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Pearl and the Beard
the real deal
by: Christina Morelli - February 16, 2010

One of the first things you'll notice about the Brooklyn-based band 'Pearl and the Beard,' comprised of Jeremy Styles, Emily Hope Price, and Jocelyn Mackenzie, is their innately warm, friendly attitudes and quirky sense of humor that instantly triggers a smile.' Don't be fooled by the simple, happy fa'ade, however, this folk trio creates music drenched with emotional depth and exquisite harmonies.' Fresh off of their first national tour and riding high on the success of a clever music video concept, the group is enjoying their time back in NYC promoting their first full-length album, 'God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson.' Powerful, haunting melodies, coupled with sweet, soft guitar picking and rhythmic percussion has established 'Pearl and the Beard' as one of the hottest acts to emerge from the Brooklyn indie scene, generating fans who love them the way they are, and the way they've always been.

The musical style of Will Smith is notably different from the genre associated with Pearl and the Beard.' What made you select his songs as the medley for your video and how did the creative process unfold?''

Jocelyn:' We had done a lot of album recording and were ready to write something new. We started playing around with melodies and I burst out with 'In West Philadelphia born and raised'' just for fun, and then someone else jumped in with 'Men in Black,' and it just kept building on itself.'

Jeremy: We ended up recording it for our video blog, started playing it at shows, and people really responded to it.' We'd been meeting with video directors for months for 'Oh Death!' and 'Voice in My Throat' and we just kept running into walls trying to come up with a concept.' So eventually, in talking with Cobras Collective, the Will Smith medley came up and they liked it.' The idea behind the video was very pre-meditated- we wanted something viral that would spread quickly.' It was shot beautifully' very natural and easy.'

How does 'God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson,' your first full-length album on Family Records, differ from your first two EP's?' Where have you experimented and changed, and most importantly, who is Amanda Richardson?

Emily:' The first EP was just Jocelyn and Jeremy, they literally handed it to me at a show in a brown paper bag.' It was recorded at Jocelyn's house and recorded on the internal mic with GarageBand on her Mac.

Jeremy:' Then the second EP was a live show recorded at South Paw. We've been really blessed with what people have given us over the years, especially with this recent album.' Jocelyn's roommate's friend worked for a recording studio and he offered to record us, for free, and it's a really proper recording.' We re-released a few songs [from the first two EP's] because we really loved them and wanted them to reach a wider audience.' Amanda Richardson was my roommate for two years, who had a pretty tragic life, and the album title simply came from Jocelyn's reaction to her story. That's the thing with this band- it we force it, it doesn't work.' If it's organic and natural and it just kinda jives, then we go with it.

Your band is becoming well known for your happy edge and musical deliverance as well as a lovely acoustic folk sound.' What aspects of life does your lyrical inspiration come from?

Jocelyn:' It's a very collaborative process for every song.

Emily:' We try to make it extremely equal. We each come with something, and we each have a role in our specific strengths, and we balance it out after that.'

Jeremy:' With all of the songs that we have, particularly the new ones, they're never too one-sided on the spectrum.' You may have a feeling of elation, but there's still that weird anger that brings you back to reality or some past hurt.' Or you are still feeling hurt but there's always that small silver lining to balance the rough and the soft.' Kind of like our band name, 'Pearl and the Beard.'

You've just completed your first successful national tour.' How did you find your music was received in the different cities?

Emily:' We would always be very hard on ourselves, rightly so at some points. Afterwards, the response wouldn't be nearly as bad as we thought it would be.' In general, when we would go with a sincere purpose we would be received sincerely.' That's what I love about playing with these two, is that it's always that way and I don't feel like I'm ever wasting energy.' In general it's always felt good, and if I feel that way the audience can feel that too they can feel loved and accepted. If the crowd's into it and everyone is just screaming' That's my favorite part.' It didn't occur to me the tour was so awesome until the very last day. Touring is one of the toughest things you can do as a band, and I feel like we became stronger, and we became better people, better musicians.

Pearl and the Beard is currently one of the most creative, quirky, exceptional trios in the New York music scene.' What do you think the key is to maintaining your unique identity and yet still appeal to a wide audience?

Jocelyn:' The person that you are is the best person you can be.' It doesn't matter what you want, or who you think you want to be.' Even the bad parts, the parts you're not proud of.' The songs that come out of you are the songs you should be making, and that's what I feel really confident about with this band.' There's never intent of a means to an end.' It's just this is us this is who we are.

Jeremy:' If you cut any three of us open that's what would come out.' Combined, that's what you see.' People want to be led, and if we were to follow someone else eventually we would be forgotten.' But if we stick it out and do our own thing, whether it's positive or negative or weird' people are going to latch onto that.' It's like writing a memoir- it's so personal but also something many people can relate to.



 
 

"It didn't occur to me the tour was so awesome until the very last day. Touring is one of the toughest things you can do as a band, and I feel like we became stronger, and we became better people, better musicians."


Pearl and the Beard
"God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richar"


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what it is

Music drenched with emotional depth and exquisite harmonies.