Finest Dearest
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Finest Dearest

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"Magnet magazine"

Finest Dearest’s fun and grungy, 11-song debut takes cues from the ‘90s riot grrls, minus their angst and flannel. Carly Schneider’s vocals don’t just float on top of her Bay Area band’s music; they blend with the other instruments to add a powerful twist. Surprises such as “Making A Sound 1” mix retro elements with too-cool-to-dance-to indie pop a la Pretty Girls Make Graves.” - Magnet magazine


"Magnet magazine"

Finest Dearest’s fun and grungy, 11-song debut takes cues from the ‘90s riot grrls, minus their angst and flannel. Carly Schneider’s vocals don’t just float on top of her Bay Area band’s music; they blend with the other instruments to add a powerful twist. Surprises such as “Making A Sound 1” mix retro elements with too-cool-to-dance-to indie pop a la Pretty Girls Make Graves.” - Magnet magazine


"Aquarius Records"

Onwards and upwards, Bay Area pop darlings Finest Dearest have returned with their second cd release, and it's filled with some terrific driving tunes! Indeed, since 2005's Pacemaker cdep and even last year's Off Sides 7", it sounds like they've gotten a whole lot darker and edgier, and the shadowier tones are evident right way with the cd packaging's deep hues and stylin' fontography. it's a definite marked contrast with the delicate homespun art of their previous releases, and yes, the music contained within follows suit. Led by Carly Schneider's sweetly biting vocals, the band definitely still recalls the early '90s indie pop dreams of Velocity Girl and Tsunami, but with more of the modern day sheen and wise-beyond-their years complexity of groups such as Tegan & Sara or Rilo Kiley. - Aquarius Records


"Aquarius Records"

Onwards and upwards, Bay Area pop darlings Finest Dearest have returned with their second cd release, and it's filled with some terrific driving tunes! Indeed, since 2005's Pacemaker cdep and even last year's Off Sides 7", it sounds like they've gotten a whole lot darker and edgier, and the shadowier tones are evident right way with the cd packaging's deep hues and stylin' fontography. it's a definite marked contrast with the delicate homespun art of their previous releases, and yes, the music contained within follows suit. Led by Carly Schneider's sweetly biting vocals, the band definitely still recalls the early '90s indie pop dreams of Velocity Girl and Tsunami, but with more of the modern day sheen and wise-beyond-their years complexity of groups such as Tegan & Sara or Rilo Kiley. - Aquarius Records


"The Deli Magazine"

The album from the guys and gals in Finest Dearest is a clear level up from the vast majority of indie records that are circulating the SF/East Bay scene right now. The record sports strings, tight compositions, and extremely high production value while avoiding both the "art/baroque rock" and "boo hoo hoo for me-emo" pitfalls that have begun to clutter the indie rock landscape.
Influences and soundscapes on Finest Dearest range from Kid A-era Radiohead, particularly in the drumming, to alt-pioneers like U2. Carly's melancholy yet feminine voice carries most of the tunes from top to bottom, with a tone and delivery reminiscent of The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan (and I mean that in a good way). Special praise goes to bassist A.J. for his twistingly melodic basslines that run in perfect counterpoint to Carly's vocal and an almost antique bass tone (ala Yes' Chris Squire), which adds a degree of musicality to the songs that most bass players leave on the table. Choice cuts include "Your Hometown," "Tunnel Vision," and the three-song epic "Making A Sound" (Parts 1, 2, and 3).

by Phil Matarese
- The Deli Magazine


"San Francisco Bay Guardian"

What happened to women in indie rock? The rocking influence of PJ Harvey and Sleater-Kinney seems to have all but vanished in the hands of indie-pop darlings like Au Revoir Simone or Camera Obscura. These and many other successful female-fronted indie bands in recent years follow the same formula of cute, poppy songs. A Belle and Sebastian influence permeates, while the Pixies inspiration is played down. Indie was once edgy, but now it's mostly serene.
But San Francisco has a hold-out: Finest Dearest has essentially ignored the current indie scene. Their new self-titled album on Bloodtown Records could easily fit among discs by the powerful women of '90s indie rock.
Formed in 2004, the band has never been afraid of the drums-guitar-bass formula, and for the most part, their music is nicely streamlined. The group initially included an electric cello player, but on their new full-length, the instrument is used sparingly on a only few tracks.
Carly Schneider carries every song with her steady, swooning voice, which is mixed well above everything else to create a dream-like effect. In the process Finest Dearest manage to avoid clobbering the listener over the head with punchy beats and jagged guitars, though the band's live performance does feel like a swift knock to the head. The blaring amps and drums are a welcome reminder of how much impact indie rock can have.

