on ska, punk and post punk, but admires guitars from Dave Nudson of Minus the Bear. Javier— well he was absent for the interview.
For me, what was admirable was how the band seemed to be keen on making the music they love and strived for originality. Nicole commented on the obsession on being popular in music nowadays saying “well of course we’d love to play our stuff to a lot of people but ultimately we make the music for us, we love playing shows, and we love the songs we’re writing so we can only hope other people do too”.
Their debut EP ‘Demons’ is intriguing and multidimensional. The songs are not commercial, so if catchy pop hooks are your thing then this is not a band for you. If you do give it a chance, however, their sound has real depth and drive that will hook onto you. Give this band a spotify search and check them out for yourself. Here
Or sample here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/marblehouse
(My favourite is 'Rebels')