Rainy Day Crush

Rainy Day Crush

 Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
BandPopRock

Too catchy to be indie; too honest to be pop.

Band Press

REFRESHINGLY HONEST AND WILDLY INFECTIOUS INDIE SENSATION – Screaming Match Productions

Rainy Day Crush has been making waves in the indie music scene for their incredibly unique and alluring brand of music. It is an unfortunate reality in the current world of music where It seems as though fearless, ambitious artists are becoming more and more rare and undiscovered. This is mostly due to an unapologetic desire by most new-coming artists to shamelessly reach into existing successful markets, void of any integrity, and follow an incredibly safe musical formula of commercially appealing and catchy tunes. Powerful messaging and honest content in music has been sadly lost due to this trend; it is growing more and more apparent that the main driving force behind many new “artists” entering the industry is simply a thirst for fame and money.

This brilliant band acts as a marvelous innovator in the indie-world, and they effectively channel their deep, emotive, and resonating vision through an impressive display of creative songwriting and inventive musical arrangements. With their fun, relatable, and highly inventive tunes; Rainy Day Crush has reignited the approach that music, as an artistic medium, should transcend the label of “commodity” and become something much more immersive and engaging. The band is unapologetically committed to supporting their shared vision with their tools of artistic expression, rather than exploiting them for the cash-grabbing gimmick that they can so easily become.

Rainy Day Crush, in my honest opinion, has the potential to go down as one of those rare bands whom helped change the musical landscape, and will fondly remembered among some of the most groundbreaking independent acts.

“I’m Still Alive” is definitely one of those increasingly rare transcendent EPs that doesn’t abide by the typical genre limitations and standards. Regardless of your specific musical tastes, regardless of any bias or animosity that you may have against the more experimental genres; the sheer honesty and thoughtfulness of the songwriting within this EP will inspire and ignite applause and appreciation out of even the most reluctant listeners. It is a tireless listening experience and effortlessly maintains your interest throughout.

Opening track “No Such Thing” particularly stands out upon first listen. The sonic landscape crafted within this track alone fully encapsulates the dynamic nature of the EP as a whole. The track showcases a swaying fusion of sound that feels intimately roomy, well-balanced and evocative, with a great focus on gorgeous harmonies and infectious melodies. The sounds resonate, merge and surround the listener in a sort of sonic ecstasy while maintaining a strong driving beat. “Heartbreak (or How to Get Over it)” stands out as an immediate favorite of mine. The track is very vibrant and modern-sounding, yet it maintains its own identity perfectly. There is definitely something for everyone here. Each track featured on the EP is fantastically sequenced in a way that maintains the listener’s interest, and contains minor mixing and instrumental intricacies that are both unique and add undeniable character to the track.

Rainy Day Crush are a remarkable act and an amazing breath of fresh air within an industry that has become overly saturated with copycat artists whose sole goal is to cash in on an increasingly uninventive formula. We can definitely see this band continuing their rise and becoming a household name, while inspiring a new generation of independent artists. Not only do they have the ability to craft infectious vocal hooks and melodies, but they does so with a remarkably unique blending of genres and evident care for messaging and content. “I’m Still Alive” is a MUST LISTEN!

"...indie music that's produced at radio quality..." – Stepkid.com

Rainy Day Crush, a veteran midwestern band that falls somewhere in between indie, pop, punk and alternative rock has a new EP out titled, I’m Still Alive. It’s an appropriate title, given that the band has appeared, disappeared and reappeared in many incarnations an forms over the years, going back to the 90′s when they were known as “The Other Side.” It’s great to see musicians displaying such tenacity and continuing to come back to what they love and do well.

The band features good clean guitars and a solid vocalist. One of their newest songs, Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It) could almost be described as “adult pop punk” but without whiny vocals. The singer is very good in fact, giving the track a dynamic and full quality which enhances the melody of the song rather than merely going through the motions. The tracks on this EP could very well qualify as potential pop hits, if we were still living slightly in another time when bands like Third Eye Blind were in high demand and before we entered the terrible era of garbage pop music we’re mired in now. I”m Still Alive is essentially indie music that’s produced at radio quality, released at a rather unfortunate time. There is always room somewhere for high quality music made by professionals, though. I’m pleased to say that Rainy Day Crush is operating in that space, filling the void with these catchy and coherent jams. They also have a cool album cover imo.

"Nothing Short of an Anthem" – Music Existence

Kenosha, Wisconsin’s Rainy Day Crush is heartily rooted in the city’s early-to-mid 90s indie rock scene. Original lead vocalist Betsy Ade and guitarist Matt Specht (ex-The Other Side) comprised its principle creative force, forming the quartet in 2002 thanks to regional success. After only one album, 2003’s Free to Go, internal tensions had split them up. However, a charity performance on their ten-year anniversary reunited Ade and Specht via two incarnations—first as the intimately acoustic duo, Candy Apple Crush, and then as the newly invigorated Rainy Day Crush, adding bassist Derek Schattl and singing drummer Mike Wynn, Jr. A year later, Ade’s departure left the band unable to find a replacement vocalist. Nonetheless, Matt, Derek, and Mike pushed forward as a trio, releasing the Calamity! EP in 2016.

At present, today marks the premiere of Rainy Day Crush’s follow-up, “No Such Thing,” the debut single off their soon-to-be-released I’m Still Alive EP. What’s presented is nothing short of an anthem, alternative aesthetics kept intact. Right away, I’m particularly impressed by its balanced production dynamics. The guitars feel meaty without being overpowering, and the sparse synth integration adds just the right touch of atmosphere. Even with the bigness of the chorus, the vocal harmonies emit a contrasting subdued quality that actually fits comfortably in the mix. To an extent, both their tonal and thematic delivery convey the predicament of loss amid a senseless, unfairly one-sided betrayal. This way, I had a moment of clarity about the band’s intention to ‘crush rainy days,’ as it were. The instrumentation emphasizes a complementary means of uplifting the listener, all the while recognizing their internal struggles.

"...never ceases to amaze." – Jamsphere

Rainy Day Crush is back with a new lineup and new music – “Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It)” is the first single from their upcoming EP, titled, “I’m Still Alive,” which will be released June 7th. Rainy Day Crush has now become a bit of a paradox of a band. On one hand, they fit well with the rock scene, with catchy choruses that would blend in on any standard rock radio stations and such. But on the other hand, their music goes so much deeper than that, with intricately woven keyboard and guitar licks, progressive all-out drumming and bass hooks, and plenty of layered harmonies. This all plays to their advantage on this track which flip-flops through different styles and overtones quite schizophrenically in just on three minutes.

Old fans will be surprised by the new sound, while new fans can expect nothing short of pure awesome from this record. “Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It)”kicks off with production-heavy entrance and all engines running. It’s an interesting technique that a lot of bands use, but Rainy Day Crush do it with their own personal flair that sparks an incredible energy right from the get-go. The combination is captivating, before the music cuts back, allowing the vocals to step in before gaining momentum together. There’s no doubt that the soaring chorus will stick with you.

The more you listen to “Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It)”, the better it sounds. It all flows together. The music. The lyrics. The emotion in the music is right there as you listen to it, tugging at your soul, as only good music can do.

The complex arrangement and overall full-spectrum rock sound is not dissimilar to what Toto sounded like at their peak. And that’s saying a lot, both technically and musically. To say that Matt Specht (Piano, Guitar, Vocals), Derek Schattl (Bass) and Mike Wynn Jr. (Drums, Vocals), rose to the occasion here would be a gross understatement.

“Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It)” is truly a step forward with pure respect to the past (which was brilliant as well). Here Rainy Day Crush has practically overturned the tables with a totally new sound.

They show how exceptional musicians can evolve creatively and keep intact their musical integrity while radically changing their sound from previous releases. The single presents itself to be a deeper reflection of who they are personally and as a band channeled in a cohesive collaboration that defines what a band should be collectively.

It’s a mature body of work and one that in my opinion speaks volumes on why this band, regardless of its variations, still creates inspiring, compelling and masterfully performed original music that never ceases to amaze.

