What: South of France and Flashlights
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: hi-dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver, 303-733-0230
More info: hi-dive.com
I ndie pop isn’t really a thing around here, and that’s too bad.
But Jeff Cormack and Kelly Lueke are changing that with their band, South of France. The Boulder duo performs mostly in Denver, where there’s a bigger audience for indie pop, but we’re still happy they call Boulder home — and happy to chat with them about the local scene and their upcoming show.
I didn’t know there was indie pop in Boulder.
Jeff Cormack: I think we’re, like, the only ones in like that last 10 years.
Kelly Lueke: I have to confess, we live right here, but we play mostly in Denver.
It’s hard, isn’t it? There’s no hi-dive.
JC: Yeah, or Larimer Lounge or anything like that.
So tell me how you got started.
JC: I was writing songs and recording them, just kind of for the hell of it because, I don’t know, I like recording music and I just started playing everything. I’ll do bass, I’ll do guitar. Then I kind of had three songs that I kind of liked, but I wanted a girl’s voice. The first girl kind of flaked out. The three songs got a lot of blog coverage right away, which was crazy. I wasn’t expecting that. Then within a month it was on Filter, so then I needed a new girl. So I hunted her down.
KL: He actually contacted a friend of mine who lives in L.A. and is a music writer.
JC: I have a good network of people out in L.A. and I was working with a guy by the name of Raymond Richards, who produced the Local Natives’ first album, Gorilla Manor, and he was mixing the South of France album. I couldn’t find anyone here. I couldn’t find anyone who knew what indie pop is, really. And so I contacted her, then we linked up and, I don’t know, you (Kelly) came here for, like, four days before we flew to New York to play at Northside Festival. So, she just got thrown into it.
How was that?
KL: That was really fun. It was like we were at band camp or something, because we just stayed holed up in the studio all day all night for four days and then just flew to New York.
So tell me a little about the full-length album.
JC: It was pretty much done (before Kelly joined). We took three songs off and put three new songs on. One which she pretty much wrote the whole thing. Then another two that we wrote together and we liked them so much more than the other ones.
KL: It was kind of funny because I was still in L.A. at the time, so I would start my iPhone recording and I’d play a little 30 second snippet and send it to him, and then he sends me back almost a finished song. So, yeah, it was kind of an interesting writing process, but it was nice because when I’d fly here to record we’d be almost done with writing.
How would you describe what you’re doing?
JC: We get the Tennis comparison all the time just because it’s a duo.
KL: I can see where people get it. It’s not exactly the same, obviously, but…
JC: I think that maybe I would just like it to sound like something that it doesn’t sound like, but to me it sounds like a good mix of Tennis, but then it has a little bit more like bigger rock elements and shoegaze-y type stuff to it. I feel like only a few people pick up on that, it’s weird … I think it’s hard to see through the poppiness of it sometimes. And it is poppy.
Are you working on anything new?
KL: We need to start getting really into the recording groove. We’ve been playing shows. Now I think we have all these nuggets of songs that we’ve started writing, so now it’s time to just make them whole.
JC: It’ll be nice to do the whole album together because I’ll write a pop song and then she’ll help it not be so much of a pop song. That’s all that comes out of me is pop songs.