In depressive music, there exists a disdain for human contact, for romance, for happiness in general. Such is exhibited by the character Corey Flood of Say Anything, as she solemnly strums her guitar and sings, “Joe Lies,” and such is channeled through the band Corey Flood of Philadelphia, as they conjoin twang-heavy riffs and unwavering rhythms and hushed lyricism on their debut four-song EP, Wish You Hadn’t, out February 23 on Fire Talk Records. Guitars and drums come off isolated in their respective voices, ringing loud and singular and lonely as they weave in and out of each other, scraping against heartstrings before pulling them entirely out of form. It would sound almost conflicting on their single, “Soft,” with its arpeggiating guitars flowing up and down, curious like a river flowing north, set against the stone resoluteness of drums. And it would sound almost conflicting, were it not for the hushed, emotive vocal delivery of singer/bassist Ivy Gray-Klein (also of Littler), and its binding force, a sonic macramé of sorts. Her delicate touch of human also intertwines with the squeamish and warbling tones of the first single, “Feel Okay,” though in a more agitated construction. She defiantly asks, “does it feel okay?” as oozing guitars bellow a toxic smoke onto your floor. It’s a kinship, a solidarity, against a common negativity.
Check out a Q+A with Corey Flood below:
What was Corey Flood’s first show like? I understand there was a last minute lineup change? How do you think it shaped your band?
Ivy: Juliette and I were playing with a couple other people, but after we booked our first show they dropped out to focus on other projects. However, Juliette and I still really wanted to make it happen and we were able to recruit Noah and Em at the last minute. I’d never sung publicly before our first show and the songs on the EP are also the first songs I ever wrote. It was a big personal test, to overcome these major fears of mine, but I think it all worked out in the best possible way. I love our band dynamic. It’s very supportive and collaborative. We all complement one another.
Juliette: I remember we had a little over a month to find new bandmates and learn Ivy’s songs before our first show, which was with Ursula, one of my favorites. It seemed so unlikely that we would pull it off without embarrassing ourselves (especially since Em joined the week of) that I didn’t really realize what we sounded like until we were playing that first gig. I remember thinking in the middle of one of the songs, “wait, we sound pretty good!”
Em: The first show was really what reaffirmed me wanting to continue with the band! Juliette and I met at a show my band Sieve was playing and I met everyone else at our first practice. Having only lived in Philadelphia for a month I offered myself as guitarist as a means to meet new people in the city.
How’d y’all meet?
Ivy: I met Juliette and Noah in college; I was at Bryn Mawr and they were at Haverford, but we booked shows on campus together.
Juliette: I met Em at a show they were playing. I mentioned how we would be down a guitarist for our first show, and they offered to fill in, without even knowing what we sounded like. I thought it was so kind!
What was the recording process like? How did Wish You Hadn’t come together?
Ivy: We recorded the EP at planet phitness, a show house that Juliette and Noah live at. My roommate Chris Carreon (from Sundials, Atta Girl, Missing Earth, and a million other projects) offered to help us record it, although he also had very little experience in recording. Our other friend, Juliane McCue (from Lester), also helped out, so between all of us, we just kind of made it happen on a very hot Saturday in September. Juliette bought a dozen Dottie’s Donuts so maybe that was our secret to pulling it off in one day.
Juliette: yeah I spent $30 on vegan donuts which felt like a big mistake at the time, but looking back maybe it was key.
Em: The EP really just started as a way to have recorded material out to get more shows. It ended up sounding a lot better than anticipated so we sent it out.
You’re from Philly. What are the venues you feel most at home playing at?
Ivy: Since we practice there and it’s where half of us live, planet phitness definitely feels like Corey Flood’s home. It’s a special place. I also like playing at All Nite Diner, another show house. My other band, littler, has played Everybody Hits and that’s another favorite venue to play and attend shows at.
Juliette: Yeah up until this point, we’ve barely left our own basement. But it’s so cozy <3
Ivy worked as an intern at Pitchfork. How was that? Do you think they’d hire me?
Ivy: I took a gap year before starting college and spent six months interning at Pitchfork when they were still in Chicago. It was cool to be 18 and transcribing interviews with Carrie Brownstein, plus going to the festival was a big perk. I was fresh out of high school and pretty shy, but I learned a ton and am grateful for the experience. They’ve grown a lot since I was there, so I’m pretty out of touch with how it is now. I was surprised anyone there even remembered I was an intern!
Favorite Philly cheesesteak spots? Unless you’re vegan. In which case, forget I asked, and I’m sorry for asking.
Noah: I’ve never had a good cheesesteak. We eat a lot of banh mi though from Fu Wah in West Philly. I used to always get the tofu but the other day I tried the chargrilled pork and realized that it’s even better.
Em: I’m vegan but I’ve never had a cheesesteak or a vegan cheesesteak.
You’re playing Silent Barn with Emily Reo, who also mixed your record. Would you like to speak on that, and on your relationship with Emily?
Ivy: I’d been a fan of Emily’s music for a while, but we hadn’t met until recently. She’s an incredible musician and producer, so I was really excited when she signed on to mix and master the EP. She took these basement recordings and developed them into something I couldn’t have even articulated prior. I have a lot of respect and admiration for her as an artist.
Have you ever been given a pen?
Em: Yeah, I’ve been offered plenty of pens when in need and I’m very thankful for all the pens I have received.