"...unbelievably catchy hooks with vibrant & honest lyrics..." – Original Rock

Rainy Day Crush, a dynamic and scrappy indie pop trio, is excited to be sharing their debut single off of their upcoming EP I’m Still Alive.

Rainy Day Crush’s newest single, Heartbreak (And How To Get Over It), is the inspiring and catchy post break up song everyone has been waiting for. The band said that this song has become their latest battle cry. Heartbreak stands as an anthem to challenge adversity, reminding the trio that it’s up to Matt, Mike, and Derek to keep putting up a fight.

Rainy Day Crush’s upcoming EP, I’m Still Alive makes a promise to their fans that the band is poised and ready for a comeback. The EP captures the essence of Rainy Day Crush, fusing unbelievably catchy hooks with vibrant & honest lyrics to tell the band’s story of tenacity and determination. I’m Still Alive is out June 9th.

We managed to catch up with the band as they talked about their latest single and more!

So how has the release of your single Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It) gone so far?
The release has gone very well so far! We’re getting a lot of positive feedback, which is incredibly exciting! It took a lot to get these songs out into the world, and we’re just happy that we’re finally getting to share them.
Tell us about the single.
The first single, “Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It),” was literally years in the making. I’ve had this riff hanging around for a long time. Last year, as sometimes happens, the lyrics just started pouring in. Mike, our drummer, was a big fan of the riff, and once I had some lyrics, the song just took off. Right before recording, there were some things that still just weren’t working. So the three of us sat down at my kitchen table the night before we were scheduled to record, and we just hammered out all those amazing lines Mike sings, and stitched the last bits together. Some of Mike’s vocal lines still give me chills every time I hear them! And I absolutely LOVE Derek’s bass line, especially with the main riff. It’s just so much fun, and is musically brilliant.
Lyrically, we all kind of rallied around this song. It has become our anthem, and our battle cry. That’s why we decided to release it first. We’re pretty proud of the fact that we’re still here, making music, playing gigs, and putting some positive vibes out into the world, and “Heartbreak” reflects success in the face of struggle.
How pumped are you for the release of your EP ‘I’m Still Alive’?
On a scale of one to ten with one being ambivalent and ten being we can’t sleep most nights because we’re so excited, I’d say we’re roughly at like an eight..ty one, eighty two, somewhere around there. The recording experience was so much fun, and we want to share that fun with everyone!
What is your favourite track from the release?
Probably “Bonfires.” Everything just fell into place with “Bonfires.” The accordion, the toy piano, the beach sounds, the mix… I could go on and on! You know how sometimes you meet someone, and you automatically just seem to speak the same language with each other, and it feels like you’ve always been friends, and you always will be friends? That’s what this song was like. It was like meeting someone you’ve always known.
It’s the slowest song on the EP, so it wasn’t our first choice to promote as a “single,” but in a lot of ways, this song helped us figure out a lot of things. It’s a pretty special song to us.
So it’s been five years since your reunion, how good does it feel to be getting out there again?
It feels freaking incredible! It feels like we cheated death. It makes us appreciate how amazing it is to be able to create music. We have this beautiful opportunity in front of us, and we passed on it once, but we won’t pass on it again.
If you could work with any band on a new song, who would it be and why?
I think all three of us have different answers for this one, and all of our answers would probably vary depending on the day and the song! For me, though, I think Dave Grohl would be towards the top of the list. He’s always collaborating, and it always seems to be about the big picture for him. I get the feeling that he’s the guy that cares more about the song and what he can add to it, as opposed to those guys who just want to show off. He just seems like a really creative guy, and I love being around people like that.
Also, I have a well-documented fever for Jimmy Eat World. I would absolutely love to play some piano with them.
What has been your funniest moment recording the EP?
Without a doubt, the funniest moment was the “Great Shuffle Debacle of 2017.” Mike was absolutely convinced that one part of one song needed the drums to “shuffle.” I was absolutely convinced that a shuffle would ruin that part of the song, and didn’t fit the overall song. After a lot of good-natured debate and trying the song both ways, we all decided as a group that we’d leave the shuffle for another song.
We get to the studio, and I was tracking some vocals. Our engineer (Steven Servi from Eisley Creative, who was AMAZING to work with), asked me about a part we were working on, and Mike made a crack about it needing some shuffle. Which is incredibly funny, right? We had to pause for a couple minutes to regain our composure. As we were gaining control, I said, “F**k your shuffle!” So from then on, whenever we were brainstorming, Mike would suggest a shuffle, and I would laugh and say, “F**k that shuffle.”
When we got our first rough mix back, we’re listening to it, and right in the middle, Steven had remixed the song to include a shuffle. None of us could believe it! And then, to top things off, he had (unbeknownst to me) recorded me saying, “F**k your shuffle,” and added it on repeat three octaves up to the end of the song. So when the song gets intense and the chorus repeats, all of a sudden we could hear this chipmunk voice over the mix saying “F**k your shuffle! F**k your shuffle! F**K your shuffle!” over and over and over again!
To this day, we can’t listen to the song without half expecting to hear electronically altered profanities.
How much does it mean to you when you hear fans listen to your music?
It means the entire world. It is everything. It’s why we do this.
Our last show, a woman came up to us, and told us how much our songs have meant to her and helped her get through some things. One of my favorite memories in life (not just in the band) is the first time an audience sang our lyrics back to us. You can’t purchase those kinds of responses. All the studio editing and slick press photos and expensive promotions in the world can’t force a song to mean something to someone. When a song means something to you, it is like a direct and personal interaction. It can’t be faked or bought, and that’s what we’re after.
Will there be a tour to coincide the release of the EP?
There won’t be a tour in the traditional sense of us climbing in a van and playing a string of dates in a string of cities, but we are definitely looking to book as many gigs as we can in all the places and with all the bands that will have us. Our EP Release Party is in Racine, WI, on June 9th.

It's easy to develop a crush on Rainy Day Crush – Kenosha News

I’ve been watching YouTube videos of this local band over the past week, and I have to say, I really like this power-pop trio. The songs are catchy as all get out, and the arrangements are punchy, getting right to the point. I also really dig their name.

“No Such Thing” kicks off the EP with a driving, punk level of energy — and is filled with nifty guitar work by vocalist Matt Specht. “Heartbreak (or How to Get Over It)“ showcases the deft rhythm section of bassist Derek Schatti and drummer Mike Wynn, who appears to be the band’s very own jet engine.

“You Think” and “Bonfires” round out the the proceedings, showing the band’s depth with more a more intricate approach. Specht is also a clever keyboard player, adding the perfect amount of seasoning to this power-pop stew where needed.

Rainy Day Crush is easily one of our best local bands, and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

They're BACK – Audio Fuzz

Rainy Day Crush are back in a strong way. This is the way Power Pop should sound; resounding chords crashing down, vocals to die for, a melody that won’t leave your head, lyrics that empower and make you feel good. That is all here. Rainy Day Crush started in the 90’s and had a good run, making great music, living with the times. Then the band fell apart. In 2012, the band was asked to play a fundraiser. Down to the basic three, Matt, Mike, and Derek, the band played and realized there was that certain something still there, that spark of genius, that love of music. So, the guys started to write and perform again. The result: this beautiful, wonderful, empowering (there I go again, but that’s what this song is; empowering), music. With a sound slightly somewhat reminiscent to Eve 6 and Third Eye Blind, Rainy Day Crust HAD to reunite. The music in them is too damn strong. Thank the muses they decided to get back up.

Scrappy indie pop – The Wellz Street Journal

Rainy Day Crush, a dynamic and scrappy indie pop trio, is excited to be sharing their debut single off of their upcoming EP I’m Still Alive, via AXS.

Rainy Day Crush’s newest single, “Heartbreak (And How To Get Over It)”, is the inspiring and catchy post break up song everyone has been waiting for. The band said that this song has become their latest battle cry. “Heartbreak” stands as an anthem to challenge adversity, reminding the trio that it’s up to Matt, Mike, and Derek to keep putting up a fight.

Rainy Day Crush’s upcoming EP, I’m Still Alive makes a promise to their fans that the band is poised and ready for a comeback. The EP captures the essence of Rainy Day Crush, fusing unbelievably catchy hooks with vibrant & honest lyrics to tell the band’s story of tenacity and determination. I’m Still Alive is out June 9th.