By Alex Felsinger - San Francisco Bay Guardian


"The Deli Magazine"

The album from the guys and gals in Finest Dearest is a clear level up from the vast majority of indie records that are circulating the SF/East Bay scene right now. The record sports strings, tight compositions, and extremely high production value while avoiding both the "art/baroque rock" and "boo hoo hoo for me-emo" pitfalls that have begun to clutter the indie rock landscape.
Influences and soundscapes on Finest Dearest range from Kid A-era Radiohead, particularly in the drumming, to alt-pioneers like U2. Carly's melancholy yet feminine voice carries most of the tunes from top to bottom, with a tone and delivery reminiscent of The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan (and I mean that in a good way). Special praise goes to bassist A.J. for his twistingly melodic basslines that run in perfect counterpoint to Carly's vocal and an almost antique bass tone (ala Yes' Chris Squire), which adds a degree of musicality to the songs that most bass players leave on the table. Choice cuts include "Your Hometown," "Tunnel Vision," and the three-song epic "Making A Sound" (Parts 1, 2, and 3).

by Phil Matarese
- The Deli Magazine


"San Francisco Weekly"

Your opinion of Finest Dearest may very well rest on how much you like ’90s indie rock. An unabashed throwback to the lo-fi glory days of K Records and Kill Rock Stars, the San Francisco five-piece delivers a moody crunch amid various modes of catharsis. Carly Schneider’s bittersweet vocals bring out the bygone era even more, alternately recalling Sleater-Kinney and Tiger Trap. That’s not to say Finest Dearest isn’t satisfying in its own right; the group gets plenty of variety from its storminess.
Finest Dearest opens with the pleasantly dreamy “Naming Ceremony,” full of atmospheric spaces and foreboding build-ups. “I don’t want to fight about it anymore,” Schneider cedes as Christine Bolghand and Josh Luke’s guitars battle and drummer Steve Treffers and bassist A.J. Dickerson kick up a decent undertow. “Your Hometown” is lighter and more engaging, bringing out the lilt in Schneider’s voice and adding the soft punch of horns. The album’s centerpiece is the three-part “Making a Sound,” a 12-minute odyssey that lets the band stretch out and try some more post-punk machinations. The fever finally breaks with “Fathers,” which features viola and cello for Finest Dearest’s sweetest moment yet.

by Doug Wallen
- San Francisco Weekly


"San Francisco Weekly"

Your opinion of Finest Dearest may very well rest on how much you like ’90s indie rock. An unabashed throwback to the lo-fi glory days of K Records and Kill Rock Stars, the San Francisco five-piece delivers a moody crunch amid various modes of catharsis. Carly Schneider’s bittersweet vocals bring out the bygone era even more, alternately recalling Sleater-Kinney and Tiger Trap. That’s not to say Finest Dearest isn’t satisfying in its own right; the group gets plenty of variety from its storminess.
Finest Dearest opens with the pleasantly dreamy “Naming Ceremony,” full of atmospheric spaces and foreboding build-ups. “I don’t want to fight about it anymore,” Schneider cedes as Christine Bolghand and Josh Luke’s guitars battle and drummer Steve Treffers and bassist A.J. Dickerson kick up a decent undertow. “Your Hometown” is lighter and more engaging, bringing out the lilt in Schneider’s voice and adding the soft punch of horns. The album’s centerpiece is the three-part “Making a Sound,” a 12-minute odyssey that lets the band stretch out and try some more post-punk machinations. The fever finally breaks with “Fathers,” which features viola and cello for Finest Dearest’s sweetest moment yet.

by Doug Wallen
- San Francisco Weekly


"The Bay Bridged"

