The world's introduction to the Henry and Samuel Bellingham brothers' electro-acoustics known as Thunderhank was the tracer-beam-bedroom buzz of the “Tracker” single. The Delaware-by-LA duo included the song on their self-titled EP that also features our premiere of “Jenni”. Born from the starts and stops of bands from their music studies days, the Thunderhank EP highlights Henry and Sam's hand at carving out crystalline pop with Cal Campbell co-piloting the production wheels.
On “Jenni”, the beaches of bottled Balearic waters are enjoyed on Los Angeles lawn chairs unfolded on the sandy shores of Venice Beach. The soft croon and synth sentiment rumbles with the aerobic bike pedal spin of percussive samples on a Euro-by-West Coast vacation of sun. The rays of Wilmington sun shine into the many sides and prismatic faces of indie California's diamond-like digi-pop. Thunderhank whispers simulations and synthesized sensations in an exotic display of affectionate gestures that evoke the feel of a beach-side party ported for home or hotel. The fine-tuned mixing and recording from Henry, Sam, and Cal turns “Jenni” into a time-jetting stunner, sharing love-letter lyrics on a backdrop of sophisticated pop guitars encrusted with the high end keyboard gemstones.
Thunderhank's Bellingham brothers talked to us about how they became a duo, and everything in between the roads that stretch from LA to Wilmington, Delaware.
Electronic-affected approaches to music have become one of the central corridors where many artists convey a host of expressions, and was wondering what brought the two of you to work in this medium?
To put it simply, it began out of necessity. We both have always loved and admired electronic music, but really spent the majority of our early music careers studying and performing on acoustic instruments. After struggling to find musicians we gelled with, especially a drummer, we began to focus on using electronic sounds to flesh out our songs. It’s been a relatively short period of time, but we have really fallen in love with crafting music electronically and are excited to get better at it.
When did you bros begin first working on the project Thunderhank?
We first started Thunderhank around April, 2013. We were living in Los Angeles at the time and had developed a reputation for starting these self-imploding bands that never managed to release anything. After something like our fourth project had fallen apart, we decided that maybe we would have better luck as a duo.
Favorite albums that you both are down with?
We really enjoy much of the same music, so this list could be a really long one. I guess for the sake of space, I’ll just keep it to the music that influenced this first EP. The songs “Your Life” by Konk and “I’m Corrupt” by Kid Creole and The Cocoanuts are two big ones for us. As far as albums go, we were really feeling the Alexander O’Neil album “Hearsay” and Melba Moore’s “Other Side of the Rainbow” at the time.
“Jenni” is super slick, give us the gear breakdown behind this electric number.
There have been so many different variations of “Jenni” that it’s hard to remember what was actually used on this final recording. Like the rest of the EP, we tired to combine elements of both electronic and organic sounds. We used an organic drum set and created rhythmic variations with electronic percussion sounds. I can’t remember what we used to record the guitar, but I’m pretty sure we used a Prophet V and a Nord Electro for all the synth sounds. We love to experiment in the studio and sometimes you get so deep into crafting a sound that you forget what you started with.
What fellow peers can you both report from the Wilmington, Delaware scenes?
There are a few bands in Wilmington, DE who are doing pretty well for themselves. FIANCE is a dreamy pop band that has been getting some great press recently and they are all set to release their debut EP. Our buddy Sam Nobles has a group called Tip Toes, which deserves recognition. Also, our friend (and live drummer for Thunderhank), Dave McGrory has a project called DYEV that we really like.
What is Wilmington like, and in what ways do you find it lending influence to the music of Thunderhank?
To be honest, we have lived in Los Angeles for the past seven years and only just moved back to Wilmington, DE in late December. The Thunderhank EP wasn’t really influenced by Delaware at all, except for “Tracker,” which was written while we were on a 2-week trip visiting our parents. What I can say is that when we left, Wilmington DE’s music scene was dominated by a combination of underwhelming riff-rock and psychedelic folk bands, all consisting of the same 6-7 guys. Now, it seems like a younger wave of wide-ranging musicians has injected new life into the scene, broadening the scope of what you might see when you walk into a venue. The emphasis is being brought back to the music itself, and as a result we are getting better quality acts.
Can you tell us the upcoming Thunderhank release schedule?
We are excited to have released or first EP, but are very eager to get back into the studio to record this new batch of songs we’ve been working on. Over the past couple months we feel we’ve begun to craft a more cohesive sound, which we are eager to share with our listeners. We begin recording the last week of May and hope to have something released by early/mid July.
The Thunderhank EP is available now from Bandcamp.