"...dynamic and emotionally compelling..." – AXS

Indie pop rock trio, Rainy Day Crush, are getting ready to share their upcoming EP, I'm Still Alive, releasing this spring. I'm Still Alive is dynamic and emotionally compelling, exploring what is means to face challenges and heartbreak head on. Originally formed in 1994, the band formed when they had just graduated from high school, and were ambitious from the start. They had a fairly successful run in the 90s, performing at numerous venues in Wisconsin, and even signing to an independent label. However, the project soon faded.

In 2012, the group was asked to play a reunion show as a fundraiser, bringing the faded project back to life, and started performing small, acoustic shows, which then grew into a full-band. Shortly after the full-band came full circle, they lost two lead singers, and the remaining members Matt, Mike, and Derek decided to return to their roots of acoustic guitar and CD collection, and during the process of writing and recording, it was decided that Matt would sing vocals and continue their musical adventure as a three-person band.

Rainy Day Crush is exclusively sharing their debut single from their upcoming EP, titled "Heartbreak (And How to Get Over It)." Aptly stated, the band collectively says that "'Heartbreak (and How to Get Over It)'" has really become our battle cry lately. Look, everybody gets beat up. Everybody gets knocked around. Sometimes, you have to remind yourself you're still alive before you can do anything else. This song was our way of reminding ourselves that we're still alive, we can still fight, and we may get knocked down but we will always get back up." Check out the inspiring and catchy new single streaming below!

"...you can really appreciate just how BIG a band like this could get." – SleepingBagStudios

Powerful stuff out of Milwaukee! I don’t know if I can recall anything else I’ve reviewed from there…so this might be what the entire scene sounds like; and what a diverse and charming place that would make to live, wouldn’t it? Okay…maybe I have the advantage of having heard the new EP from Rainy Day Crush…so I’ve already pictured what that place would be like…and I can tell you first hand it would be a sincerely beautiful place to be.

I mentioned K’s Choice in the review I did yesterday on Mycenea Worley…and I’d be apt to bring up that band again today in reference to Rainy Day Crush but for the opposite side of their spectrum. Mycenea had the slow-tempo aspect of that band down perfectly…but Rainy Day Crush has the power, energy and melody found in their brightest and boldest rhythms. Essentially I suppose what I’m saying is…in the absence of that wonderful band in today’s world…I’d sure be willing to shift my attention to Rainy Day Crush and focus on them! They’re not only active and crushing it with their new EP Calamity! – but from pop to rock to folk to indie…there are a ton of reasons to instantly fall in love with the music of RDC.

It’d be impossible not to comment on just how incredible Betsy Ade sounds on this record. While the surrounding band of Matt Specht (Piano, Guitar, Vocals), Derek Schattl (Bass) and Mike Wynn Jr. (Drums, Vocals) never drop the ball once and provide us all with entertaining and solid music all the way through this EP…it’s going to be an uphill battle for these great players to get noticed in behind what is truly a powerful and confident voice up-front from Ade. In my opinion…you get your choice guys…you can be famous as an entire band…or you can be the players in behind the famous front-woman…either way I’d say that Rainy Day Crush stands a phenomenal chance of getting the attention they deserve for this effort, it’s just a matter of what level of fame they’re looking for on an individual-level. If they’re all truly cool with the possibility of either scenario whichever may come their way…I’d say then that the attitude in Rainy Day Crush would be the right one to have…and that they’ll make it.

As the title-tune “Calamity!” opened up the record, Betsy comes out singing beautifully, confidently and sweetly as this melody snaps crisply to the beat with everything from the harmonies to the music sounding like they’ve already found their own 100% and quality-standards – all within the very first minutes and seconds. You can tell that the writing and care has been put in here…the effort to make something sounding grippingly-entertaining and powerful on an emotional-level…it’s all here and it’s all executed with maximum confidence, skill and precision. “Calamity!” puts an early highlight of this record right out there on track one…and as the chorus hits you can really appreciate just how BIG a band like this could get. I suppose you could cite the recent success of bands like Of Monsters And Men in a way…but to me the chorus of “Calamity!” despite its gentle sounds actually has a lot more in common with giant-anthems than it does just simple pop-music. Definitely some strong song-writers here…I’ve got no doubt about that.

“Serpentine” is a song that reveals the true skill and amazing precision this band contains in their music. A wild rhythm that has a vocal-flow super-charged at a blazing-speed – Ade sounds incredible through the verse and somehow even better through its dreamy chorus. Excellent piano from Matt drives the music beautifully from part to part…the switches are insanely well-transitioned and the resulting energy in this track is totally catchy – “Serpentine” is a completely uplifting rhythm that moves quickly with a shanty-style melody. It’s part-pirate, part crowd-chant…and all awesome; it’s the seriously-talented folk music that really rocks when it calls for it in the ripping verse…but it’s really the magic of that smoothness in the chorus that makes this song for me personally. At least I think so…I dunno…really, both of these main parts, verse & chorus…they’re just fantastic…could be a coin-flip for me at any moment as to which part I enjoy more, but I suppose the point is that the whole song is fantastic.

“Have It All” is about as confident and charming as one song can get. I love the way this beautiful-grind just builds and builds…but seriously…the crisp-precision in the vocals and tone of Betsy Ade is something that honestly feels like a complete privilege to listen to. She sounds amazing on this song and sings it with an audible-ton of style. The whistling-effect…I’m not quite sure what it is…but that sound-sample, combined with the inventive percussion makes “Have It All” standout in every way…every GREAT way. The way their music has such an all-inclusive and inviting atmosphere to it is never presented better than it is right here. Great rhythm and stomp to the beat and sound…”Have It All” might be reminding you that you can’t “Have It All” – but the song itself sounds like a big giant-hug of audible-comfort.

The music itself often implies the sound of a band that is extraordinarily imaginative and quite playful at heart. A real glimpse at that comes through the dramatic sounds and wry-humour of “Sticky” – the lyrics here take a real turn in the spotlight. The jazzy & dramatic nature of the music will definitely remind you of the swing-band sound…”Sticky” is theatrical, witty and charming all at the same time. I usually don’t get pulled in by big, big sounds like these…but I gotta admit this one’s got me pretty hooked. Love the middle of this tune where it hits a little bit of a darker-vein in the breakdown before bursting into sensational-brightness and all-out party-mode by the very end.

Guitar-driven on “My Own,” this final-tune really opens up beautifully. Betsy sounds closest to my comparison of K’s Choice’s Sarah Bettens here with her absolutely stunning vocals. The bass…the drums…everything builds and glides perfectly and with incredible texture and harmony through the music. Perhaps a little looser in the chorus…it all works incredibly well for them as they expand, tighten, loosen-up and really let the freedom of music take hold in this final tune as they transition through its verse, chorus, breakdown and bring-back. Ending on some of the most inspiring tones and personal-proclamations that you’ll find on Calamity! – Rainy Day Crush has been more than impressive throughout their five tunes and have absolutely got me stoked to hear anything else at all from this band that might come our way in the future. You’ll feel the same.

Rainy Day Crush's future "irrepressibly bright!" – Anthem Review

Rainy Day Crush – Calamity! EP

Rainy Day Crush have had something of a patchwork past, one filled with quick signings, countless shows, and a tragic split in 2004. Like all good things though, Rainy Day Crush were impossible to keep down, and a re-union show in 2012 soon blossomed into a whole new beginning.

Filled with a new spirit, Rain Day Crush are set to unleash their new debut EP, ‘Calamity!’ in the middle of January this year, and it’s going to be massive. While only three tracks long, the rebirth of Rainy Day Crush completely encompasses their “too catchy to be indie, too honest to be pop” ethos.

Vocal harmonies flow through cascading, guitar driven melodies to form three sequential waves of honest, impassioned, indie-pop glamour. Flickering piano keys and triumphant jazz-tinged choruses make ‘Sticky’ an indelible, standout anthem, but the pure, refined jubilance of its partner pieces make it a hard fought contest.

