The announcement came last month in the form of a 30-second video: After eight years, popular local band Fairy Bones were disbanding.
"It’s weird to talk about, you know?" says singer Chelsey Louise. "I think that was the best thing we could have done. I didn’t want it to go down in flames and bitterness or anything."
That's not to say it's been easy to close the book on being in the band.
"The ending of Fairy Bones has been the most painful and taxing experience of my life, and I'll be spending the foreseeable future putting my life back together," guitarist Matt Foos says in an Instagram message. "I'm deeply thankful for everyone that supported us, helped us financially, and inspired us to keep going."
The announcement video was composed of footage of the band with a voiceover of an interview Louise did on KJZZ in 2018 after the release show for their second (and final) LP, 0% Fun.
"We did the thing people dream about doing," she said in the voiceover. "We wrote the album, people know the songs ... if we die tomorrow, this was a big accomplishment, and I can go happy."
"We didn't realize the breaking up of Fairy Bones would cause the world to end so quickly," Foos jokes. "But 2020 is sure turning into 0% Fun."
Fairy Bones were formed when Louise and a friend, guitarist Robert Ciuca, posted a Craigslist ad seeking musicians. Phoenix New Times wrote in 2018: Matt Foos' audition "had a 35-minute cap, because that’s all the electricity Louise and Ciuca had left on their prepaid power card. It was enough time to realize they had a spark, and soon after, Matt brought his brother, bassist Ben Foos, into the group."
In the subsequent years, Fairy Bones released The Fairy Bones EP in 2013, and the LP Dramabot in 2015 before finishing up with 0% Fun.
Ciuca says in an Instagram message, "My years in Fairy Bones were some of the best years of my life. I will always love and cherish the three other people and our memories together. The band's creativity had run its course, and we all started going different directions with our lives and with our music. I am excited to see what those guys do next and will always support them."
Ciuca and Matt Foos already had joined local band Paper Foxes before the demise of Fairy Bones.
"Those guys crank out new songs like crazy, and we had studio time booked before the pandemic forced us to postpone recording until further notice," Ciuca says.
Beside Paper Foxes, Foos has been working on solo material.
"Right now, I'm just working out the logistics of recording an album this year," he says. "I wrote an album's worth of music during the first six weeks of the lockdowns. Now, I'm just getting the funds together to get it recorded, and will hopefully be putting it out by the end of the year."
"I’m working on solo stuff under [the name] First Gay Jesus, which is my Instagram name." (On firstgayjesus.com, Louise offers visitors the opportunity to confess their sins.) "The music’s not ready to go yet, but it’s coming up and it’s going to be way different than Fairy Bones. This one’s going to be the alternative pop side of me that I’ve always wanted to do ... but probably a little gay and gothic, because that’s who I am inside."
She's also got a rock project in the works with Taylor Sackson from Vintage Wednesday and Ryan Abel of Bear Ghost, plus some other irons in the proverbial fire.
But despite having plenty to look forward to, Louise says that the end of Fairy Bones is "bittersweet."
"It was 100 percent the best thing I’ve ever done in my whole life, and I got to do it with my best friends. ... And I saw it kind of morph into something I knew none of us wanted for our art, and so, I personally believe that time heals everything, so I think that hopefully something will come of it again. The door is definitely open for us to come back together when we’re acting healthier toward each other, I think. But either way, I think I fucking did it."