We constantly feature new & notable indie artists that drive innovation in all aspects of songwriting, production & performance. Meet our latest featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: The Big Drops.
The Big Drops are a New Jersey-based four piece band led by songwriter Greg Kherlopian. They create a sonic wilderness inspired by creative pop music of the late 1960’s & contemporary musicians with subtle electronic tendencies. Bloom (May 2016) is the group’s first official release. Their debut full length album, Time, Color is due out in Spring 2017. Greg and his brother Vram formed the Big Drops in 2011 while living together in a log cabin in Hewitt NJ. After multiple line-up changes, the band became a solid unit with the arrivals of Caleb Estey (drums) and Steve Donahue (bass) in 2015.
Comments from the Curator’s
Review by Josh S. Pineda, Curating-Editor
New Jersey’s The Big Drops are a fantastic band creating soothing indie-rock with a cerebral twist. Evoking mid-century vibes but with modern exploratory production, the folky psychedelic sounds they are pumping out with their Bloom EP and singles off their upcoming debut full-length Time, Color, are reminiscent of early Grizzly Bear, Temples and Death Cab for Cutie. The two songs that currently stand out are some of the more euphorically-dazed tracks: “If The World” and “By The Water.” In “If The World,” the texture is more analog, with low smooth guitar lines supporting the listener in a joyous, comforting daydream. “By The Water” is more modern indie-release with more frenetic twinge in its excited yet warm pace. The electric-guitar lines sound like wind-chimes here, making one feel as they’re having a eureka moment in the desert wilderness. The breakdown is everything you want in a calming psych-dream. Overall the vocals are quite engaging in their softness, inviting the listener into fascinating sonic stories. We’re definitely excited for what The Big Drops have in store on their debut album.
What are your top 3 favorite albums that inspired you to get into music?
Sgt. Pepper’s is probably our all-time favorite. Radiohead’s King of Limbs was extremely inspiring for us when it came out. We were already playing music; but that album inspired us to incorporate more electronic elements into our songs. Broadcast’s album Haha Sound is forever inspiring to us. Some of our favorite songs, melodies, and arrangements are on that record.
What are your fondest musical memories?
As an artist, it would probably be anytime we perform in Savannah, GA. Perhaps it’s the good natured folks + the beautiful weather, but we always have an exceedingly pleasant time playing music for people there. As a listener, it would have to be enjoying really cool undiscovered live music.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
We’re typically inspired by music 40+ years old. Recently, we’ve been enjoying Blind Boy Fuller (an acoustic rag time guitarist from the 1930’s), Velvet Underground is always one of our go to bands.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process? Is there a particular message or theme central to your creative works?
Most of the songs are written by frontman, Greg Kherlopian. He typically writes the idea by himself, presents it to the band, and we arrange the parts together. The general message of our work is WE ALL NEED TO GET ALONG, and LIFE CAN BE HARD/ WEIRD SO LET’S HELP EACH OTHER OUT PLEASE.
We’re a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe your city’s music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?
The two founding members of the Big Drops lived in Hewitt, NJ in a log cabin for three years. I think this experience gave our songwriting a nature themed lyrics and melodic feelings.How would you describe your visual aesthetic, in terms of album artwork, music videos, and artistry? How does the music you create contribute to your visuals? Does this extend to your live show experience?
Our visual aesthetic is welcoming, nature driven, slightly psychedelic, and whimsical. Our live show experience is a bit goofy. We’ll wear flowery shirts + skirts, and blow as many kisses as possible from the stage!
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
I think online sharing of information / art is a good thing. You can reach your target audience way easier / more cost effectively than 10 years ago. If you’re able to manage your social accounts (without getting overwhelmed) and get your audience engaged, you have an incredibly powerful marketing platform to reach directly to your fans. It’s pretty fantastic!
What is your dream collaboration and why?
Getting to work with St. Vincent or Johnny Greenwood would be wayyy too cool. I feel like those two artist are super cool guitarists and have amazing melodic ideas. I think it’d be amazingly fun to lay down a song together with those two.
Which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
Currently really digging all of Velvet Underground & Nico. Our favorite local acts are Steady Sun, Francie Moon, Sharkmuffin, Fruit & Flowers. Definitely check them all out if you can!
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
We are currently finishing up our debut album, Time, Color to be released in June! We’ve a few Big Drops tours in the works as well.