Short, but packed full of spirit and promise, ‘Calamity! Is an EP that serves as the precursor to a whole new era of music for Rainy Day Crush, and if they can keep the music as honest and heartfelt as these three tracks, then they’re sure to become one of 2016’s biggest talents.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Anthem: Sticky

You can stream the new EP from Rainy Day Crush via their BandCamp page below, and be sure to follow them for even more music and updates.

"Vocals, harmonies and energy that rocks it!" – Andrea Young - President, AspenBeat Records

Amazing vocals, harmonies, production, arrangements and energy on ["My Own"]. The song is like a rock opera to me, it has lots of parts and pieces, most of which work really really well together... I want the song to keep going, it ends a bit too soon! The track leaves me wanting to hear more, know more about you all, and listen over and over.

"Stellar Musicality" – Indie Music Plus

Solid songwriting and sonically pleasing instrumentation always makes for excellent music. "My Own" has a very unique sound. Musically it seems to pedal on one chord but that's the beauty of it as well. To a trained ear the musicality of this song is stellar. On songs like this one it seems that this band never lost it's chemistry.

In "Sticky" I can't help but think - Neo-Swing. The tune doesn't have any Big Bad Voodoo Daddy-esque horns but the overall feel of the song with the piano and the gang vocals give it that swing hall feel. Me likey. In my opinion this tune rounds out their overall sound. The focus of the band's music is never lost on their little genre jaunts within each song.

Rainy Day Crush's style is hard to pinpoint into 2 or 3 words. My best try would be "Catchy Indie Pop." They coin themselves as "Too catchy to be 'indie,' too honest to be 'pop.'" I'd say this is about right except I personally believe that "indie" is an attitude and not a genre. In my opinion Rainy Day Crush defines the terms "Indie" and "Pop" perfectly.

"Have It All" is another notable track off the band's upcoming EP "Calamity!" Sporting more of a country flare this song stands on its own but fits in to the rest of the EP just poifect! Sporting a beat that will make you want to move and a southern style hillbilly flare this song is bound to be a hit. I must say, the band's songwriting abilities are second to none. To be completely honest I haven't heard a song I don't like!!

Rainy Day Crush is a band for the indie fan. That's you. I highly encourage you to take a deeper listen to the band's music on Bandcamp and support them by purchasing their music.

Click any one of the bandcamp links in the article to find out more about this band and download their past projects.

"Incredible heart..." – Beach Sloth

Rainy Day Crush’s “Calamity!” is ray of sunshine piercing through a cloudy sky. Everything about it is as cheerful as cheerful can be. From the downright passionate vocal stylings and impeccable songwriting of Betsy Ade to the indomitable rhythm section, everything simply works. Derek Schattl on bass and Mike Wynn Jr. on drums anchor all of the songs however energetic they may be. Additionally the attention to detail is courtesy of Matt Sprecht’s versatility on guitar, piano, backing vocals, and songwriting. Together Rainy Day Crush create a kaleidoscopic full sound at times reminiscent of a twee Polyphonic Spree. By far what serves as the highlight of the entire album is the storytelling lyricism that serves as the heart of each song.

Diving into the thick of it is the incredible heart of “Calamity!” with its nimble guitar work. Betsy Ade’s vocals are clear, her lyricism poetic, and her delivery pitch-perfect. “Serpentine” is an absolute rush of a song with a tempo that feels freewheeling and delightfully chaotic. With a stripped down physical sound “Have it All” feels like a giant celebratory piece. Jazzy in nature is the sly work of “Sticky” with Matt Sprecht’s piano playing a particular highlight. Ending things on a high note is the EP highlight “My Own”. Expressive and expansive “My Own” builds up nicely displaying their attention to detail. The buildup feels particularly satisfying as it glides by ever so smoothly.

Happiness is Rainy Day Crush’s “Calamity!”, an absolute joy of an EP.

The 10 Year Wait For A Sophomore Record Was Worth It – Indie Band Guru

Anyone who has ever been in a band can tell you that it is not an easy task to keep it going once you start to find some success. Tensions and personal problems seem to arise from nowhere and can lead to a downfall. Even after a band breaks up there will always be that connection in the music that is a lifelong bond. There have been stories of reunions after many years leading to a full on 2nd career of success. One such story in the making is the band Rainy Day Crush.

The band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin was firing on all cylinders back in 2002. They signed with an indie label, released a debut LP and toured the country playing an assortment of music festivals that any band would be jealous of. Rainy Day Crush found major success locally being named the Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s Best Rock/Alternative Band of the Year, and lead singer Betsy Ade was named the Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s Female Vocalist of the Year. Unfortunately not soon after internal tensions split the band up in 2004. All was not lost though. A one off reunion show in 2012 proved to Matt and Betsy that their story was not over. They picked up bass player Derek Schattl and singing drummer Mike Wynn, Jr. and reformed Rainy Day Crush for the next chapter.

On January 15, 2016 the band will officially release their sophomore record Calamity! The 5 song EP harnesses the beauty of what they were doing a decade ago and brings in a modern feel for something fresh yet reminiscent of a classic time. The opening title track “Calamity!” sets the tone right away with Betsy’s vocals as strong as ever over a pretty melody with the rhythm section taking their turns at the front as well. The whistles of “Have It All” immediately put the listener in a happier mood as the song welcomes everyone into the warm “singing around a campfire” feel. This brings a real connection to the music for the fan. Rainy Day Crush shows a bluesy funk side on “Sticky” with the group filling the full sonic space with inventive sounds. The closer “My Own” has a darker feel in the lyrics but the vocals are superb and the buildup of the music leads you to believe better days are ahead. This is what we would all want for Rainy Day Crush.

Calamity! is "unique, captivating and overall, one of the best I have experienced..." – Modern Mystery Blog

Rainy Day Crush has been on my radar for quite some time now. The indie-pop-rock outfit have been a bit M.I.A. for the past 10 (yes 10!) years, but are now back in full form with their new EP, Calamity! Clocking in at 5-tracks, the group offers up an insightful glimpse into their updated sound, which is filled to the brim with a vibrancy that brings to life the stellar musicianship within the band.

Rainy Day Crush have had their share of setbacks the past few years; everything from an unfortunate tour van crash to a band breakup that they almost didn’t get through. Though here we are in 2016, finding Rainy Day Crush reunited, and to be quite frank, better than ever. The title of Calamity! sure is fitting as the band has been to the end and back.

Fronted by the sensational Betsey Ade on lead vocals (her voice is to die for), she is accompanied by Matt Specht (piano / guitar), Derek Schattl (bass) and Mike Wynn Jr. (drums). One thing that I instantly loved about the band was their three part vocal harmonies, and swapping of instruments (which is something they are very known for onstage). This reminds me of Canadian mainstays, and one of my all time favorite bands, Sloan. Their level of musicianship outshines the rest.

The first track off of Calamity! is the title track, which opens the record in full force. Right from the start Ade’s voice brings the album to life as she launches into song. The overall instrumentation of the group creates a unique vibrancy which proves the band means serious business (but has fun doing it!). The outstanding harmonies, are laced with swirling guitars that pull everything together. The next piece from the record, which was an immediate favorite of mine, is “Serpentine,” which brings a driving force into the Rainy Day Crush’s sound. This is one track I immediately had on repeat. It’s ambitious, boisterous and exciting as hell. The vocals are EPIC so be sure to crank up your stereo for this one!

“Have it All” shares a lighter side of the record, which has the song opening with gently strummed acoustic guitars and subtle whistling. Once again the phenomenal harmonies kick in adding a dose of light and a prominent display of the band’s skills. “Sticky” brings in a jazzy element to the record, featuring an intricate piano that will get you up and dancing in no time. I can only imagine what this track sounds like live, especially with the stunning vocal effort and work. Closing out the record is “My Own,” which is a lovely and fitting ending to the record. The group’s stellar instrumentation shines through once again creating an album that is unique, captivating and overall, one of the best I have experienced in months.

I highly suggest you pick up a copy of Rainy Day Crush’s Calamity!, for you will not be disappointed!

