The Real Ding
GET TO KNOW: Waking April
With a broad array of offerings under their belt over the last few months, emerging electro-pop duo Waking April are back once again with their latest uplifting single 'Stuck On Silver Linings'.
Channelling the same smooth and euphoric aesthetic they are known for, 'Stuck On Silver Linings' makes for a wonderfully fresh and soaring return. Jam-packed with textured production, vibrant soundscapes, and some beautifully warm vocals layered throughout, these two are certainly set to take the world by storm in the near future.
So with the new single available now, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has inspired them most over the years.
What was the first instrument you learned to play?
Bethany: I have been singing for as long as I can remember, but I never took real voice lessons until college. Until then I would just copy what I heard other singers doing, and when I was younger that involved a lot of classical music and musical theater. One of my earliest memories is singing along to a cassette tape of Mozart’s magic flute in the back of my parent’s mini van. The first instrument I had lessons on was the piano probably around age 7, my brother and I both took lessons but I hated practicing (mostly because the piano was in our garage which was full of spiders). Eventually the piano was moved inside and I started really enjoying it.
Alex: Piano was my first/only instrument for a long time. I’m really grateful for the music theory background it gave me, I think it informed my ability to approach everything else I do in music without a lot of formal instruction.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Bethany: My very nerdy musical taste is definitely showing in these answers, but one of my first albums was “Voice of an Angel” by Charlotte Church. I just loved it and memorized all the songs. Listening to that album was the first time I realized how much I loved singing.
Alex: Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s Greatest Hits. It was a gift from my brother, and I wore that CD out.
Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?
Bethany: I didn’t, most of my performing experience as a kid was in piano recitals and playing and singing at my church. But I did sell merch for Alex’s high school band! I was terrible at it (I’m still not good at selling our merch now)
Alex: YES. I had a very angsty sad white-boy rock band in high school. I played bass and was the lead singer. I look back on those memories fondly, but damn. We were bad. And I took it SO seriously. We had some good moments but it was mostly just me processing girls rejecting me via song.
What is a song you wish you had written yourself?
Bethany: It’s probably cheating to name a Beatles song, but I love Something. The chromatic bass movement in that is just so pretty. I also love Kyoto by Phoebe Bridgers because of the lyrics, the way she conveys so much context and backstory and imagery without sounding flowery or like she’s trying too hard. It’s so good.
Alex: I’ve been asked this before and I never have a great answer. Maybe ‘The Day I Tried to Live’ by Soundgarden. I’ve always loved the asymmetry of the groove and the marriage of the lyrics and production of the song. I also admire Chris Cornell so much, he was a big reason I decided to pursue music professionally.
What has been the most thrilling moment about creating your own music?
Bethany: Nothing beats performing. When you’re singing your own lyrics, and you’ve written something that you know is true for yourself but you’re not sure if anyone else will relate, and then you get that crowd feedback and the energy in the room and it’s just so validating.
Alex: Can’t point to one moment, but there are moments when we’re playing live and the audience just gets it. They get into it, they’re dancing a bit, and it just feels good. The most amazing feeling is when someone is getting into music, and that music comes from your brain. It’s those moments that I live for.
And what about the most frustrating part?
Bethany: Oh there’s a lot that’s frustrating. I think the worst is dealing with tech bugs. We use a lot of tech in our live show, running drum tracks, soft synths, and hard synths which all have to sync up correctly for everything to sound right. We’ve had moments in rehearsal where stuff keeps glitching out and there’s this overwhelming feeling of “I just want to make music!” It’s ultimately worth it though because we’re able to create all these crazy sounds with just the two of us, and that’s really fun.
Alex: So I’ve typed out about 5 answers to this so far, I guess there’s more frustrating things than I care to admit. I would say the constant fear of not being good enough, or being good but unlucky. That elephant is so present it robs me of enjoying the job sometimes, even when I'm busy and ‘doing my job’ that fear is just there. That and wrapping cables.
Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?
Bethany: My absolute dream would be CHVRCHES. We obviously love their synthy sound design, and I’m also really inspired by Lauren Mayberry and the way she totally commands the stage. We’ve seen them live twice and I always leave feeling so much energy and just like “I want to do that!”
Alex: Phantogram. Opening for them has been a goal of mine for a while. Their record “Three” just happened to come out at the right moment in my life and it changed the way I understood music and what was possible with production. They’ve been probably the most influential modern band for me and to play on the same stage as them would be such an honor. Sarah Barthel has dogs and we have a dog and they could hang out.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Bethany: Hopefully doing this, just more. I’d love to be traveling, touring, and performing as much as possible. It really felt like the pandemic lockdowns knee-capped us just as we were hitting a stride musically, so I hope we can get back into a regular rhythm of writing and performing and just go.
Alex: Honestly, the same place I thought we’d be 5 years ago: signed to an indie label, touring and recording full time. “Making it” doesn’t have to mean a beach house in Malibu, or a grammy (although I would not say no to those things) I just want this to be what I do, and have enough people like it to sustain me.
Waking April's new single 'Stuck On Silver Linings' is available to stream now. Check it out below.