Neverever is the creative vehicle used by husband and wife Jihae and Wallace Meek. They live in L.A. (after spending some time in Glasgow, Mr. Meek’s hometown) and released ‘Angelic Swells’ (under Slumberland Records) back in May, an album combining elements ranging from the 20’s doo wop, passing through 50’s rock’n’roll, 60’s surf music, 70’s psychedelia and 80’s punk. It is practically a music class from track #01 to #11 (or a little less than 33 minutes).
Angelic Swells is one of the most refreshing and uplifting albums released this year. It’s sunny, vibrant, hot, sweaty and still holds the glamour of a colorful yellow-ish picture taken in the 60’s. It also has this young and rebel sense of innocence and lust of young lovers making out at a drive-in.
Follow Jihae talking about their origins, the making of the album, (literally) crazy sound engineers and how MJ’s death may have influenced the band in unconscious ways.
01. So, from the beginning: first there was The Champagne Socialists. Tell us about the period that made you rethink the band and turn into ‘Neverever’. And what’s the inspiration behind the name?
One day it just kinda dawned on us that we really didn't like the name. Mike Schulman from Slumberland asked us if we wanted to put out a 7" with him and of course we said yes, but we didn't really have time to change the name. When we saw it in print on the single we decided it had to go.
We just kinda wanted something that was nondescript and short. I think it may have been around the time MJ passed too, which might have slipped in subconsciously. Woops.
02. If your music were a planet (or landscape) what it would look like?
Hmmm...probably a lot like the Bali Hai scenes in the movie South Pacific.
03. I can see people in 2050 looking back, talking about the summer of 2010 and giving ‘angelic swells’ as the ultimate example of what music sounded like in our times… and the funny thing is that your music is a recollection and (an awesome) reinterpretation of music from the past 50 years. Could you talk about the way you create music and how conscious is the fact of blending lots of references? And in which context do you think your music is inserted?
Weird, we never really thought our music sounded so much of it's time...I mean, I guess it is true, most everything in pop culture nowadays is so much an amalgamation of decades past, sometimes I wonder if we'll ever come up with anything new. I think it's a bit lazy to be recreating the 1990s already, I can barely swallow most of the 80s, but who am I to say?
I guess we're just really big fans of a lot of old music and it tends to seep in. It's hard not to want to take a part of an amazing song that gives your legs goosebumps and somehow make it your own.
04. ‘Angelic swells’ screams ‘sun-beach-high temperatures–party by the sea’… and it has no ‘ok songs’. every song is extremely good and - as mentioned before - with so many musical references that it’s like a music history class. A lot of blogs and sites (including us) see the album as one of the best things released this year. could you talk about the making of it? How it was made, what was going on in your minds by the time you were recording it…
Gee, thanks! It started out with us being really excited to record with this one guy in Cost Mesa. We were on our way down to start our first session, half way there we found ourselves turning around and driving home. We were very disappointed to find out he'd been taken to the mental hospital earlier that day. We ended up recording at a studio not far below the hill where Phil Spector once resided in his Pyrenees Castle, so that wasn't too shabby. The day we decided to shoot the cover photo (which involved smoke bombs, a dog, me in a bathing suit and non-weather proof hair-do, and a convertible) was the one day of the month it poured with rain. . . but it all turned out fine.
05. How did you decided to move to L.A.?
L.A. is my hometown. I met Wallace while going to Art School in Scotland. I graduated early and had been really homesick for quite some time so we decided to move. Lucky for me Wallace liked L.A.
06. Could you give us a glimpse of the scene in la? Independent bands you like, venues where the indie kids gather to listen and dance to some good music…
Puro Instinct, Catwalk, Sea Lions, Devon Williams, Cold Showers, Allah Las, Animal Style, Dunes
07. What’s next for Neverever?
We're finishing up a new EP which will come out soon.
08. Do you get to live of your music?
Ummm no, one day...
09. Any song(s) you’d like to cover?
This Could Be the Night - Modern Folk Quartet, Precious to Me - Phil Seymour
10. Name the perfect place and time to hear your music.
The back-seat of a car with a certain someone.
11. Recommend something you've been listening lately.
A Rose in a Fisted Glove by Jonathan King, Joy Ride by the Brilliant Corners