This Saturday, February 5th, Kansas City indie rock outfit The Greeting Committee kick off their US tour in Saint Paul, Minnesota’s Amsterdam Bar and Hall. The tour is in support of their sophomore LP, Dandelion, which dropped last September on Harvest Records. And while the band is still in their early twenties, they’ve already toured alongside the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club, Tennis, and Hippo Campus, and made quite a splash on YouTube and Spotify. In fact, their upcoming Philadelphia show, February 12th at The Lounge at World Café Live, sold out pretty much immediately. Although there are no tickets currently available, it’s worth checking back closer to the date for maybe your last opportunity to see the band in such an intimate space. In the meantime, read my recent chat with lead vocalist Addie Sartino, which we conducted via Zoom last month.
Izzy Cihak: Your second LP, Dandelion, has been out for a while now. Have you had any favorite reactions to the album?
Addie Sartino: I would say my favorite reaction we’ve gotten is just acknowledgement of the growth we’ve gone through as a band. It makes it scary to think of, “What are we going to next?” But it means that we’ve done something right and challenged ourselves and been successful in it, in some people’s eyes at least.
Izzy: How do you think the album compares to your debut LP, This Is It?
Addie: This Is It was written really quickly. Like, six of the songs were written in a batch. And I think that the audience might not be able to hear it, it might be just us projecting, but for us every time we listen to that LP what we hear is a little bit of a rushed process and a little bit of a process that isn’t as genuine. And I think the only way we could’ve learned it was doing it that way. So, Dandelion was very intentional with our goal to be genuine and challenge ourselves at the same time. For This Is It there weren’t a lot of songs that were written and didn’t make it. What made it was what we had created. For Dandelion there were probably like 50-60 Dropbox ideas and then we picked 10.
Izzy: What would you consider to be the album’s most significant influences?
Addie: I mean, it’s a breakup record. I think that’s pretty undeniable as an influence, lyrically, and sonically trying to support that.
Izzy: Do you currently have a favorite song off of the record, whether one that you’re most proud of, one that’s especially fun to play live, or one that you think might best signify where your future sounds may be headed?
Addie: I would say it’s more of a nod to the past than the future, but “Bird Hall” is probably my favorite song off the record. It’s one that I overlook and then when I actually do listen to the record I get to that track and I’m like, “Oh, duh, this is my favorite.”
Izzy: You’ve been signed to Harvest Records for a while now. How is it being a part of that family and working with the label? I really love Donna Missal as well.
Addie: Donna’s such a kind person and so talented. I love the graphics she’s been releasing with her new music. Through Harvest I’ve gotten to meet Donna, which has been really cool, and getting to be surrounded by people I admire all the time. Jacqueline Saturn, the head of Harvest Records, is also the head of Virgin Records, which is our distributor. So, they’re kind of intertwined with each other and that just leads to a lot of crazy connections.
Anson Seabra is an artist that was pulled from TikTok, who is now signed to Virgin and grew up in Kansas City, or a little outside of it. So, Jacqueline connected the both of us and put us in touch, and we recently ran into each other at a coffee shop and that was cool to be able to have some previous knowledge of one another, and we ended up hanging out and that was super fun. And that’s all because of being on the same record label, really.
Addie: I love Kansas City so much. In high school I definitely was the angsty teen who was like, “Get me the hell out of my hometown, absolutely not.” And then through touring I was like, “Oh wait, I like coming home. This city is actually really great.” Now that I don’t live at my parents’ house, I can explore in a different way than I had growing up. I love it.
As far as the art scene goes, my bandmate Brandon and I both work for a non-profit called Art As Mentorship and it basically helps serve underrepresented youth in providing them and empowering them with songwriting tools to lead to a successful future. And that doesn’t mean we’re out here creating the next Beyonce — by any means — but what it does mean is that we are constantly working to help kids understand the benefits of songwriting, the vulnerability that comes with it, the empowerment, the strength of sharing and gathering community. So, that’s been really rewarding. And, as two people who got signed at 15 years old, we can resonate with being the teenage musician and having to sort of just figure it out and we want to be the mentors that we wish we had had at that age. So, getting to do that now is really awesome and there’s so much talent here. So, yes, there is a music and an art scene that’s constantly growing.
