Aubrey Haddard on Influences

“If I could ask something of any listeners, it’d just be to keep an open mind.  Leave your expectations at the door.  And I’d say that about any music,...

“If I could ask something of any listeners, it’d just be to keep an open mind.  Leave your expectations at the door.  And I’d say that about any music, not just my own,” says Aubrey Haddard.  Haddard is not your everyday Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter.  “I do love movies.  Jean Cocteau, the filmmaker and artist, is someone that I have always been very influenced by.  Some of the new songs are almost summaries of his movies,” she tells me during a Saturday afternoon chat.  Her recent sounds are reminiscent of the synth-heavy, proto-“alternative” bands of the early ‘80s: easily palatable enough for pop radio, but intellectually quirky enough for the headier of punks to justify fandom.  And when I ask her about her most significant influences, it’s clear that she does seem to have a thing for the smarter side of pop music: “I love Kate Bush, I love David Bowie – my British heroes [laughs].  And I’ve been listening to a lot of Oasis and a lot of PJ Harvey recently.”

Over the course of the pandemic Aubrey has put out four one-off singles, available on Beverly Martel Music.  Most recently, she released “National Tragedy,” a soulfully somber track inspired by the singer/songwriter’s early childhood memory of the spectacle of Princess Diana’s death and funeral as it played out on television.  Haddard claims that her youth at the time allowed her to escape the overwhelming gloom shadowing much of the world, a memory she often returns to during similarly morose moments.  Although perfectly suited for a pandemic, Aubrey tells me that her latest releases were recorded in 2019 and had been on the calendar pre-COVID.  However, she and her band did write and record a lot of music over the past year, which she is very excited to share in the near future: “We wrote a lot of new music over the pandemic…  We just spent two weeks in the studio recording my next new album.  I’ve never felt so precious about a body of work.”

The upcoming album will be the follow-up to Aubrey’s 2018 debut LP, Blue Part, a sultry blues record… which would explain why your first chance to hear her latest music will likely be August 7th, on the first day of the Levitate Music and Arts Festival, a hippie-helmed outing in Marshfield, MA, where she will be sharing a stage with Grace Potter, Ripe, Neighbor, Jesse Royal, and Gentle Temper.  When I ask what can be expected of the live show, she tells me, “We’re going to be playing all the new singles, a few songs from our upcoming record, and a few covers.  There are some songs that I think are about to be retired from our set, which I think is exciting, because we finally have new music to play.”


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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.