Local indie pop gurus Finest Dearest will be celebrating the release of their new self-titled CD this Saturday.
The new album features many of the much-loved classic Finest Dearest elements like stepping-stone melodies and powerful guitars, but with a few more “mature” (if you will) elements. The songs experiment with changing tempos, atmospheric backup vocals and more complex rhythms. For newcomers, the general sound is reminiscent of all your favorite 90s indie pop bands. The record release...is sure to bring out Finest Dearest’s excellent live energy and charisma.

by Emily Logan
- The Bay Bridged


"The Bay Bridged"

Local indie pop gurus Finest Dearest will be celebrating the release of their new self-titled CD this Saturday.
The new album features many of the much-loved classic Finest Dearest elements like stepping-stone melodies and powerful guitars, but with a few more “mature” (if you will) elements. The songs experiment with changing tempos, atmospheric backup vocals and more complex rhythms. For newcomers, the general sound is reminiscent of all your favorite 90s indie pop bands. The record release...is sure to bring out Finest Dearest’s excellent live energy and charisma.

by Emily Logan
- The Bay Bridged


"Pop Wreck(oning)"

The San Francisco indie rock quintet Finest Dearest began from humble beginnings in early summer 2004. After several line-up changes and features on WOXY's Lounge Act, NPR's Open Mic and in local San Fran periodicals, Finest Dearest is happy to present their newest, self-titled, full-length album. These five play with conviction rather than irony and have upped their rock quotient while maintaining the melodic sound that has come to define Finest Dearest.

Vocalist Carly Schneider has a unique voice that at times reminds me of Maura Davis (Denali, Ambulette), though not as deep, Rachel Minton (Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer), though not as warbly, Tegan & Sara, though less nasally, Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), though less country, and just about every female-fronted 90s rock band. In opening track "Naming Ceremony," Schneider's voice borders on smoky, but is more sexy breathy, atop dynamic and melodic guitar riffs provided by Josh Luke and Christine Bolghand.

Drummer Steve Treffers begins the next track with loud drums that compete with driving riffs, which become lazy in "Your Hometown" before amping up their energy to create a lively tempo. Much of Finest Dearest features pounding drums and driving riffs, which oft times venture into eerily ambient territory. "Making a Sound 3" draws largely on a soft yet heavy ambiance before the disco mellows out with sugary vocals and a mellow rhythm section and bass line from AJ Dickerson on "Fathers."

My favorite track off the album is "Tunnel Vision" due to its doo woppy and blusey tone with a well constructed bridge and great beats. "Pendulum," too, sways with a soft and sweet melody, as the title suggests. The album ends on a hauntingly ambient note in "March to Flames." Treffers kills the drum kit with a repetitive and pounding beat structure featuring lots of bass drum and cymbal crashes. Luke and Bolghand intersperse light, twinkling riffs with heavy and eerie ones, causing a strange dynamic as the album plays out.

If you were smart enough to be listening to Veruca Salt, Hole and Bikini Kill in the 90s instead of Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls (um...guilty of the latter!), you should definitely pick up a copy of Finest Dearest's Finest Dearest, available now.

by Holly Beal - Pop Wreck(oning)


"Pop Wreck(oning)"

The San Francisco indie rock quintet Finest Dearest began from humble beginnings in early summer 2004. After several line-up changes and features on WOXY's Lounge Act, NPR's Open Mic and in local San Fran periodicals, Finest Dearest is happy to present their newest, self-titled, full-length album. These five play with conviction rather than irony and have upped their rock quotient while maintaining the melodic sound that has come to define Finest Dearest.

Vocalist Carly Schneider has a unique voice that at times reminds me of Maura Davis (Denali, Ambulette), though not as deep, Rachel Minton (Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer), though not as warbly, Tegan & Sara, though less nasally, Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley), though less country, and just about every female-fronted 90s rock band. In opening track "Naming Ceremony," Schneider's voice borders on smoky, but is more sexy breathy, atop dynamic and melodic guitar riffs provided by Josh Luke and Christine Bolghand.

Drummer Steve Treffers begins the next track with loud drums that compete with driving riffs, which become lazy in "Your Hometown" before amping up their energy to create a lively tempo. Much of Finest Dearest features pounding drums and driving riffs, which oft times venture into eerily ambient territory. "Making a Sound 3" draws largely on a soft yet heavy ambiance before the disco mellows out with sugary vocals and a mellow rhythm section and bass line from AJ Dickerson on "Fathers."

