Following on from a wave of smooth and breezy indie-rock gems over the last few months, Pittsburgh-based outfit Men's Apparel have now returned with their latest laid-back groove 'Two-Tone Lover'.
Lifted from their forthcoming EP, 'Two-Tone Lover' makes for a wonderfully woozy and captivating listen. Channelling the soft crooning style of Alex Turner, their newest gem is filled with a wealth of sweeping overtones, subtle production, and a brilliantly engaging direction.
So with their new single doing the rounds, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and what has inspired them over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
I started with the piano when I was around 4 years old and just kind of ran with it. Obviously the first few years aren’t technically difficult, but I think the act of creating something from nothing with it was enticing to me. While I now know a number of instruments, I always find myself back at the piano for writing and/or inspiration.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Other music aside, I would have to say assorted visuals. Movies, pictures, snapshots; all of those things have an intense visceral effect on me. I think in a lot of ways, that has been influenced by modern musical acts and their relationships with social media. People gravitate toward an aesthetic.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
When I was REALLY into learning the guitar, I leaned into John Mayer’s discography heavily. The guy is fantastic. Then there was leaning into the alt/indie acts of the day, such as Coldplay, Muse, RHCP, etc. until I found The Strokes. They changed a lot for me going into college. They were huge for sure.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
I don’t think I can pinpoint that, honestly. There have been so many that affected me drastically. I guess to name a few: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window by The Beatles.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
At the moment, I don’t listen to music at all in the morning. If anything, I would say that I throw on a jazz record or something; I LOVE Bill Evans. Everything is so nonstop once my day starts that I think I appreciate quiet in the morning for a little.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
I don’t think I’ve written anything entirely about someone. I’m more interested in making something universally themed and sprinkling those interactions into the mix. Every song has a thing or two in it that I can relate back to a personal experience, though.
What have been the most memorable moments in your career so far?
I think the rush that came with publishing our debut single. That was a huge moment for me; a weight was lifted off of me immediately and I was just ridiculously excited. Anyone that has made the decision to put themselves out there probably related to this on a number of levels.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
Historically speaking, I would say that basketball has always been my runner-up. I played throughout high school and into college.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
I actually have a degree in electrical engineering, and am currently doing that full time; squeezing in the music stuff when I can. I’ve also been told I would be a really good bartender…. I’m not taking that option off the table.
And what advice would you give to those looking to start a career in music?
Just to be you more than anything. I think that if you are genuine, people will gravitate toward you. I forget where I saw it, but I think it was Pharell; he said that everybody has their own unique sound inside of them, but that so many of us are scared to pull it out of ourselves. That has REALLY stuck with me since I heard it.
Men's Apparel's new single 'Two-Tone Lover' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.