a.m. rejoice at Summervale!
By: McKenna Murray, Summervale Music Intern
Week 2 of Summervale 2017 will showcase a.m. rejoice, a bilingual indie folk band started by Vermont songwriter’s Marcie Hernandez and Joe Adler. Expect to be awed by their beautifully crafted project that features originals and select covers sung in both English and Spanish. Here is an exclusive interview with the band on the project’s beginning, the songwriting process, inspiration, and more!
When and how did this new project start?
Joe: I was headed to New Orleans for my first Radiohead show. Had a solo spot booked at Radio Bean and randomly ran into Marcie at the bar just as I was plotting my set out. Asked her if she liked Radiohead, to which a big smile was replied, and then asked her to join me for the set. We rehearsed for 3 days straight and found a mutual appreciation for a lot of the same music. We became buddies and decided to start a real project.
Generally speaking, what is your songwriting process like?
Joe: We don’t have a set process. We write together sometimes, throwing ideas and phrases back and forth. We send ideas back and forth via text as well. Lyrics, snippets of ideas and full songs new as day. One song we play was an instrumental I wrote half a lifetime ago, I gave it to Marcie with a title and she put words to it.
How would you describe your music?
Joe: That's a hard question-- our music is a collaboration of our personalities, put to music. I haven't ever worked with another songwriter who puts their emotions on the table so naked and fragile as Marcie. She inspires me to want to be a better writer. Our writing sessions become like mutual therapy sessions sometimes, and I’m grateful for that.
Marcie: I'd say it's a mix of different genres; there's some Latin influence, folk, rock. We've even got an a capella tune.
What influences your music? What kind of inspiration do you draw from living in the Burlington area?
Joe: Everything inspires me. It's funny sometimes the things that make it into my lyrics. So many little thoughts become like etchings in cement that I tread back over each time I sing them and get reminded of memories, sometimes beautiful, sometimes challenging.
Marcie:All kinds of things inspire me. I often get ideas for songs while I'm in motion, like riding in a car or I'll get an idea when I'm out running. I make a lot of voice memos with ideas that I'll go back and listen to. What's inspirational about living in Burlington is that there are so many great songwriters. I often come back from shows with inspiration to write.
Who influences your music? What artists inspire you?
Marcie: Recently I've been listening to a lot of Natalia LaFourcade and Angel Olsen. Also Sharon Van Etten. I love female voices and all 3 are great, raw lyricists.
Joe: My favorite lyricists of recent are Win Butler of Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, and Thom York of Radiohead. My favorites of yore include Tom Waits, Neil Young, and Nick Drake. I never try to emulate them, but I like to learn their songs to learn their methods and investigate deeply what makes them tick.
Any plans for a record?
Joe: Yep, when the time is right. Right now our focus is on writing and exploring what the band can be. Summervale will be our first show with a full band. We have added drums, stand up bass and classical guitar. All of the players are friends who we admire as skilled, uber talented musicians and as truly genuinely beautiful people. It was very important to us to find the right blend of personalities.