While The Soft White Sixties recently joined the onslaught of Bay Area artists that have relocated to L.A., don’t expect them to use rising housing costs or the dying arts scene as reasons for their move. Instead, they describe their emigration as an inevitable transition made possible by extremely good timing. After meeting in San Francisco nearly five years ago, all four band members found themselves ready and able to move to a new city at the start of 2016.
“It happened so easily that I almost don’t acknowledge what an accomplishment it really is and how everyone’s live lined up so well,” says lead singer Octavio Genera. “Because we moved here together it doesn’t feel like a completely new place. It’s like moving somewhere with your family.”
[jump] Both Genera and guitarist Aaron Eisenberg describe the move in positive terms, as a way to for the band, which also includes bassist Ryan Noble and guitarist Joey Bustos, to branch out and explore a scene it was already involved in from playing in Southern California over the years.
“Every time we would come down here, we always wished we had an extra day,” says Eisenberg. “We just felt busier down here, so we just thought we should live here for a little while and see what happened.”
The quartet is currently in the throes of recording a follow-up to its 2014 debut full-length, Get Right. Working with producer Matt Linesch (of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), the group is engaging in a recording process Genera describes as more deliberate and ambitious than previous sessions. Instead of writing and recording an entire album in one swoop, they’re completing the record in batches of potential singles, seeing each batch from the writing stage to the mastering stage before moving on to write new material.
“We’re taking a kind of conservative approach to it,” says Genera. “We step back and reassess and then start working on new material.”
Genera describes this new material as “grittier” and closer to how the band wants to sound live, with more emphasis on the interchange of group vocals and backup harmonies. Whether the grit is meant to oppose or reflect the SoCal sunshine remains to be seen, but L.A.’s slightly cheerier weather has had a positive influence in at least a few other ways.
“At nine o’clock, my whole house is filled with sunlight, so I can’t really sleep in down here,” says Eisenberg. “San Francisco has perfect, cool, foggy, sleep-in weather, but down here at nine o’clock, even if we were out partying the night before, I feel like having a juice and going on a run. I don’t, but I do feel like it.”