"...a mixture of Bruce Springsteen, Sixpence None The Richer, Dave Matthews Band and R.E.M." – Bennie Castle

Introducing Rainy Day Crush, a Midwest band with spunk and originality. Rainy Day Crush consists of Betsy Ade (lead Vocalist, guitar, songwriting, mandolin), Matt Specht, (Backing vocalist, guitar, songwriting) Mike Wynn Jr, (Drums, percussion backing vocals) and Derek Schattl, (bass). Both Matt and Betsy, band members and founders of Rainy Day Crush have worked together on their craft since the late 90’s, playing and performing music all around Wisconsin and Illinois under their former band name “The Otherside”, and then finally the current band name, Rainy Day Crush, was born in 2002. Their debut album (“Free to Go” LP ), released in 2003, is a wild ride of itself, 14 tracks of ingenuity and heavier rock ballads compiled into one awesome tape. definitely worth a listen. The bluegrass/rock sound they bring to life in each song is what independent music is all about. Their impressive history of touring around the Midwest and Northeast under the original lineup was what gave them momentum and a name for themselves, being named “Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s Best Rock/Alternative Band of the Year” in 2004 and having a record titled, “The Wolf” as Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s radio station 109 FM most requested song. Their recent project and Sophomore album, “Calamity!” consist of 5 solid tracks, each with original composition and meaningful songwriting. If I were to compare Rainy Day Crush to any of the big names of American Rock, it would have to be a mixture of Bruce Springsteen, Sixpence None The Richer, Dave Matthews Band and R.E.M. On a personal level,their fluid and synchronized playing is what made the sound appealing to me, they bring a fresh air with their soothing acoustic compositions, Rainy Day Crush is were meets timeless lyricism. “Calamity!” is more of a grown sound to their repertoire, balanced with fun tunes, young energy, Rainy Day Crush is one of those bands you wouldn’t mind watching play live in your local venue, enjoying a nice cold beer and swaying to the tunes. Check them out and don’t forget to follow them along through social media to keep up with all of their current moves!

"...unwavering in their passion to create..." – Visit Kenosha

Join Rainy Day Crush for a vivid, captivating live show, as they make a commanding comeback into the Indie Pop Rock scene!
Rainy Day Crush has remained strong and unwavering in their passion to create, despite several line-up changes and other adversities in the past year. The Indie Pop Rock trio is poised and ready, however, to take the Midwest Indie music scene by storm with their upcoming EP. The EP is dynamic and emotionally compelling, exploring what is means to face challenge and heartbreak head on. Tickets are $7.
More about the talented indie pop rock trio: Rainy Day Crush was originally formed in 1994. Matt Specht and some musician friends were fresh out of high school and eager to get something started with just a guitar, a CD collection, and no internet. After a successful stint in the 90s, playing countless Wisconsin shows and even signing to an independent label, the project began to fade.
In 2012, the band was asked to play a reunion show as a fundraiser. The project swung back into life, first with smaller acoustic shows and then growing into a dynamic and bold full band experience. Rainy Day Crush had found its place once more within the Midwest Indie scene. It was then that the band began to face some serious challenges, losing two lead singers within a year. Matt, Mike and Derek were feeling pretty defeated when they decided to circle back to their roots, back to that acoustic guitar and cd collection that started it all. While writing and recording in the studio one day, it dawned on them to have Matt sing and continue the journey.
Now Rainy Day Crush is ready for the next steps forward, moving beyond Wisconsin and into the national Indie Pop spotlight with their inspired and heart-felt upcoming EP. Stay tuned for catchy, honest, and scrappy Indie Pop Rock from Rainy Day Crush.

"...utterly unbeatable... charismatic, clever, creative..." – Jamsphere Magazine

Betsy Ade (lead vox), Matt Specht (Piano, Guitar, Vocals), Derek Schattl (Bass) and Mike Wynn Jr. (Drums, Vocals) make up the current Rainy Day Crush line-up on their EP, entitled Calamity! RDC originally launched itself in 2002 with Betsy Ade and Matt Specht, before singing a record deal, releasing their debut LP, touring the Midwest and Northeast, and being named Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s Best Rock/Alternative Band of the Year. They then broke up in 2004, had a reunion in 2012, and switched to being an acoustic duo called Candy Apple Crush.

However they soon realized they needed to be a band, hence the inclusion of Derek Schattl and Mike Wynn Jr. which eventually led to the recording of the 5-track sophomore effort, “Calamity!”, of which cannot get enough. Rainy Day Crush and its cast of players deliver enough theatrical eccentricity to keep things interesting, while exuberantly dabbling in enough catchy indie pop and piano-fronted alt-rock to reach the masses. A cool and lovely mixture which forges tunes that are so darned irresistible you keep coming back to them.

These tracks play out together as a gourmet feast for the senses while Betsy Ade’s vocal fixations and the band’s musical smarts are a transfixing combination, utterly unbeatable. Rainy Day Crush is unlike any other group around. Charismatic, clever, creative this EP has a carefree pop style, characterized by dry wit and cynicism, coupled with beautiful insights. A seriously great pop record that’s both accessible but quirky enough to stand out amongst the crowd of other artists out there right now.

Right out of the box with the opening title track, it’s evident that there’s a lot to chew on here. Just put on your headphones and feel the aural nuances really come alive. It becomes obvious after every spin that Rainy Day Crush is a very accomplished band and it’s clear they’ll have even more to share down the road. In the meantime sink your teeth into the runaway rhythm in “Serpentine”, the sing-along choruses of “Have It All”, the pulsing and pounding tease of “Sticky”, or the blissful melodic sweetness of the ever-mutating “My Own”.

This is smart music, pulling from pop to rock to colorings of alt-folk. It’s not easy to do, it takes a really talented people to make it all sound fresh and satisfying and entertaining. Rainy Day Crush reach levels very few of our popular stars ever even catch a glimpse of. There are hooks, handclaps, sing song choruses, and a sense of the familiar, but injected into songs that are wholly unique. And then there is Betsy Ade, her voice rises above everything else, bouncing between playful, energetic and delicious.

The arrangements are also amazing, demonstrating the band’s expanding tonal palette. They challenge you to separate the layers, to work out the structure, to hear everything Rainy Day Crush is putting on offer here. It’s obvious that the band love what they’re doing, and when anyone is that passionate about their work, it’s always going to show in a great result.

In a world often full of manufactured, mass-produced pop music, “Calamity!” stands out as a great auteur EP, that is infused, end to end, with reminders that this could only have sprung from the minds of Rainy Day Crush. I think Rainy Day Crush is one of the more interesting bands we have making music today. I love what they’ve done in “Calamity!” and I look forward to watching their develop in the future!

The Return of Rainy Day Crush – Shepherd Express

At one point everything seemed to be going right for the Kenosha, Wis.,-based band Rainy Day Crush. In the early ’00s they released an album on Minneapolis label Skywater Records, toured much of the country and won WAMIs for Best Rock/Alternative Band of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year for singer Betsy Ade. That success was short lived, however, as struggles maintaining the band full time forced them to break up in 2004. Eight years later founders Matt Specht and Betsy Ade decided to bury past issues and forge on with a new lineup.

“We were able to put the past behind us and focus on the positive things,” Specht says. “We asked ourselves if we were going to play covers or be creative and move forward in a new direction. We decided we wanted to strike out again and strike out on our own and be serious in our efforts.”

They initially played as a duo called Candy Apple Crush, “in an attempt to acknowledge our history and move forward.” They switched back to Rainy Day Crush once they had the lineup solidified and were comfortable playing old songs again.

On Friday, they return with their first batch of new music, an EP called Calamity! Calamity is often thought of in the negative sense, but the band feels it has positive connotations as well.

“The first song on the EP is called ‘Calamity!’ and that song is about change,” Specht says. “But it’s about change from a cyclical point of view: Tides come in and go back out, the moon goes through phases, seasons pass. It’s easy to get bogged down by minutiae ... Sometimes, you need to look at the big picture.”

Specht says that he has newfound appreciation for the band since returning to it.