My favorite track off the album is "Tunnel Vision" due to its doo woppy and blusey tone with a well constructed bridge and great beats. "Pendulum," too, sways with a soft and sweet melody, as the title suggests. The album ends on a hauntingly ambient note in "March to Flames." Treffers kills the drum kit with a repetitive and pounding beat structure featuring lots of bass drum and cymbal crashes. Luke and Bolghand intersperse light, twinkling riffs with heavy and eerie ones, causing a strange dynamic as the album plays out.

If you were smart enough to be listening to Veruca Salt, Hole and Bikini Kill in the 90s instead of Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls (um...guilty of the latter!), you should definitely pick up a copy of Finest Dearest's Finest Dearest, available now.

by Holly Beal - Pop Wreck(oning)


"Deli SF Interview"

Carly from Finest Dearest answered some questions for us about the album the band just finished recording (sneak peek!). Check out Finest Dearest this Thursday at Cafe du Nord with The New Up and The Dont's. 8:30, $8
The Deli SF: I read on your website that you all just came fresh out of the studio. Can you reveal any details about the new album so we can get even more excited?

Finest Dearest: Sure! Well, anyone who knows us well knows that this album has been a long time coming. We have been working on it for the last two years or so and we are very excited about it. The album will be a full length, 10 1/2 songs and will be self titled. After a lot of hemming and hawing we settled on self titling the album because it just made the most sense. These songs have been such a big part of our lives in the past years and they represent a lot of things we have been through. They are US in the purest sense.

TDSF: How long were you all in the studio?

FD: Nine loooong days and we are probably going to have to go back and do a couple more. You never have a clear sense of how long things are going to take until you are actually in the studio and doing it. But it is all worth it in the end, there is no reason to rush it when you have put so much time and effort in already!

TDSF: Do you all have day jobs? How do you balance time with the band and your other commitments?

FD: Yep we all have day jobs, it's pretty impossible not to in this city. It's tough sometimes, but somehow we all manage to make it work. Sometimes at practice we are all just so wiped out from our day at work and we are dragging our feet, but we also feel an enormous sense of relief in getting to do something that we truly love at the end of the day. I think we all agree that we don't like the idea of a life without the band. It keeps us from going crazy.

TDSF: Did you have any goals or aspirations for how similar/different you wanted this new album to be than your previous material?

FD: Yeah, in some ways. Mostly I think we just wanted to spend a lot of time thinking about each song, its meaning and mood, and create a sound that serves each song in the right way. I think this album is more emotional in a lot of ways. When I recorded the vocals, I really tried to focus on the feeling and not hold back. I just wanted to belt it out. I think that everyone gave a lot of enthusiasm to these songs. We wanted them to sound big, to have presence.

TDSF: Do you have a release date for the album yet? What will you do until then?

FD: We don't have a set release date but at this rate we think that the album will most likely come out some time in February. We still have a little work to do and mixing, mastering, packaging all of that takes time. Until then, we have a couple of shows to play: This Thursday at Cafe duNord with The New Up and The Dont's, and November 11th at The Hemlock with a band called Fast Computers. Other than that we will just be preparing for the album to come out and laying lowish to get our strength back (Being in the studio is amazing, but mentally draining!)

TDSF: Finally, will you share with us one of your favorite moments as a band?

FD: Ah, yikes, we need some new stories to tell. We always talk about the same stuff. We traveled to the south last spring to play a show at SXSW. On one leg of the tour, we had to get from Phoenix to Houston in 24 hours but it was a 19 hour drive. We drove all night and all day and when we finally arrived at the little bar in swampy Houston there were about 30 hippies and locals hanging out. By the time we were able to play ( at 1am) that had been reduced to about 5 hippies, one of them being the owner, Bob, who is pretty much the coolest guy ever, and one awesome fan that was letting us sleep at her house. So we played really hard to those 5 or 6 people and then went to Shelby's house to get about 4 hours of sleep before heading to Austin. Those are the kind of experiences that you will always remember as a band. When you are broken down, and tired, and playing to people who probably don't even give a crap about you but you still feel satisfied because you are with your best friends doing what you love.

Thanks to Carly!

