Photo by Shervin Lainez
With a debut album on the near horizon, the hard-working BAILEN siblings have been building a fan base by getting out and playing live dates ranging from intimate living room shows to proper, ticket-required, clubs gigs since 2015 – often to sold-out crowds. On Wednesday night, Julia (vocals/guitar), Daniel (vocals/bass), and David (vocals/drums) return to Columbus where they’ll play at The Basement and preview tracks from Thrilled to Be Here, due in stores and online on April 26.
If the rest of songs follow the lead of the two previously-released tracks available on all streaming platforms (“Your Love is All I Know” and “I Was Wrong”), listeners can expect to hear the trio harmonizing in ways that bring to mind Fleetwood Mac’s early late ’70s/early ’80s golden era.
Having just earned glowing accolades from the week they spent in Austin at SXSW, the trio took some time to answer questions we sent their way.
I’ve read that BAILEN’s sound is influenced by the albums your parents listened to. I’ve got some of my own ideas, but can you tell me what the staples were in your house when you were growing up?
We grew up listening to our parents chamber group playing in the living room. They are both classical musicians so that was what we grew up with. Dad is also an amazing songwriter and guitarist, so we used to get confused which tunes were his and which were Beatles tunes (our other biggest influence growing up.) Some big ones for us are Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, The Band, Ray Charles, James Taylor, Carol King, and yes…. Steely Dan.
I’m guessing all 3 of you have similar music tastes however do each of you have an artist that you like that your siblings don’t?
I’d say there is a divide when it comes to Bieber vs Mendes.
If the internet is to be believed, I see that you played at Rumba Café in Columbus in 2017. Any memories of that show or of Columbus or was it just another in a series of stops you make while on tour?
I recall that being the best sound we had all tour! That was when we were cramming all of us and gear into a 2004 Passat wagon!
Was there a pivotal point – like maybe a scene we’ll see in a Bailen biopic on Netflix in 20 years – when you went from siblings having fun and writing songs together at home to saying, “Hey, this stuff is good enough that we want other people besides our friends and family to hear this”? Or was this always a goal that you were working towards?
David and Daniel always were writing songs and playing as a band since they wrote their first song at 6 “Fire in The Kitchen.” They said that Julia could be in the band when she got her braces off. But the idea of us three all playing together wasn’t really talked about until we played a show together for fun at Rockwood Music Hall, and realized it was something people seemed to really like. But we all have always written songs, I think it’s hard writing songs without thinking about the idea of people hearing it. Keeping the audience in mind helps shapes songs , otherwise all our tunes would be 20 minutes long.
You’re writing songs about relationships – is it all strange to share some of your innermost thoughts and have your siblings involved in the writing and performing aspect? Or, are the lyrics more fictional and therefore not related to specific situations in your own life?
It’s definitely strange, but also sometimes easier than sharing it with a random person you met that day in a writing session. Most of the songs are born on our own, and then we finish them together, so that makes it easier.
Of the 9 songs that haven’t officially been released, which one can’t you wait for people to hear and/or is getting the best reaction when you’re playing it live?
We love playing “Something Tells Me”! Everyone at our shows seems to know the lyrics to that tune even though we haven’t released it yet. Pretty cool to see that.
Can you tell me what your plans are for the rest of the year? You’ve got the album release on the horizon and then, I imagine, you’ll be doing a lot of dates to support it. Any concrete touring plans, festival appearances, or are you still figuring all that out?
Yes lots and lots and lots of touring! We are touring Europe which is a first to us, and will be announcing US summer dates shortly.