We at PHILTHY MAG have been big fans of Beverly for quite some time (Well, since their start around 2013…) The Brooklyn band blend the kind of sunshine punk of Best Coast and Beach Day with the the ’90 alt-isms of Kim Deal and Liz Phair… They began as a duo, comprised of Drew Citron (of Avan Lava fame) and Frankie Rose (known for her work in Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts, and Vivian Girls) but, after recording 2014’s Careers, Rose bounced to Southern California and Citron took on the duty of band leader on her own. 2016 saw the release of The Blue Swell, Beverly’s sophomore LP and second to be released courtesy of Kanine Records. The band’s spent much of their time since then on the road, including a headlining show at Johnny Brenda’s last June and a slot supporting The Pains of Being Pure at Heart this July at World Café Live. In a recent chat with Citron, she tells me that the Beverly are well at work on their third album, but they’re currently on a double-headlining tour with EZTV, which will nearly wrap this coming Monday, September 11th, at MilkBoy. Here’s what Citron had to tell me about her thoughts on Philthy, Beverly’s second and third albums, and some of our mutual favorite people in music.
Izzy Cihak: Considering that this is a Philadelphia-based publication, I have to ask your thoughts on the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. You’ve played here a ton of times in the past several years. Any particular favorite gigs or experiences?
Drew Citron: We love Philly and I’ve considered moving there. Amazing community, great music scene, totally diverse and beautiful to walk around, what more could you ask for? I think headlining Johnny Brenda’s was an exciting milestone for me, as I’m a huge fan of the place and it has some of the best sound and staff in the USA. In terms of memorable moments, there was a time when I left Scott’s beloved Telecaster backstage at the Boot & Saddle, and the manager’s housemate came and got it and held on to it for a whole month until we swung back through. Also, I love National Treasure. Nicolas Cage said the third installment is in the works but that, “it takes a really long time for the writers because there’s so much fact-checking.” And lastly, “Freedom of ’76” is my favorite Ween song. Do yourself a favor and watch the music video immediately.
Izzy: Your sophomore LP, The Blue Swell, has been out for more than a year now. What have been some of the highlights of the band since then?
Drew: It’s opened a lot of doors for us in terms of people we are working with – John Agnello, who was a fan of The Blue Swell, is producing our third record. We’ve also gotten to tour a whole bunch all over the world with some amazing bands. But more than anything, when you release a record, the best part is listening with hindsight, and thinking about how you can be better in the future, what you can change, what sticks with you, what works in the live show, and just fine-tune your band for the next effort. So, in that sense, The Blue Swell is a time capsule of that time in my life, and what I was capable of at the time, and essentially a guidepost for where to go next.
Izzy: At the moment, what would you consider to be your biggest inspirations? Anything you’ve been listening to that you especially dig, or any other works of art or aspects of life that you’ve been thinking a lot about recently?
Drew: I am very lucky to work as a live sound engineer at Alphaville in Brooklyn, where I meet incredible touring bands every week. Many of them have badass women in them, which is inspiring and uplifting for me and vice versa when they load in and see me behind the desk. It’s a powerful time to be a woman working in music. Did you see that recent NY Times article? I’ve been thinking about this, and about the nature of performance as a woman. I wasn’t working, but the other night Marina Abramovic came to Alphaville! She is the queen. I’ve been thinking about her retrospective at the MoMA, trying to understand why it is we’re called to perform, make art, make music, and how important that is in this terrifying political climate. How important it is to make yourself visible as a vulnerable alternative to the fascist rhetoric and regressive bullies in power.
Izzy: What can we expect of the live experience when you play MilkBoy with EZTV next week? I’ve seen you live a handful of times and it’s always pretty great. Are there any live performers that you find to be particularly influential?
Drew: The best show I’ve seen in recent memory was Chairlift’s farewell at Brooklyn Steel. I was standing about a football field away from Caroline and she brought me to tears. That’s what a performance should be. You have to take care of the audience, show them you’re in control, and then bring them into your world.
Izzy: In addition to EZTV, you’ve toured with a lot of super amazing bands… like, a lot, so I’m curious if you have any particular favorite touring partners… I’m pretty obsessed with both PINS and Flowers and, although I’m not sure if you’ve toured together (but I know you’re Kanine buddies), but Kimmy and Beach Day are definitely my favorite people in all of music.
Drew: Oh amazing! We have toured and played shows with all those folks. My favorite experience as a support band may be with The Drums on our first record – we just fell in love with them, and I learned so much. But really it’s hard to choose, as we have been very lucky in that regard.
Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you? How do you hope and plan to spend the rest of 2017? Anything you’re particularly excited about?
Drew: We’re finishing mixes for new songs we did with John Agnello and I’m very excited. I played drums on some of them, which is cool.