“I got the sense from Betsy—and I definitely felt this way—that the band was a good thing. We had a good creative writing team,” he says. “When it was taken away from us and spent time away and got back together we started realizing how important and fun and creative we could be in the band. What we’re excited about this time is being older and wiser. We still feel we have energy and things left to say and songs to write and albums to record.”

They’ve focused on the things that work and avoided things that didn’t work the first time.

“We’re avoiding those mistakes because we value what’s going on,” Specht says. “We value the creative process and the performing process and recording process.”

One thing that works is their self-described “indie pop-rock.”

“We’re too catchy to be indie but we’re too honest to be pop,” Specht says. “Our songwriting process is our bread and butter and that’s what sets us apart. We spend a little more time on craft to be just pop. Indie gets a rap as being inaccessible but our music is accessible.”

Specht and Ade handle most of the songwriting duties. The band’s sound draws from its members’ diverse influences. The EP features an “acoustic stomping clapper type song,” a song with a jazzy feel to it, a story song about the wrath of a woman scorned and an “epic pop rock song.”

“The EP really captures the energy and excitement about being in a band and recording an album and writing,” says Specht. “I love our band because there’s different influences; people are bringing different things in and we have three vocalists on stage, as our drummer Mike [Wynn Jr.] sings. Bringing all these influences and different ideas stretches the song in different directions.”

The band recorded the EP with George Renner at Renwood Messenger Studios in Kenosha.

“It’s a world-class facility and George is a fantastic engineer. He’s mixed and produced albums we’ve heard on radio,” Specht says. “I really liked that they have a grand piano there since I play that a lot.”

Following the EP’s release, they’re looking forward to playing a lot of shows and earning enough money from the EP to afford the next batch of recordings. They’re unsure yet if that will be another EP or full-length.

“We have forward momentum now and want to capitalize on that,” Specht says. “It’s hard work but we love it.”

It Will Have You Smiling Like A Rainbow – Talk About Pop Music

Don’t let the fact that this band has the word “rain” in their name. Rainy Day Crush do with their music exactly what their name suggests. They crush miserableness and put a rainbow sized smile on your face in seconds!

They have been around for over a decade, have gone through break-ups and line-up changes but they are back with a brand new EP, Calamity, to brighten up our days again.

All the tracks are upbeat and it’s true that their sound can be described as, in their words, “too catchy to be indie and too honest to be pop”. My personal favourite from the EP is “Have It All” – they had me hooked at the whistling intro. Have a listen…

Smiling – aren’t you? The EP is released on the 15th and if you only listen to one new band that day – and if it’s raining – give them a listen. After all, who doesn’t want to smile like a rainbow, right?

Catch up with them now!

Spontaneous and Honest – The Band Camp Diaries

Rainy Day Crush is a band whose music falls somewhere in between the appealing melodies or pop and the gritty honesty of indie, without leaning towards either particular side. The band’s sonic formula borrows from the vast vernacular of contemporary music: imagine Alanis Morissette and Damien Rice jamming with The Lumineers!

The song featured within the band’s recent release, “Calamity!” Great hooks join forces with organic acoustic textures and heartfelt performances that make for a spontaneous and honest feel, far away from the clutter of studio embellishments. Rainy Day Crush’s biggest perk isn’t only the fact that this trio can write some great tunes together: it is also the fact that they sound like a group of musician playing together for the sake of sharing the music they love within themselves and their listeners. From the jazz-inspired grooves of “Sticky” to the Summery melodies of “Have it All” - the EP features 5 songs that explore different influences while maintaining cohesive sonic aesthetics.

Rainy Day Crush Inspire – Sound Fiction

Rainy Day Crush, a dynamic and scrappy indie pop trio, is excited to be sharing their debut single off of their upcoming EP I’m Still Alive, via AXS.

Rainy Day Crush’s newest single, “Heartbreak (And How To Get Over It)”, is the inspiring and catchy post break up song everyone has been waiting for. The band said that this song has become their latest battle cry. “Heartbreak” stands as an anthem to challenge adversity, reminding the trio that it’s up to Matt, Mike, and Derek to keep putting up a fight.

Rainy Day Crush’s upcoming EP, I’m Still Alive makes a promise to their fans that the band is poised and ready for a comeback. The EP captures the essence of Rainy Day Crush, fusing unbelievably catchy hooks with vibrant & honest lyrics to tell the band’s story of tenacity and determination. I’m Still Alive is out June 9th.

An Interview with indie pop trio RAINY DAY CRUSH – All Access Music

Rainy Day Crush was originally formed in 1994. Matt Specht and some musician friends were fresh out of high school and eager to get something started with just a guitar, a CD collection, and no internet. After a successful stint in the 90s, playing countless Wisconsin shows and even signing to an independent label, the project began to fade.

In 2012, the band was asked to play a reunion show as a fundraiser. The project swung back into life, first with smaller acoustic shows and then growing into a dynamic and bold full band experience. Rainy Day Crush had found its place once more within the Mid-West Indie scene. It was then that the band began to face some serious challenges, losing two lead singers within a year. Matt, Mike and Derek were feeling pretty defeated when they decided to circle back to their roots, back to that acoustic guitar and cd collection that started it all. While writing and recording in the studio one day, it dawned on them to have Matt sing and continue the journey.

Now Rainy Day Crush is poised for a comeback. The band is eager to grow beyond the Wisconsin music scene and into the national Indie Pop spotlight with their inspired and heartfelt upcoming EP, “I’m Still Alive,” out June 9th.

Rainy Day Crush’s newest single, “Heartbreak (And How To Get Over It)”, is the inspiring and catchy post break up song everyone has been waiting for. The band said that this song has become their latest battle cry. “Heartbreak” stands as an anthem to challenge adversity, reminding the trio that it’s up to Matt, Mike, and Derek to keep putting up a fight.

Rainy Day Crush’s upcoming EP, I’m Still Alive makes a promise to their fans that the band is poised and ready for a comeback. The EP captures the essence of Rainy Day Crush, fusing unbelievably catchy hooks with vibrant & honest lyrics to tell the band’s story of tenacity and determination. I’m Still Alive is out June 9th.

Learn more about Rainy Day Crush in the following All Access interview:

What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for this band and your music? What were some of the highlights? What has been the most exciting part about this year?

MATT: Well, I think the best word I can use to describe 2016 (without swearing) is “challenging.” I don’t want to dwell on the past too much, beyond saying that there was more than one point last year where we looked at each other and we asked ourselves if we really want to keep doing this. And the answer was (and always will be) unequivocally YES. Obviously, what we have going is special to us, and we’ve been working at it for a long time. We’re tenacious, and we’re not going to give up.

The highlight for me was going into the studio in December and recording “Bonfires.” That song came together very well. It was like meeting someone you have an instant connection with–that song just felt right from the time we started recording until that last accordion part was added. Having success in the studio like that was intoxicating, and gave us a lot of fuel to record the next three songs.

MIKE: Bittersweet. The bitter part would be that we went through some multiple lineup changes at the most inconvenient of times. The sweet part is that we finally have the lineup that we know is going to be there for the long haul. With all of that being said, we did play some pretty awesome shows. The fire that we have now is brighter and hotter than ever.

DEREK: Rough. Challenging. Crap-tastic. Between line-up changes and health problems and everything else that got thrown at us, the most exciting part about 2016 is probably that the three of us made it through unscathed, and that we’re still rocking away! Also, go-carts.

Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall the moment you realized that you could really make music together and be a band? How did you all first meet each other?

MATT: You don’t “want” to be a musician–you either are, or you aren’t! I’ve played the piano since I was 5. I started writing music in junior high. Music is something that I have always leaned on to help me work through things, and it has always taken top priority in my life. Being creative is a big big part of who I am.

However, I feel incredibly lucky… The band broke up for a long time. I thought I was becoming one of those guys that “used to be in a band.” I went through a lot of grief over the band breakup, but because that grief was tied up in anger over the breakup, it was hard to see those feelings were grief. So it became difficult to remember how important music is to me. My guitar sat in its case for too long. I met my girlfriend after the band breakup, and it was a couple years before I ever let her see me play the piano.

