Different & Similar: Q&A with Similar Kind

Post Author: Myles Hunt

Rising Connecticut indie-pop collective discusses their thrilling latest tracks

It is time to expand listening ears to the northeast, specifically Norwalk, CT. In this town, there is a breed of musician who may just be setting the pulse for a musical utopia. Similar Kind are an impressive collective who seem to bubble up in their own melodious realm. While unique in their work, fans can link their musical studies across all genres. Julia Breen, Ben Mcnamara, Evan Murphy, Kenny Cash and Miles Dominici send listeners well on their way with an inner rhythm that soars.

Their newest releases, including “Maria” and their latest “Too Happy,” give new fans a valuable glimpse into their skills.

“Maria” enters the fold in an organ-fueled drone with twinkling levity. A full beat and sound follows. A catchy vocal launches the track into its catchy weight. “Maria” offers a glimpse of introspection all while bobbing the head. Listeners will feel free to get up and sway to this song as they wander their homes aimlessly. There are psychedelic moments that are filled with overlapped sounds that elevate the tune. Fans will be sent on twists and turns they were not expecting. It showcases the technical know-how that Similar Kind have developed. They are more than just rockers, they are soul-scientists with an intricate attention span. 

“Too Happy” is much more poppy from the start. Julia’s vocals seem to beckon the listener to learn from the musical conversation being shared. There is a signature jingle and a wiggle in this track. Similar Kind are trying to tell listeners something in this song more so than offering an emphatic dance. Their notes are combined in an organized flurry that is, without a doubt, purely a Similar Kind type of flow. Prepare to learn from this and grow.

Ben and Julia took some time to elaborate a bit more on their progress in the space and current state of mind during COVID-19. You can read their thoughts and stream “Maria” and “Too Happy” below.

What is the story behind “Maria” and “Too Happy”?

Ben: “Maria” is about confusing feelings of a person you have no choice but to see often. You aren’t sure about what these feelings represent and don’t know what truths they hold about yourself. The song was completely written in the studio in terms of the music. It was the first time we made up a song on the spot & [it was a] very different process than what we are used to when it comes to recording. 

“Too Happy” is about struggling for a long time with any personal issues, and being so beaten down from trying hard to change how you feel, while still not making any progress. It had been a song we had been playing live for almost a year now and it’s very interesting to see it progress over time and eventually become the song on this record.

How has your musical craft evolved so far this year?

Ben: Our musical craft has evolved a lot since Faces & Places. For the first EP, we were really going for a certain vibe and this new EP is a lot more diverse, in terms of topics and in sound. We spent a lot of time in pre-production talking about individual sounds and talking about all our influences going into the new recordings. We are really excited to finish it up and put it out, super proud with how these songs are turning out. Playing with bands like Sunflower Bean has really pushed us to continue to improve our live show and really hone in on our songwriting and performance.

How are you all keeping sane during quarantine?

Ben: We have been making demos and sending stuff back and forth, which has been keeping us sane during quarantine. So, hopefully, some songs will come out regardless of us all being apart. We’ve been thinking of ways to make the most of summer since it doesn’t look like live shows will return for some time.

How are you staying creative at home?

Julia: Outside of music, I’ve been painting a lot of plastic containers to keep seeds and fruit in, ha-ha. That’s been fun because I’ve never experimented with painting before.

We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to continue to work on new music remotely via Zoom and the app/program listento with Kenny Cash at Factory Underground Studio in Norwalk, CT & finish mixing our new songs. 

What have you noticed about music and/or the arts in general during this time?

Julia: I’ve realized that live performances are detrimental to musicians growing and making connections and feeling part of a community. Although, I’ve also realized that this community really has been holding each other up. We’ve been keeping up a lot with other bands and listeners through social media. Even though it’s not in person, there’s still so much support and love going on.

What are your modes of escape when it comes to creation? Is it TV, movies or cooking?

Julia: One mode of escape for me has been cooking lately. It’s been taking up so much of my time planning all of my meals and it’s just something to look forward to multiple times a day, which is good at the moment because there’s not much going on.

What is the first thing you plan to do when this is all over?

Ben: When everything is back to normal 100% we’re going to play the first gig we possibly can. We miss live shows so much. It’s absolutely one of our favorite parts of being in a band. It’s fun to be in the studio and create music but nothing will be the same as the feeling of connecting with people in a live setting.