Death of Paris: No Shame, No Shlock, All Pop
Death of Paris resides in our back yard of Columbia, South Carolina. Exemplifying post-modernism to a ‘T’, they are self-admitted pop, but redefine the genre with each song. It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for pop music. Half the time I listen to the radio I’m content. They currently have the album Gossip available, and plan to hit the road in March 2015 with a new EP. Death of Paris has the production, the look and the live talent that should give them a break-through chance.
The local unsigned scene is less known for pop, and more known for metal and other -core genres. I love the independent scene, but it does need some mixing up. Doyle had this to say about the scene:
“It ebbs and flows but at this point, I feel like it should be more open minded. […] We’ve got some really great venues in our town run by some incredibly gracious owners and promoters, a lot of talent, and some really great people that support local music, but there’s a definite dichotomy going on between bands that play for the community and bands that just play for each other. We try to not waste time getting too caught up in all that and focus on just bringing our best for our fans.”
Their music reflect what inspires them. “Heartache, lust, vengeance, honesty, the thrill of the chase, bravery,” some of the things we can all hear and relate to in their music.
“[…] the opportunity to grow as an artist, getting the chance to tour and visit new cities and meet new people and share our stories and learn theirs and to be able to make imprints on one another. Our fans that have supported us and been there for us from the day we announced the band. They’ve been our crutch every single time we’ve needed them. That feeling you get when you hear a song and you know in that moment that the universe is talking to you through that song – we chase the opportunity to give that moment to our fans.”
Doyle went on to talk with me about a couple of their favorite songs to create, including one of my own favorite’s of theirs: 72. “72 started out as a bare bones song that I had actually dreamed and then wrote out immediately when I woke up.”
“[…] We ended up playing around with organs and bells and pedal steel and 1,000s more synth patches until we wrote the version that is on the EP. 72 has been a song very personal to me and it was so important to me to fight for it to be on the EP, and I let down a wall I’d had up and had this crazy out of body experience in the vocal booth just channelling all the hurt and rejection and heartbreak I’d been through leading up to the recording of that song.”
Jayna Doyle, Jake Arambula and Patrick Beardsly make up the pop-fusion group. Gossip is their second album, produced, mixed and recorded by Zack Odomand and Kenneth Mount.
“I got kicked out of the band I was in the same hour that the singer in Blake’s band didn’t show up to record a demo to enter into a battle of the bands. They called on me to fill in, and the demo I did got them into the battle of the bands; the show was pretty much an audition for me and I was later voted in. Filling in the male shoes of the previous singer didn’t quite fit for me, so Blake and I started rewriting the songs to come more from my perspective.”
“When that band eventually dissolved, thanks to the other members’ grad school pangs and need to settle down – Blake and I realized we actually made a good team and we were on the same page in not wanting to quit music. We felt like we’d learned too much and gotten too much of a taste to stop – so in that moment Death of Paris was born. Patrick was a regular at the coffee shop I worked at and we were introduced by a co-worker who knew we needed another guitarist. It was an instant friendship. We went through several bassists and drummers, but Blake, Patrick and I stayed the course and shared the same vision of how we wanted to make music and why.”
Part of their uniqueness is how they interact as a unit, like different flavors in a meal. Doyle said they’re “spicy – but not burn your mouth spicy – just a little punch you didn’t see coming. With layers of flavor you want to keep uncovering, and something about it you love but you just can’t quite pinpoint it. It’d more than likely leave you feeling a little buzzed as well. Wait, are we whiskey?”
They are acclaimed to be “the hardest working band in the v by local publications, and while I don’t know them personally, I can tell that, with only two albums, they must have some real business know-how. I can imagine they’re a few years away from some big publicity. “I’d like to think our music would fit in best somewhere like San Francisco or Austin. Those cities are full of non-stop, colorful, quirky and evolving music scenes that embrace anyone from any genre.”
Take a listen to any of their songs and you’ll hear some contemporary similarities, but here’s how they’re different: the instrumentals are chugging; the vocalist has an ability to be a diva, gruff and smooth, respectively; the electronica elements add a depth to the music that stands out without wearing out.
They plan to come through NC soon. “The first time we’ll be coming through this year will be in late March/early April as part of our SXSW 2015 Spring Tour.” She implores readers, “give us a chance! We really stand by the music we write and what we do – we put a lot of work into our live show to give you a moment to step away from all the stresses in your life – so let loose and come dance with us!”