So we did the reunion show, and we built back up from there. We had the original lineup for that show, but moving forward, we had to make some changes because of location and current obligations. The lineup continued to change over the next couple years, too. But the three of us have been playing, writing, and recording together for over two years now, and we’re not going anywhere. We have some peeps that come play different shows with us, but for now, our core trio is solid, and we’re going to keep moving forward.

I met Derek when we played with his old band, a heavy metal cover band called Ten Ton. We played a benefit show for the local animal shelter, and he messaged us offering his services. At that point, we were an acoustic duo, so we took him up on it. That was about 4 years ago.

I met Mike when I asked a mutual friend from the Racine Theatre Guild if he knew any drummers. Before I was done asking, he gave me Mike’s name. Mike came over, jammed with us, and said, “You’re not going to find a better drummer.” He was right!

MIKE: All I can remember is being a musician from the beginning of time. Being a musician is more of a need than a want to me. Whenever I needed to take out my anger, the drums has been there for me. I met Matt through a mutual friend. From a text message that the friend sent to the both of us, Matt and I link up. I liked the vibe that he had going with the music. I felt that I could make great music with him. Then the first actual practice is when I met Derek. We click right away as Bassist and drummer!

DEREK: No, I initially wanted to be an accountant, but that sounded way too exciting.

I first met Matt in 2013, when the band I was in at the time was playing a show with him. Our two bands ended up sharing the stage for a few Rainy Day Crush songs and I remember telling my guitarist, “This is the kind of music we should be playing!” Later on, when Matt asked me to record some tracks with him, I obviously said yes.

Was it hard to narrow down a band name? How did you finally decide? What other names were you considering?

MATT: Yes, that was hard! Probably the most difficult thing we’ve done. We literally had over 500 ideas. At the time, we were getting signed to a small label out of Minneapolis. We were called The Other Side for most of the first decade, but that name was trademarked. So we were getting ideas from our fans on our message board (remember those?), and coming up with our own. It seemed like every idea would be loved by three of us, but vehemently opposed by the fourth. Rainy Day Crush was literally the first band name idea that none of us hated.

And there’s a reason we’ve held on to that name. We really feel like we crush rainy days for ourselves, and we hope we can do the same for others. We are all struggling with something, but we can all use music to help us get through the struggle.

You would be shocked at some of the other names we considered! I remember ideas like Butterface, The Graces, and things like that. After the reunion, we called ourselves Candy Apple Crush, but that ended up sounding too much like a certain video game. So we just went back to Rainy Day Crush. And we’re glad we did.

Let’s talk about your debut single, “Heartbreak.” Where did the inspiration for it come from? How do you think it prepares listeners for the rest of your “I’m Still Alive” EP?

MATT: I’ve had the music for this one hanging around for a while, but it never came to fruition. I’ve always loved that riff. Mike really loved it, too. Last year, I was moping in a hotel room in Memphis, and the lyrics just came pouring out of me.

Right before recording, Mike and Derek came over to hammer out the last details like background vocals and a couple trouble spots. I told Mike I was hearing a second voice singing, kind of like an old church “call and response.” We worked on it, and Mike’s backing vocals are one of my favorite things about this song! That high note he hits towards the end give me the chills every time I hear it!

For us, the lyrics are personal. They mean a little something different to all three of us, I think, but that’s what makes it special: it’s true, whether we’re talking about romance, or work, or politics, or whatever is weighing on you. This song (and music in general) is a way of finding common ground with our audience; it’s a way of commiserating. We found some strength in writing and recording in this song, and hopefully listeners can find some solace in that.

MIKE: We needed to make a statement song that would tell our story. It’s a song that talks about being defeated but getting back up from it. I think the listeners get to feel the new vibe and direction that we are going!

Since you formed a whopping 23 years ago in 1994, I am curious to know how you think this band has grown over the years? What has stayed the same and what continues year after year about your sound?

MATT: That’s a tough question. It feels like there hasn’t been much that’s changed… We write and record and play music. What changes is that we’re always looking for something new and interesting to do, so I think our sound is always changing to a degree. But that’s what keeps it interesting and exciting for us. There are bands that can get away with releasing album after album of the same sounding stuff, but that would be boring to us. We’re just always looking for ways to keep things exciting.

That being said, I think we get better at recording every time we hit the studio. Recording is like anything else: you have to practice at it to be good. We may not be great at recording yet, but I get a little more confident every time we go in.

rainy day crush1In 2012, you played a reunion show as a fundraiser. What was it like playing together after the absence?

Like being denied pizza for years and years, and then eating a pizza. It was f**king delicious!

Do you have plans to play out a lot this summer? Where are you excited to play at? Do you find that’s where you guys are happiest- playing live for fans?

MATT: We’re working on booking. We’re in the market for a booking agent. Right now, we’re booking our own shows, but we’d like to step up our game.

We are excited every time we play! It’s such a privilege to be able to play.

Personally, I think playing live is where I am the most “me” so to speak. When you’re playing, everything else kind of fades away, and it’s just you and the music. It’s very personal, and freeing.

MIKE: Absolutely! I think it’s great to show people we are excited about musically! I feel most comfortable on stage as well. I have no worries when I play.

DEREK: I think overall the whole band has a lot of fun performing. Also, to use a psychological term, it’s easy to enter a state of “flow,” which is when you become completely absorbed in what you’re doing and filter out everything else around you. Basically, up on a stage is one of the few places where we are no longer playing music – we ARE the music!

Who are some of your favorite artists? Who would you all to work with in the future? What would be a dream collaboration for each of you and Rainy Day Crush?

MATT: I’ll answer with the first albums I owned: Michael Jackson Thriller, Billy Joel Piano Man/Streetlife Serenader, Pet Shop Boys Introspective, Foreigner Agent Provocateur, INXS Kick, Mike + the Mechanics Living Years, Skid Row Skid Row, Bon Jovi New Jersey, Def Leppard Hysteria, Chicago 17, Prince Purple Rain, Aerosmith Pump, Billy Joel Storm Front, and Rod Stewart Out of Order. Those were all on tape. The one I loved the most was New Jersey. I played that one so much, the tape fell apart. Three times.

I would tear out my eyeballs to play some piano with Jimmy Eat World. And Tom Waits–wouldn’t that be amazing? I could just sit off to the side and bang on some pots and pans and it would be great to watch him work. And Harry Connick, Jr. He would be fun to jam with. As a band, I would love to see what Butch Walker would do to one of ours songs. And Bob Rock. Would love to get into the studio with that dude for a couple days. And Dave Grohl. It would be so much fun to get in a room or on a stage with that guy and just make a bunch of noise!

MIKE: There are a lot of artists and genres of music that influence me. Some of my favorites are Fred Hammond, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Ne-Yo & John Legend just to name a few. To share the stage with any of them would be an honor!

DEREK: One of the most fun aspects of the band is that we each have a very distinct taste in music. I like to listen to all kinds of music from all around the world. I recently saw one of my favorite musicians, a Japanese guitarist called Miyavi, play a concert in Chicago and it was amazing! He would be a lot of fun to work with.

At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?

MATT: You’re not alone. We feel all the feels, too.

MIKE: When you get knocked down, you can get back up again. I believe we have a positive message and good vibes with our music. If someone is going through a rough time in their life, hopefully the music can encourage them and let them know that it will be ok.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this band or your music?

DEREK: One of the most important things we hope people pick up on is the generally positive and energetic message we spread buy our music. Also, we hope the subliminal messages work.

MIKE: We are a fun, loving, awesome group of people. We love music and hopefully you can tell thru our music!

MATT: I sometimes compare Rainy Day Crush to Jack Rabbit Slim’s, or Big Kahuna Burger. We’re not McDonald’s. We’re not mass-produced. You might not have heard of us yet, but we do have some TASTY songs, and a $5 shake that’s to die for.

"...decidedly wonderful..." – Audible Addixion

Looking to gain momentum as they approach festival season, indie-pop trio Rainy Day Crush have released their new EP, “I’m Still Alive.”

The band was originally put together in 1994, as Matt Specht and a few of his friends were recent graduates of high school and wanted to hone their music skills. The group had a successful run in the 90’s, including playing a plethora of live shows in Wisconsin and being signed to an independent label; however, the project eventually started to fade amongst its members.

