It's that catchy song you've heard a million times on the radio or playing overhead while shopping at the mall. When someone asks you who sings it, your eyes roll up and you draw a huge blank. Before you go clamoring for the answer on your music app on your phone, the song "Sweater Weather" is by The Neighbourhood (sometimes known as "The NBHD" for social media and texting purposes) and they're playing at The Marquee Theatre July 21. Guitarist Zach Abels thinks the crowd will be pleased. "Our show has improved since we first started. We're playing bigger venues with bigger crowds," he says. "You have to see it for yourself!"
That sexy single, which effortlessly combines rap, R&B, and rock, originated on the 2012 EP I'm Sorry... and perfectly captures the vibe of the sun-soaked shores of the band's home, California. The quintet consisting of Abels, vocalist Jesse Rutherford, guitarist Jeremy Freedman, bassist Mikey Margott, and drummer Brandon Fried, opened for Imagine Dragons last year and is now touring worldwide in support of their debut 2013 full length album I Love You, which elaborates on the promise of their chart-topping song. Abels agrees they're influences all around the map.
"We like everyone from N'Sync to Radiohead to Led Zeppelin," he says, "We're super-influenced by hip-hop."
The group utilizes a black and white motif for their videos and album covers, but also provided the inspiration for their recently released mixtape titled "#000000 & #FFFFFF" (web designers will immediately get the joke).
"It's something that we've done from day one," Abels says of the color scheme, "It's the right aesthetic for our music. Our songs are a little moody."
The four experimental songs showcase the band's hip-hop leanings and allow an edgier outlet that doesn't necessarily fit into their radio-friendly mold. "It's new music we created. We had a good year," says Abels, "We wanted to give something back to the fans."
Their new found fame is allowing them to accomplish more musically, when they aren't being overwhelmed by their dedicated fan base. "We're getting recognized more on the street. It's hard to get a meal at a restaurant sometimes," Abels explains, "We've got some bigger goals to accomplish. Once we're done touring, we'll head into the studio and work on album number two." Considering how well the first album is doing, fans may have to wait a little longer for that to happen.
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