Birthday Club Premieres “Lighten Up”, Talks Screaming Goats

Meredith Schneider

photo by Ryan Francisco

Houston’s pop/rock collective Birthday Club – comprised of Stephen Wells (vocals, guitar), Travis Peck (drums), Valeria Pinchuk (synth), and Josh Cobb (bass) – is gearing up to release their Lighten Up EP on September 30th. Today, we’ve got the premiere of their title track available exclusively for your ears.

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Light, airy almost, Wells’ vocals come in during a period of self-actualization with the first line, “I used to think that everything was cut and dry.” Clearly his mind has been changed, and this mid-tempo, dreamy track is serving as his vessel to tell that story.

“‘Lighten Up’ is a bright and buoyant track that was actually written during a pretty dark time in my life,” admits Wells. “It was written as a reminder that sometimes we make things a lot harder than they really need to be. I may still have a lot of work to do in that regard, but hey, at least the song ended up sounding pretty cool!”

We were able to grab a few, quick words with the band in honor of their latest single release.

If you could introduce yourself to our readers in any way, with money not being a factor, how would you do so? 

Ok. So, you would enter a hallway that is dimly lit with candles. They are unscented, obviously. You hesitantly creep through the corridor, when suddenly, the unmistakeable anthem of Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush begins to play. There we stand in the limelight at the end of the hall, attempting to dance strangely. It’s irresistible.. You join us, and we all party forever with Kate Bush on repeat. 

What is the origin story of Birthday Club? 

The idea for Birthday Club really came about as my old band had started to break up. I had all of these songs that I’d been working on that didn’t really fit within that arrangement, so I started working on putting together an entirely new band that could focus on hashing out the tunes. Once I moved back to my hometown of Houston from Austin, I began tracking down musicians that would be interested in helping me play some wacky pop songs, a task that actually ended up being a whole lot harder than I thought it would be. After a lot of trial and error, we ended up with the lineup we have today, a shiny new EP and a really, really old van! 

Your debut EP “Lighten Up” is out September 30th. What are you most looking forward to about that release?

There’s a lot of things that we’re looking forward to, but since we really like throwing parties, our “Lighten Up” listening party & art show is definitely what we are anticipating the most. It’s going to be taking place on release day at TOMO Magazines in Houston, TX, and we’re going to be featuring some art from our friends that we’ve worked with over the year, in addition to releasing a lyric zine along with the EP! We can’t wait to get these songs out there.

How do you think being based in Houston changes the dynamic for a musician, good or bad?

I think there’s definitely an awful lot of misconceptions out there about what life in Houston is like, especially for musicians. I think when people think of Houston, they think of cowboys, oil, concrete and NASA. I’d say that’s only 3/4 accurate. Instead of cowboys, you’ve got one of the most diverse populations in the country. All of the different types of people and cultures that Houston attracts tends to produce a pretty interesting and inspiring environment. It’s a great city for growth as a musician. 

What makes you laugh so hard you cry?

This one video of goats screaming like humans that our drummer Travis dug up from the deep, dark depths of YouTube. He’s really good at finding these sorts of things. I highly recommend looking it up. You won’t have any trouble finding it. 

You have a zillion tour dates booked. Anything you’re itching to do out on the road?

I think we’re all just excited to get out there and meet some new pals along the way. You meet all kinds of people on the road and it’s such a great experience getting to explore a new city every single day. We’re also itching to adorn our van with even more unicorn figurines from gas stations. It’s our new thing. It’s our very expensive new thing.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Feel free to look up that screaming goat video right about now…

Keep up with the band here

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