Americana/Roots duo, Bradford Loomis and Beth Whitney met only a few years ago in 2012, but their instantaneous musical connection made it feel that they knew each other for many years. With musical background that date back to their childhood, these two, for the most part always knew that music was ingrained in their paths for many years to come. This soulful roots duo is set to release their new album, “The Banner Days,” on August 23rd on MTS records, and we got a chance to learn a bit about the two & catch up with them below!
Entertwine: When did you both meet and start playing music?
Bradford: I kept hearing about Beth and her husband, and had checked out their music online. I was really struck with the depth and evocative nature of her lyrics coupled with beautiful melody. So I asked her if she would play a show with me. Nov. 17th 2012 I believe.
Beth: I said sure, played my set, and then Bradford took the stage and just took the house down. I knew he had it: whatever that thing is that wakes up the soul. No question.
ET: What kind of musical backgrounds do you both come from?
Bradford: I sang in choirs all through high school and played in numerous bands from an a’cappella quintet to progressive alt-rock to a ska band even.
Beth: I grew up singing in the back of a hay bail-topped Volvo station wagon as the fifth of six kids. I sang in children’s choirs here and there but mostly pursued athletic interests until an injury in highschool pushed me more into the songwriting and music vein. My father is a carpenter and poet, while my mother is a painter and musician.
ET: Was music always something you really wanted to pursue?
Bradford: From the moment I started singing, yes.
Beth: My parents recently found a cassette tape containing an unreleased self-recorded single I recorded of Twinkle Twinkle when I was about 6. So yeah, probably.
ET: What do you believe that you bring to the table over all the other artists in such a large genre?
Beth: I have found that comparing ourselves to others can be remarkably fruitless. We primarily try to focus on broadly contrasting dynamics and intricately intertwined harmonies.
ET: If you could describe your sound in a few words, what would those words be?
Beth: Soulful Folk music.
ET: What is your main message or purpose you like to get across to your listeners through your music?
Beth: Well, we sing a lot about suffering, but the pursuit of hope through that suffering.
ET: What can listeners expect from your newest album release, “The Banner Days?”
Beth: We’ve really tried to take the listeners to a lot of places emotionally; to cross a wide spectrum.
Bradford: My favorite albums go somewhere. They build in intensity, a crescendo of energy and then pull back. We wanted to have a powerful contrast that takes you somewhere.
ET: How is this release different from your past work?
Bradford: Well, this is our first project together. We both have albums separately, so we were able to really interweave some harmonies on this project with two very different voices. Beth’s sound is more of a Folk pop sound and my music tends to be Roots/soul music. So this is a pretty interesting amalgamation of our sounds.
ET: What main message do you both strive to get across to your listeners through your music? Why?
Beth: Inevitably, every person will suffer some tragedy or hardship in this life. People need to know they are not alone, and that there is hope. We want to point to the pursuit of that hope. Why? Well humanity needs community. We need the emotional resonance of other humans. It helps to sustain us and gives us the will to endure.
ET: What is next for you in 2014? We will be touring throughout the rest of the year.
Beth: Headed to Idaho, Montana and Utah in early Sept., down the West Coast in late Sept. and then the East Coast in Oct.
ET: Any newer releases, videos, or tours?
Beth: We will be releasing three videos in conjunction with this album, touring throughout the Fall/Winter and Bradford will release two singles as well as a live album, and Beth will be releasing a Bosa Nova record as well.