~E
Published on Mon, 24 Sep 2007
- Deli SF Interview


"Deli SF Interview"

Carly from Finest Dearest answered some questions for us about the album the band just finished recording (sneak peek!). Check out Finest Dearest this Thursday at Cafe du Nord with The New Up and The Dont's. 8:30, $8
The Deli SF: I read on your website that you all just came fresh out of the studio. Can you reveal any details about the new album so we can get even more excited?

Finest Dearest: Sure! Well, anyone who knows us well knows that this album has been a long time coming. We have been working on it for the last two years or so and we are very excited about it. The album will be a full length, 10 1/2 songs and will be self titled. After a lot of hemming and hawing we settled on self titling the album because it just made the most sense. These songs have been such a big part of our lives in the past years and they represent a lot of things we have been through. They are US in the purest sense.

TDSF: How long were you all in the studio?

FD: Nine loooong days and we are probably going to have to go back and do a couple more. You never have a clear sense of how long things are going to take until you are actually in the studio and doing it. But it is all worth it in the end, there is no reason to rush it when you have put so much time and effort in already!

TDSF: Do you all have day jobs? How do you balance time with the band and your other commitments?

FD: Yep we all have day jobs, it's pretty impossible not to in this city. It's tough sometimes, but somehow we all manage to make it work. Sometimes at practice we are all just so wiped out from our day at work and we are dragging our feet, but we also feel an enormous sense of relief in getting to do something that we truly love at the end of the day. I think we all agree that we don't like the idea of a life without the band. It keeps us from going crazy.

TDSF: Did you have any goals or aspirations for how similar/different you wanted this new album to be than your previous material?

FD: Yeah, in some ways. Mostly I think we just wanted to spend a lot of time thinking about each song, its meaning and mood, and create a sound that serves each song in the right way. I think this album is more emotional in a lot of ways. When I recorded the vocals, I really tried to focus on the feeling and not hold back. I just wanted to belt it out. I think that everyone gave a lot of enthusiasm to these songs. We wanted them to sound big, to have presence.

TDSF: Do you have a release date for the album yet? What will you do until then?

FD: We don't have a set release date but at this rate we think that the album will most likely come out some time in February. We still have a little work to do and mixing, mastering, packaging all of that takes time. Until then, we have a couple of shows to play: This Thursday at Cafe duNord with The New Up and The Dont's, and November 11th at The Hemlock with a band called Fast Computers. Other than that we will just be preparing for the album to come out and laying lowish to get our strength back (Being in the studio is amazing, but mentally draining!)

TDSF: Finally, will you share with us one of your favorite moments as a band?

FD: Ah, yikes, we need some new stories to tell. We always talk about the same stuff. We traveled to the south last spring to play a show at SXSW. On one leg of the tour, we had to get from Phoenix to Houston in 24 hours but it was a 19 hour drive. We drove all night and all day and when we finally arrived at the little bar in swampy Houston there were about 30 hippies and locals hanging out. By the time we were able to play ( at 1am) that had been reduced to about 5 hippies, one of them being the owner, Bob, who is pretty much the coolest guy ever, and one awesome fan that was letting us sleep at her house. So we played really hard to those 5 or 6 people and then went to Shelby's house to get about 4 hours of sleep before heading to Austin. Those are the kind of experiences that you will always remember as a band. When you are broken down, and tired, and playing to people who probably don't even give a crap about you but you still feel satisfied because you are with your best friends doing what you love.

Thanks to Carly!

~E
Published on Mon, 24 Sep 2007
- Deli SF Interview


"SF Daily Interview"

The Scene - SF Daily Interview

1. How did the band originally get together, and how long have you all known each other?

Christine: Finest Dearest started about three years ago. I didn’t know any one in the band until we had our first meeting. In the beginning, it was me and Carly, plus Cheryl and Mica who have both since left the band (they played keyboard and cello, respectively). But Josh and Steve joined really soon after and eventually AJ was brought in to play bass. The current line-up of Finest Dearest is really only a year and a half old!

