Nashville standouts The New Respects are touring in support of their debut album “Here Comes Trouble.”
Band: The New Respects
Date: Sunday, April 15, 3:30 p.m.
Venue: Lagunitas Stage, The Merry Widow, 51 S. Conception St., www.themerrywidow.net
Over the past decade, the nation has watched as Nashville has incubated the Southeast’s home for indie music. All the while, longtime Music City natives The New Respects have been crafting their sound and monitoring the nature of both the scene and the city.
Drummer Darius Fitzgerald recognizes the changes in the Nashville skyline and traffic. But with the growth, Fitzgerald and his bandmates also witnessed the various benefits to the Nashville indie music craze.
“It’s drawing more attention to a city that we think is awesome,” Fitzgerald explained. “It’s become more than just a country town. People are realizing that there is a lot of diversity here, and it’s awesome.”
The abundance of new talent is forcing bands to become more innovative to stand out. Fortunately, The New Respects’ eclectic, unclassified sound has made them a highlight in Nashville and beyond. The group of talented young musicians has taken indie pop rock and given it a warm, fresh infusion of soul courtesy of vocalist/guitarist Jasmine Mullen.
While their style has brought new listeners to the band’s fold, The New Respects’ trademark “pop, soul and rock ’n’ roll” sound was not its original focus. In its early years, the group focused more on indie folks endeavors.
“We’ve always played what we loved,” explained bassist Lexi Fitzgerald (Darius’ sister). “Most of us were homeschooled in Nashville, and [indie folk] was the music that was around us. Mumford & Sons was more popular. Then, we got to a phase where we were getting into more music like pop and rock ‘n’ roll. Then we started playing what we liked and what we heard. That’s how we ended up musically where we are.”
Tracks from The New Respects’ debut album will comprise the group’s SouthSounds performance. The band’s “Here Comes Trouble” EP is a release seven years in the making. Darius says the band has spent years playing some of these tracks in the live setting, adding that receiving more widespread positive feedback from an audience has given the group a new breath of inspiration.
“When you’re living with songs and projects for a long time, you know it in and out,” Darius says. “So, it can get boring. To see other people respond to the music and get what you’re trying to say and add their influence to what was said just excites me. It’s a breath of fresh air into the songs and the music.”
“Here Comes Trouble” opens with “Money,” which perfectly fills each measure with a warm wave of soul mixed with modern alt. rock vibes. The end result establishes a trendsetting Southern indie rock masterpiece. Lexi credits guitarist Zandy Fitzgerald as the controlling songwriter for “Money,” which takes listeners back to the days when The New Respects were struggling musicians trying to find joy and happiness without a price tag.
“There were things that we were able to do that didn’t cost anything,” Lexi says. “We would laugh with each other and go hang out with friends and really have true joy. So, we would also see people struggling with things, and they had way more money than we did. Life is so much more than we can buy … It’s about community and God and joy, and we were celebrating that with a song.”
In addition to songs from “Here Comes Trouble,” The New Respects will also entertain SouthSounds with new singles “Future” and “Something to Believe In,” two harbingers for a future studio effort Darius says is “on the horizon.”