Izzy: I know last year you had your music featured in To All the Boys: Always and Forever. So, I’m curious, is there anywhere you dream of your music winding up some day, whether entirely realistic or not?
Addie: Oh my gosh, that’s such a good question. I mean, that was surreal, to be in a movie. Anything where you can like point to it for your grandparents and they understand how cool it is. To do late night TV would be so cool, like SNL, Jimmy Fallon — all of the fun stuff — James Cordon, that would be a dream. And again, I think that’s more of an ego-driven answer. Again, wanting to be like, “Hey family, turn your TVs on!”
Izzy: I realize this is a huge question, but what have been some of the personal highlights of The Greeting Committee so far?
Addie: I love that question. Thank you for asking that. It’s been, “hard” is not the right word, but I’m 23 now and I was 15 when it started, so I do constantly wonder what perspective of mine is so warped because this happened to me at 15. But we were in high school, we went to prom, we got to be with our friends, we kind of got to postpone what we did a little bit because we were in high school and wanted to keep that priority. The simple thing would be playing a concert in our school’s cafeteria, and that was really cool. That’s like the first cool thing that happened, and getting to blow up by being played on your local radio station is fantastic and a huge reason why we are where we are today.
We got to play Lollapalooza as well — fairly early on in our career — and that was phenomenal. My family’s from Chicago, so that was one of those easy things to be like, “We all know what Lollapalooza is, for the most part.” And being in the movie, To All the Boys. I mean, being on a film set. And, also, while we were there, on our way to the dressing rooms, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend was just like chillin’ in a coffee shop we passed by and it was like a double, “This is really surreal! What’s happening?”
But I would say one of my all-time holy shit moments would be when we were looking into signing with different labels. We sat down with Republic Records – well, we didn’t sit, we performed – and Monte Lipman — who’s like a big, big deal — sat and watched us and it was the most like intimidating, classic label-band setup you could think of. And he told us not to go to college, and I was like, “That’s cool!” And then to see him in like an Amy Winehouse documentary, talking about someone as iconic as she is. Just cool, full-circle moments like that have been wonderful.
Izzy: You’re about to kick off a pretty big US tour. Are there any shows you’re especially excited about?
Addie: I mean, honestly, all of them. I’m so thrilled to be able to see all of our fans again. I say fans, but a lot of it feels a lot more like friendship. And being so virtually connected — I’m a very big Tweeter — I feel like I have a lot of conversations that are ready to transfer from the Twitter world to in-person, and a lot of hugging I hope gets to happen. As far as shows go, our New York show is at Elsewhere and that’s the biggest venue we’ve ever played that wasn’t a festival or wasn’t a hometown show. So, that’ll be really crazy. And then The Troubador in LA is like 10 tickets away from selling out, which is like a check-that-off-your-bucket-list venue, so I’m really excited about those two.
Izzy: What be expected of the live show when you play here at World Café Live?
Addie: You know, Philly shocked me so much by selling out and being one of the first, because our last headlining tour we went through there and I think it was like a football Sunday or the Super Bowl, and we had the odds stacked against us, but it was kind of empty. And so, for us to go into selling it out I’m very shocked and grateful, so I suspect the energy will be like off the hook. And we always try for that. And there’s us trying for that and it not being reciprocated, and there’s shows where both of us are putting our 100% in, and I think that’s what Philly’s gonna be and I’m thrilled for that!
Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you? What are you most excited about in 2022?
Addie: I hope we get to do more time on the road. Touring life is so iffy right now. We had to cancel our Canada show — which was really unfortunate — with Covid. We have a song with our friend Briston Maroney, which comes out on February 11th, so I’m really excited about that, and hopefully some more collaborations coming in 2022, which is something that’s new for us.