2. What is your relationship with the Bay Area music scene? What do you like about it? Is there anything you don't like?

Christine: For the most part, we really love the Bay Area music scene—we live in a really exciting city full of amazing bands. Plus there are people just making things happen left and right. Over the last few years, we’ve watched our scene grow so much, and we’re really proud to be a part of it. The only thing that is frustrating is the lack of informal, DIY venues and places where people can just hang out and know there’s going to be something good happening. It would be ideal to have more accessible community spaces available not only so that younger kids could come out to shows, but also be involved in putting them on.

3. What kind of experience do you hope people have at your live shows?

Christine: Ideally, I hope that people have a really good time just enjoying the songs and getting to hear them played LOUD. I also want people to feel like they can participate at our shows either by singing along, heckling us, talking to us after—whatever. Playing music in front of people can be a very emotional experience and it’s really rewarding when you feel like the audience is right there with you.

4. What can you tell me about your creative process as songwriters?

Christine/Carly: We sometimes wonder if we’re too hard on ourselves, wanting songs to be perfect as far as their structure and things go. We try really hard not to repeat ourselves too much and keep things interesting, while staying true to our sound and our ideas about music. We have a highly collaborative process. There isn’t any one person that writes all of the songs and then brings them to practice. We all use each other’s ideas as springboards for a greater concept or arrangement. I think that is why it takes such along time for some of our songs to come into fruition. We all have to be mostly happy with it. That’s tough with 5 people.

5. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before? (Also, is there anyone you hate/are tired of being compared to?)

Christine: We often describe ourselves as “dark indie” since our songs usually have a darker sound and theme to them, but we definitely have our pop moments. I guess we’re kind of moody like that. We often get compared to Pretty Girls Make Graves, Sleater-Kinney and a lot of bands from the 90s, which is cool since that was such an amazing decade for indie music.

6. To me, your sound has a wonderful crispness to the pop melodies, but it is also full of lush compositions. What it is about those moods that you are drawn to? Why do you think those moods are so complimentary?

Carly: That’s a tough one. As cheesy as it may sound, I think the moods that come out in our music are pretty reflective of our own moods. How could it not be? It isn’t very often that we set out to write a song with a particular mood in mind. We are all going through the growing pains of our mid 20s. Trying to find our place in the world, realizing we’re not little kids anymore but reconciling that with our desires to be independent and youthful. That mood is definitely tense but also playful. We like to poke fun at ourselves.

7. Are you currently recording? If so, where are you in the process?

Christine: We are currently putting the finishing touches on our first full-length album! It’s been a long process starting waaaay back with writing the songs in the first place, so it seems almost unreal at this point to be getting so close to the end. Another mixing session or so, some mastering, and finishing the artwork and we’re off to the presses!

8. Why did you choose the name 'Finest Dearest'?

Carly: The name is Josh’s creation. I think he got the idea from the name of a friend’s art show that was called finest/purest or something like that. We had been trying to come up with a name for awhile (it’s tough!) and we liked that the name reflected how we felt about music. It is our finest, dearest endeavor, cause, and catalyst. On the other hand, I think people worry so much about band names when they are starting out, and while it is important, there are plenty of bands with pretty awful or puzzling names that make amazing music and they become way more than their name. Hello, Broken Social Scene? Sonic Youth? I’ve come to accept the names because of my love for the bands, it’s a natural - SF Daily Interview


"SF Daily Interview"

The Scene - SF Daily Interview

1. How did the band originally get together, and how long have you all known each other?

Christine: Finest Dearest started about three years ago. I didn’t know any one in the band until we had our first meeting. In the beginning, it was me and Carly, plus Cheryl and Mica who have both since left the band (they played keyboard and cello, respectively). But Josh and Steve joined really soon after and eventually AJ was brought in to play bass. The current line-up of Finest Dearest is really only a year and a half old!

2. What is your relationship with the Bay Area music scene? What do you like about it? Is there anything you don't like?

Christine: For the most part, we really love the Bay Area music scene—we live in a really exciting city full of amazing bands. Plus there are people just making things happen left and right. Over the last few years, we’ve watched our scene grow so much, and we’re really proud to be a part of it. The only thing that is frustrating is the lack of informal, DIY venues and places where people can just hang out and know there’s going to be something good happening. It would be ideal to have more accessible community spaces available not only so that younger kids could come out to shows, but also be involved in putting them on.

