About the band:
Waking April is a Raleigh based electro-pop duo, formed by married couple Bethany and Alex McKee. They began writing music together in college, playing shows wherever they could find the opportunity. Despite national tours and several local headlining shows over the years, the duo only recently cemented their sound in 2019’s ‘Stretch’. In Alex’s eyes that song marked the “beginning of an evolution” in their sound. With this newfound focus and excitement about their music, the band formed ambitious plans to capitalize on the success of ‘Stretch.’ However COVID-19 threw a wrench in the equation, curbing any hope of touring. Undaunted, Bethany and Alex decided to make the best of the cards they and the world had been dealt and managed to write and release three new songs during the lock-down. As grounding as the lockdown was, Bethany admits that “it presented us with an opportunity to be introspective” and come out with some of their best music yet. As things become safe, the duo is starting to tour again, and will release four new songs in 2021.
About the sound:
Waking April has crafted its sound taking their indie roots and blending them with synthpop and electronic influences. In his humblest take, Alex describes the duo as, “A rock band with a bunch of synthesisers”. The band combines mostly electronic instrumentation with pop sensibilities supporting Bethany’s dynamic vocals and a particular focus on melodic hooks. They top it all off with sampled drum grooves and electric guitars, creating music that borrows from several genres and blends them into something cohesive.
BANDS WE SOUND LIKE:
“Most people draw comparisons with us and Phantogram, CHVRCHES, Sylvan Esso, or Broods, but we all we stand on the shoulders of synthesizer-giants” says Alex, “Classic bands like Depeche Mode, The Cars and Eurthymics, helped pave the way for electronic music and pop to weave together. And contemporary pop artists like Halsey, Lorde and X Ambassadors helped solidify it. There’s a little bit of them in our music too.”
Just like every other band subject to lockdown rules, Waking April effectively had to scrap all their plans for 2020, which was primarily built around a touring schedule. The band quickly pivoted in light of the circumstances by skipping the studio and recording themselves in their apartment in Raleigh. It was a prudent move which allowed them to keep developing their art, while finding ways to connect with new fans despite not performing publicly or being on the road. “We’re proud of what we were able to do” says Bethany, “We managed to put out music, connect with more fans and set the stage for when we can hit the road again.” They are not stopping there; Alex and Bethany express an appreciation for being able to emerge out of the uncertainty of 2020 with a verve for the promise of 2021. “We’re releasing new music this year and it’s the best stuff we’ve ever made. We keep challenging ourselves, we keep learning and we keep growing, we’re just so excited to get back on the road and do what we love!”
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