Interviewing new girl band The Beaches is really just taking a very fun break. From work, from overthinking it, from growing up too much or too fast. These four girls, all hailing from Toronto, match breezy teen spirit with a ballsy streak that gets the whole team dropping beats to Destiny’s Child and Miley Cyrus in our studio one Thursday morning. Where most would pout and curve themselves in front of the camera in deadly silence, these ladies can barely stop laughing or dipping their knees to the music long enough to capture anything overblown on film. On cue, we all join in.
Guitarist Kylie swoops over between takes, and we run through the usual stuff first: starting with fashion, and how much control a girl band can have over their own appearance and style in our image-driven society. Any fashion icons to speak of? The word ‘icon’ seems a bit much actually; these girls just do their thing, no need to self-evaluate on natural style (of which they all have plenty) too much. “Umm, Alison Mosshart, she’s pretty sleek”.
“Blondie. And Stevie Nicks!” sister Jordan (The Beaches’ bassist and vocalist) comes bounding over. Strong women clearly rule, and as if on cue Leandra has put Independent Women on in the background. We sing along for a bit.
“I really like Emily Haines from Metric”, states keyboardist Leandra, “she doesn’t try too hard”.
Ranging from 16 to 18 years in age, The Beaches are unique in that they are not trying so hard either. Even for teenagers, when a bit of an identity wobble is par for the course. “Loner is about us being at school, when you’re trying to fit into various peer groups until something works…and then you just think, why am I actually bothering with this? When I wrote it I felt like I really needed to be myself”, says Jordan. Anyone else get this epiphany at 16? Anybody? No?
L-R: Eliza, Leandra, Kylie and Jordan a.k.a The Beaches.
So confidence works, and being yourself for The Beaches makes for a sound that’s pretty punky, with catchy hooks that talk of finding comfort in your own skin above all else. For all of their angst-y chords, it’s a pretty upbeat message to find on loop in your head when you first hear the track.
“I was a tomboy for a while”, drummer Eliza chips in, “so on a shoot I am happy to wear the feminine pieces but only when they suit me and work with that”, she clarifies. Stood in an embellished-daisies skirt with sneakers and a tee, we see what she means. Leandra, the prints and pattern maestro of the group, is grinning over her textured boucle biker coat worn with boyfriend jeans. “We don’t feel any pressure to look a certain way, we just turn up on the day of a shoot and tweak our personal styles a little so it all works together. We all love Nineties grunge and streetwear though so it’s usually fine”.
With the fashion and the chit chat free-flowing, it’s easy to forget this is an interview at all. It’s like hanging out with your best friends from high school, the ones you still remember making you laugh every time you sat Double Science together.
As the band providing French Connection with our new campaign track for Autumn/Winter, it might surprise people to know The Beaches only formed six months ago. Jordan, Kylie and Eliza used to be in another band, Done With Dolls, and Jordan insists she couldn’t imagine working with anyone but her sister as a result (the girls still share a room and songwriting duties respectively). Even this sudden trip over the pond to play a fashion launch party, have new videos shot by famed photographer Rankin (who also directed our AW13 campaign shoot), and enjoy a day of dress-up seems to have come pretty darn naturally. Well, apart from one thing.
“The cheese in a Big Mac is different here! Why is that? It actually melts in London!” Jordan squeals when we ask how she is finding the city compared to the metropolis back home.
“Yeah in Toronto McDonalds’ cheese is so stiff, it’s not natural. Here we like that it’s proper cheese”.
Girls….we like how you do business. Stick some more Miley on. Let’s dance.
Find out more at thebeachesband.com.