3. What kind of experience do you hope people have at your live shows?

Christine: Ideally, I hope that people have a really good time just enjoying the songs and getting to hear them played LOUD. I also want people to feel like they can participate at our shows either by singing along, heckling us, talking to us after—whatever. Playing music in front of people can be a very emotional experience and it’s really rewarding when you feel like the audience is right there with you.

4. What can you tell me about your creative process as songwriters?

Christine/Carly: We sometimes wonder if we’re too hard on ourselves, wanting songs to be perfect as far as their structure and things go. We try really hard not to repeat ourselves too much and keep things interesting, while staying true to our sound and our ideas about music. We have a highly collaborative process. There isn’t any one person that writes all of the songs and then brings them to practice. We all use each other’s ideas as springboards for a greater concept or arrangement. I think that is why it takes such along time for some of our songs to come into fruition. We all have to be mostly happy with it. That’s tough with 5 people.

5. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before? (Also, is there anyone you hate/are tired of being compared to?)

Christine: We often describe ourselves as “dark indie” since our songs usually have a darker sound and theme to them, but we definitely have our pop moments. I guess we’re kind of moody like that. We often get compared to Pretty Girls Make Graves, Sleater-Kinney and a lot of bands from the 90s, which is cool since that was such an amazing decade for indie music.

6. To me, your sound has a wonderful crispness to the pop melodies, but it is also full of lush compositions. What it is about those moods that you are drawn to? Why do you think those moods are so complimentary?

Carly: That’s a tough one. As cheesy as it may sound, I think the moods that come out in our music are pretty reflective of our own moods. How could it not be? It isn’t very often that we set out to write a song with a particular mood in mind. We are all going through the growing pains of our mid 20s. Trying to find our place in the world, realizing we’re not little kids anymore but reconciling that with our desires to be independent and youthful. That mood is definitely tense but also playful. We like to poke fun at ourselves.

7. Are you currently recording? If so, where are you in the process?

Christine: We are currently putting the finishing touches on our first full-length album! It’s been a long process starting waaaay back with writing the songs in the first place, so it seems almost unreal at this point to be getting so close to the end. Another mixing session or so, some mastering, and finishing the artwork and we’re off to the presses!

8. Why did you choose the name 'Finest Dearest'?

Carly: The name is Josh’s creation. I think he got the idea from the name of a friend’s art show that was called finest/purest or something like that. We had been trying to come up with a name for awhile (it’s tough!) and we liked that the name reflected how we felt about music. It is our finest, dearest endeavor, cause, and catalyst. On the other hand, I think people worry so much about band names when they are starting out, and while it is important, there are plenty of bands with pretty awful or puzzling names that make amazing music and they become way more than their name. Hello, Broken Social Scene? Sonic Youth? I’ve come to accept the names because of my love for the bands, it’s a natural - SF Daily Interview


"The Tripwire"

I first came across San Francisco-based Finest Dearest in 2005 when a music blog shared a few songs from their Pacemaker EP, and I was immediately charmed. The songs, "Sleep Until The Weekend" and "Idaho," have sarcastic and skeptical lyrics coming out of a sweet and swooning voice. The band, I noticed, has an indie-pop snarl that's hard to pull off and rare to find. I've had the band on my radar and anxiously awaited the release of their full-length album since first being exposed to their music. Over two years later, my wait is over. The band has its self-titled album coming out on Bloodtown Records and (thankfully) it has the same caustic charm as the EP.

There's something about Finest Dearest's music that reminds me of everything good about '90s music. Perhaps it's because the band was growing up in the '90s and they managed to take what was good about music during this decade and incorporate it into their songs. Two guitars, bass, drums, and the occasional use of strings or hand claps are used on the album, but all of the songs are lyrically driven by Carly Schneider's swooning voice. The band proclaims they are a "dark indie-pop band," and this is an apt description. The music is happy but the song content is dark. "Making A Sound 1" (the first song in a seamless trilogy) is about a person looking for something that makes them feel alive and has tell-off lyrics: "This is all you get / A good work ethic / And nine whole hours," "If you want to know why you're all alone / I can give you one good reason / Could it be that you don't know how to do / Anything on your own." The majority of Finest Dearest's songs are about calling people out on their bullshit. Instead of coming across as that tired "angry, young, female" stereotype our society overuses, Carly manages to come across as a cool, jaded, scenester with an incredible voice. - The Tripwire


