For the members of Sofa, a Boston-area band with virtually one million Spotify streams, assembly on-line is all too acquainted. Not like the numerous college students who first downloaded Zoom in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, Sofa’s members — faculty college students from totally different native colleges with little time to bodily meet — embraced video conferencing a very long time in the past. The group’s expertise ensured that restricted in-person contact proved no impediment to the discharge of the 5 new singles of their eponymous first EP on Feb. 26.
Many of the band’s members had already met in highschool earlier than forming Sofa in November 2018. “It started as only a rotating group every track,” says guitarist Zach Blankstein. “We have been planning on that includes totally different musicians. However we had a lot enjoyable engaged on that first single … We determined to maintain this group solidified and transfer ahead with this core.” However the group stayed true to their unique intention of exploring totally different musical kinds by that includes totally different artists and devices. “We love collaboration,” says Eric A. Tarlin ’21-’22. And Sofa’s collaborators appear to like the group simply as a lot, serving to defy genres with the person kinds they convey.
“I do not know that it was even essentially a choice we made to try to experiment with genres,” says vocalist Tema Siegel, who credit the band’s distinctive sound to the members’ various musical backgrounds. “We all the time say that we attempt to sort of defy the tropes of pop music by infusing it a bit of extra with jazz and funk and soul … All of us carry a whole lot of totally different musical tastes to the desk and it leads to that fusion.”
Fusion appears to be a key phrase for Sofa. Influenced by artists from Paul McCartney and Buddy Wealthy to Charlie Puth and Bruno Mars, Sofa’s distinctive music brings collectively devices as totally different as bass guitar and saxophone to blur the traces between genres, mixing poppy rhythms with jazz, funk, and soul parts.
Whereas this mix proved profitable with on-line listeners, the coronavirus pandemic pressured the group to cancel their summer season tour, taking away their likelihood to kind the sort of private, hands-on connections with followers made potential by a bodily tour.
Whereas Siegel was dissatisfied by the shortage of regular live shows, she discovered a vibrant spot within the massively profitable drive-in live performance the band organized over the summer season. “I feel all people who was there missed stay music, missed getting out and going to see stay leisure. And so it was actually thrilling for them. However it was additionally actually particular for us to know that we may nonetheless set up one thing and join with an viewers of individuals watching from their vehicles. They could not clap, however they may beep. And it was a extremely enjoyable time,” Siegel says. The group’s drummer, Jared Gozinsky, agrees: “Since all of us actually love what we do with Sofa, none of it actually seems like work anyway,” he says.
Happily for the group, equally serendipitous conditions weren’t remoted incidents. “Our single that we simply launched referred to as Black Bear Lane solely occurred, it was solely written as a result of 4 of us quarantined in Vermont very early on in the summertime, which, in fact, solely occurred as a result of we have been in the midst of the worldwide pandemic. That track positively would not look the best way it did, or positively would not exist in any respect, if not for COVID,” Silverstein says. The pandemic-related challenges of manufacturing “led to some experimentation sonically,” says Tarlin. Particularly, restricted instrumentation choices led the band to experiment with mixing soul, R&B, and modern pop. Sofa’s early embrace of videoconferencing proved equally useful: “it is kind of simply leveled the enjoying discipline a bit of bit between us, who have been managing distant collaboration already and bands that have been collectively in particular person,” Tarlin says.
The group’s present focus is on the discharge of their EP, with different plans specified by broad strokes as a result of lingering uncertainty of the pandemic. “I feel we’re within the speedy future actually, actually excited,” says Siegel, who hopes that the band will meet in particular person to start out new initiatives this summer season. “Positively stay exhibits at any time when it is protected to do, so very a lot, trying ahead to that,” says Tarlin. Gozinsky shares Siegel’s enthusiasm about giving Sofa’s tour one other attempt. “I feel as quickly because it’s protected to take action, I feel we will be all on high of that,” he says. “Effectively, we’re all itching to play.” However it doesn’t matter what the longer term brings, the band’s path, a minimum of to Zach Blankstein, is evident. “Ahead. Hold transferring ahead.”