Bob Odenkirk loves indie pop band Beach Bunny. You should too.
When TikTok goes viral, it’s extremely easy to focus on success in a social media vacuum, without thinking about the talent and effort that went into making the hit go viral in the first place. That’s what happened to Chicago indie rock band Beach Bunny: After their 2018 song “Prom Queen” exploded in popularity on TikTok, most music publications including Dull tonetied the group’s subsequent success to the platform.
It’s something that, as Beach Bunny frontman Lili Trifilio thoughtfully explains, ultimately doesn’t add up. “It seems that people want to write me in a box in which I feel out of place. I’m very grateful for the success the app has given me, but it’s pure luck that it took off there,” she said. Dull tone.
“I had already been making music for several years and was doing pretty well and signed to a label, so I don’t really see TikTok as the end. It was nice to have a viral moment but I feel confident in my songwriting, and I just write songs for myself and hope people relate. I think forcing anything musically seems a little ingenuous, especially industry stunts.
Listening to his new album, emotional creature, released last month, it’s clear that Beach Bunny was always destined for the top anyway. “Lili Trifilio’s deep empathy is the hallmark of the Chicago band’s second effort,” rolling stonenoted the review, and an immediate relatability runs through everything the songwriter writes; Trifilio’s songwriting is incisive, self-aware and outspoken.
Producing big-hearted indie pop like they do, it’s no surprise that Beach Bunny’s sound has connected with a wide audience well outside of the online bubble, including a certain Better Call Saul star.
Read the rest of Dull tonechat with Trifilio below. beach bunny emotional creature is now available on all digital platforms.
To learn more about this subject, follow the Independent Observer.
Music people always talk about the difficulty of the second album – did you feel that going into emotional creature?
Do you like indie?
Get the latest Indie news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
There’s a bit of pressure on every release so I wouldn’t say this album was particularly stressful to make. However, with the ongoing pandemic and records being pushed back time and time again, there was definitely building anticipation. This album was also deeply personal, so the difficulty was mostly in the degree of vulnerability.
Were the majority of these songs written during the pandemic? Was songwriting a necessary outlet for the overwhelming emotions of that time?
I would say most were written during the pandemic. The songs were kind of written during moments of intense boredom or strong emotions. I think we were all looking for some sort of outlet: for me it was writing songs, other times it was walking, skating, playing or cooking. It just depended on the days.
What artists were you listening to while recording that influenced the sound of emotional creature?
At the start of the lockdown I was listening to a lot of Grimes which definitely had a big influence on me for many months. I also think of Declan Mkenna Zeros the album is spectacular. I also listened to a lot of Poppy and hyperpop in general.
What was it like working with Sean O’Keefe, the man who co-produced “Hey There Delilah”? For a millennium, it’s like a badge of honor.
He’s the greatest darling, an amazing person, extremely talented, and I’m very lucky to call him my friend. He deserves all the praise!
Lots of songs on emotional creature are great indie pop, but overall it’s hard to pin the album down to just one genre. Is that how you prefer it?
Yeah, I guess you could say that. Like I said, I just write songs for myself and I hope people relate to it so there wasn’t so much intention to sneak into this or the other, but I think overall the tracks have pop elements and rock elements, which is classically what I like to write and people can label it however they want.
I know you’re the main songwriter but I was curious about the rest of the band – do they like to be included in the writing process or do they just let you handle the lyrics?
Beach Bunny is my baby so I think they fully understand that and let me do my thing haha but yeah I write all the songs.
The name of the album for example, was it a personal phrase or a decision of the band?
I came up with the name at the time as a stage name since Lili Trifilio was a bit hard to spell when I was doing open mics and such. It always represents me as an individual artist and the group as a whole depending on the situation or the opportunity.
‘Cloud 9’ was a very popular song here in Australia. Is this a place where the band would like to tour soon?
That would be cool!! We would love to get there one day.
Even if you haven’t toured here yet, do you know the Australian music scene? Favorite artists come to mind?
I’m not super familiar but would love to check some out if you have any recommendations! I mostly know the wildlife there haha.
You have such support and voice now. Does that come with a greater awareness of your position as a role model for these young female fans? How did you deal with the responsibility?
Of course totally! I think there’s a degree of that I’m lucky that my fan base is actually quite large there are of course young girls but also a large percentage of people are my age and a bit older, and the demographics are pretty split down the middle for guys, girls, and non-binary folks.
Lots of punk kids too! I love it. In general, I want to spread good messages to the world and try to be a good person in general, in my public and personal life.
Obviously you first found success online so was it initially a bit of a culture shock to come out on the other side of the pandemic to play sold out shows to fans singing your lyrics to you ?
Although there was this viral moment, I was already playing sold-out shows before the pandemic due to previous work that had done well. It was amazing to play shows again and finally be able to play the songs Honeymoonwhich I really hadn’t been able to play outside of livestreams.
How has your touring experience been lately? Was it intimidating making your Coachella debut?
Coachella was amazing!! It was great to be able to do a proper tour in the US after so long and overall I had a super positive experience. I would really like to play Coachella again.
Bob Odenkirk has become quite a fan from yours. Is this one of those “pinch me” moments in your career?
Bob Odenkirk is such a legend! It was absolutely a wow moment when he came to the show. I still can’t believe he took the time to play the role of Star Captain for the music video for ‘Karaoke’. My family and I like to watch You better call Saul, he is a very nice and talented guy. I hope to see him again one day! Seriously an icon.
I know you’re from Chicago but is the band still based there? I think for a lot of Aussies Chicago is often overlooked in favor of New York etc, but there seems to be some great music coming out of the city right now. Your very own band, Beach Bunny. How has the city’s music scene coped with the pandemic?
Yes, we’re all still in Chicago! I love it here, there’s really a lot of great local stuff and it’s beautiful to see groups grow and change over time. I would love to attend other local shows soon! Some sites have closed and reopened and some are still struggling and need help, so hopefully through donations and participation they can recover. But if you ever get the chance to visit, Chicago is a great place to listen to music.
Subscribe at Rolling Stone Review
Subscribe at Rolling Stone Review