"The Tripwire"

I first came across San Francisco-based Finest Dearest in 2005 when a music blog shared a few songs from their Pacemaker EP, and I was immediately charmed. The songs, "Sleep Until The Weekend" and "Idaho," have sarcastic and skeptical lyrics coming out of a sweet and swooning voice. The band, I noticed, has an indie-pop snarl that's hard to pull off and rare to find. I've had the band on my radar and anxiously awaited the release of their full-length album since first being exposed to their music. Over two years later, my wait is over. The band has its self-titled album coming out on Bloodtown Records and (thankfully) it has the same caustic charm as the EP.

There's something about Finest Dearest's music that reminds me of everything good about '90s music. Perhaps it's because the band was growing up in the '90s and they managed to take what was good about music during this decade and incorporate it into their songs. Two guitars, bass, drums, and the occasional use of strings or hand claps are used on the album, but all of the songs are lyrically driven by Carly Schneider's swooning voice. The band proclaims they are a "dark indie-pop band," and this is an apt description. The music is happy but the song content is dark. "Making A Sound 1" (the first song in a seamless trilogy) is about a person looking for something that makes them feel alive and has tell-off lyrics: "This is all you get / A good work ethic / And nine whole hours," "If you want to know why you're all alone / I can give you one good reason / Could it be that you don't know how to do / Anything on your own." The majority of Finest Dearest's songs are about calling people out on their bullshit. Instead of coming across as that tired "angry, young, female" stereotype our society overuses, Carly manages to come across as a cool, jaded, scenester with an incredible voice. - The Tripwire


Discography

2008 – Finest Dearest s/t
1. Naming Ceremony
2. Night-Blooming Flowers
3. Your Hometown
4. Making a Sound 1
5. Making a Sound 2
6. Making a Sound 3
7. Fathers
8. Tunnel Vision
9. Serious
10. Pendulum
11. March into Flames

Late 2008 (forthcoming) – Wedding EP split with Empty Rooms
1. Everybody’s Ships Are Sinking (Finest Dearest)
2. Gates of Steel (Finest Dearest)
3. A Minor (Empty Rooms)
4. 14 (Empty Rooms)

2006 – Off Sides 7"
A. Making a Sound 1
B. March Into Flames

2005 – Pacemaker EP
1. Idaho
2. Sleep Until the Weekend
3. Slow Going
4. Pacemaker

Finest Dearest have been favorites of the WOXY radio station in Cincinnati since 2005, and have seen national airplay including on XM Satellite Radio, KUSF, KALX, KXLU, and Pirate Cat radio. Finest Dearest shows and releases are regularly written up locally in the Guardian, the SF Weekly, the SF Chronicle, and on local blogs like the Bay Bridged. The band has also seen national and international press, including a recent write-up in in Magnet Magazine.

Finest Dearest releases are distributed digitally through IODA, with physical distribution through Revolver and Ebullition.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

In early summer of 2004, “Bay Area pop darlings” Finest Dearest began practicing in a basement bedroom, hashing out concepts and ideas. Through a series of musical chairs in the lineup, the band cultivated a sound often described as dark and edgy indie rock circa the early 90s, which is showcased on their 2008 self-titled full length album. The band plays frequently in and around San Francisco, and has toured the West Coast several times. They also completed a successful US tour in April 2008, which included in-studio spots at XM Satellite Radio in DC and WOXY in Cincinnati, among others.

Today Finest Dearest is a like a rowdy family band, rolling around in their van, constantly giving each other crap. The band very much enjoys making lists, with a list of nicknames for Carly currently numbering in the (Charlie, Chuck, Carlsberg, Iceberg Slim, the Doctor, Old Number Seven, Carlsburger Deluxe). Recently AJ and Christine have taken to compiling a list of Steve’s likes and dislikes for a forthcoming zine, including likes such as: John Bonham, Cheladas, faux sleaze, and topsiders; and dislikes such as: Sunday drivers, eating fruit, tardiness, overdubs, and people that wear their hospital scrubs around the neighborhood. The band somehow manages to meet and continue making music between games of ultimate glow-in-the-dark frisbee.