Luckily, Rainy Day Crush experienced a resurrection in 2012 after they were asked to play a reunion show as a fundraiser. Subsequently, they played a number of acoustic shows and grew back into a full-band experience. Unfortunately, the group lost two lead vocalists in one year, after which they collectively agreed to continue with Specht as the frontman.

A highlight track from the group’s EP is “Heartbreak (Or How to Get Over It).” The song starts out with a catchy distorted guitar riff and Specht talking about how he’s “trying to make sense out of [his] feelings that lurk behind.”

Immediately, listeners can tell that Specht is speaking of a past love interest with whom he had a falling out. The song can essentially be summed up by two lines in the chorus: “You broke my heart, but hey, that’s okay. I’m still alive, I can fight one more day,”

Following the song’s midsection, the band lead listeners into a classic instrumental/solo before ushering them out with a powerful last chorus. It’s easy to see why Heartbreak is one of the group’s more popular tracks.

The extended play’s closer, “Bonfires” is a standout as well. The song is over three and half minutes of Specht talking about how he’d like to live: just with “[his love interest], and the sea, and bonfires.” Musically, the track boasts a few differences from some of its predecessors. Most notably, the atmosphere built by the inclusion of piano alongside guitar. In all, Bonfires closes the EP well while remaining unique from the other three songs.

Ultimately, Rainy Day Crush has proved that they can deliver with their newest EP, and the music demonstrates how talented the band truly is.

Rainy Day Crush is eager to develop past the Wisconsin music scene and expand into the Indie Pop genre. Their first stop on this journey is this summer’s Summerfest, arguably the world’s largest music festival.

On July 7th, the band will join the ranks alongside popular acts such as Tom Petty, Pink, The Chainsmokers, Zac Brown Band, Awolnation, Third Eye Blind, Toto, and Huey Lewis and the News as they perform on the Uline Warehouse Stage.

Without a doubt, Rainy Day Crush is on their way for a powerful comeback into the music industry. Their return is marked by a decidedly wonderful four-track EP, and music fans everywhere should do themselves a favor and check it out!

"...I'd never be bored with that sound." – Sleeping Bag Studios

“Ch-ch-ch-changes!”

If you are familiar with the music of Rainy Day Crush, you’ve become accustomed to change. Heck – if you’re familiar with LIFE then you should be accustomed to change…I suppose it doesn’t just apply to this band specifically, but they sure have been through a lot. If you look back fifteen years ago, you’ll find their first record Free To Go…and you’ll notice that today, Matt Specht is the last man standing from that original lineup. As mentioned – LIFE gets in the way from there…Rainy Day Crush takes a nearly thirteen year hiatus before returning, reinvigorated with a new lineup. They put out an EP they called Calamity! – which we reviewed here at the page back when it came out…and shortly after it was released into the world, their lead-singer left the band, leaving the future of RDC more up in the air than ever before. That time that was meant to be spent celebrating the release of Calamity! became inevitably mixed and tainted by the departure of their former band-mate, leaving them to figure out what that next step might be…if there was even going to be one. You musicians out there…many of you know what that moment can be like…the instability and fragility of that moment where one departs can often be the end of the entire band or project in many scenarios and has proven to be so many times throughout music’s history. If they were to continue on – they would somehow have to fill the space left behind…and then of course, at the very least, a head count of who’s not ready to give up just yet.

Those of you out there that checked out episode 042 of the SBS Podcast already know how they found the way to overcome their lineup shakeup – but in case you missed it, Rainy Day Crush internalized and discovered the answer had been a part of the band all along. OG Matt took on the vocal duties for their 2017 release of the I’m Still Alive EP and put in an inspired performance that sounded determined and focused to not let go of the dream for a solitary second…a performance that shows Rainy Day Crush is still alive, thriving, thrashing and kicking…that there is still plenty of life in this project and no reason to slow down the momentum they’ve built between them since coming back to existence after 13 years. So together, Matt (Vocals, Piano, Guitar) and his two cohorts, Mike Wynn, Jr. (Drums, Vocals) and Derek Schattl (Bass) reworked, revamped and adapted their sound to suit the advantages of a three-piece instead – and he we are today – you’ve been caught up to speed on Rainy Day Crush. You’re welcome.

I like to think we all build on our history, learn from our past and evolve, no matter what the situations or circumstances in our lives are…that experience all counts for something, good or bad. I’d never disrespect the past members of a band…because they would have contributed something to that experience, which again, would make the entire chapter of that journey a worthwhile one to have been a part of. I liked what Betsy brought to the vocals of Rainy Day Crush…it was my sincere hope that what they’d now accomplish with Matt at the helm would simply accomplish the task of not making me miss that sound in their music too much; I’m confident that I can say they’ve managed to do that…perhaps even exceeded my expectations in that respect – I think this EP really sounds tight, focused, fun, & deep.

They’re certainly not hiding the switch in the vocal department – Matt starts out the melody of the opening cut “No Such Thing” immediately…and if you’re familiar with the sound of Rainy Day Crush, you’ll instantly hear you’re in for a whole new part of their adventure. Before I forget to write it down – MIKE…you’re a beast back there on the kit brother…every time I heard this song when I was playing the EP, that was something that continually stood out on this first track. The pace, part & playing is actually quite demanding at times and Mike is back there pounding it all out like it just ain’t no thang. Smooth. Okay…where was I? Right – the beginning. “No Such Thing” has a decent verse and a chorus that slays; kind of like one of those bright & catchy rock/pop combos you find in All American Rejects…similar big hooks in the execution of the song’s biggest moments and plenty of vocal melodies to go around. I think you gotta hand it to Matt…reading the story of the journey of Rainy Day Crush is one thing, it’s another to live it I’m sure, and then beyond that, it’s a whole different trip to listen to something like the energy of “No Such Thing” and feel like he hasn’t skipped a beat. It’s an excellent opening cut for the EP and a standup track overall…the moment that it kicks-in to its main rhythm & groove and Derek steps in to strengthen the sound with the low-end punch, this song really kicks into gear and continues on a hot roll from there. The chanting backing vocals sound like they’ve got their own pep-rally happening in the background while they play this tune…lyrically it’s a sound & solid mix of emotions and energy that comes shining through the hooks of the chorus on “No Such Thing.”

We played “Heartbreak (Or How To Get Over It)” on the ol’ Podcast last week in preparation of releasing this review out there…you know, just to give ya a taste of what was to come. There’s lots to love about this tune, first thing being that it really confirms that, while Rainy Day Crush might have taken a turn towards more of an edge to their sound – their spectacular use of melody and stunning songwriting is still firmly intact. I love the way the music of “Heartbreak (Or How To Get Over It)” began…I’m not even remotely kidding when I say I could go for like, an additional 2-3 minutes of that as an intro and I’d never be bored with that sound. As it stands, it hits quick, moving instantly into the guitar riff that fuels the verse and is damn near as strong as any melody you’ll hear in the vocals on this cut. Loved the tone, loved the performance…I loved the way that Rainy Day Crush continually chops up the flow with inventive beats & fills from Mike that assist massively in shifting the sound of the music, evolving the structure and leading to really interesting transitions that grab our attention. Another stand-out chorus, perhaps an arguably more balanced track from verse to chorus in terms of what’ll ears will notice…there’s pretty much hooks all over this song and some really smart choices being made here in how they’ve recorded, performed and mixed it. Big vocals, smooth in their sound when they want to really hang onto that melody and bold when the energy comes up in the music, supported at the flanks by impressive harmonies and backing layers that complement the lead really well. Could it be a bit more polished in that sense? Maybe – but I’d argue that the freedom of expression reigns supreme here and that the wild mix of the layers of vocals, especially towards the end, really communicates the sincerity & emotion of the song’s overall theme, subject & sentiment if you’re paying attention. So take that!

“You Think” is potentially single-worthy in my opinion, Rainy Day Crush finds a seriously solid groove here while tackling some pretty damn heartbreaking stuff in the lyrics. The strong contrast of emotion in the words combined with that empowered energy in the music and tone of the vocals in the chorus is likely to be something that people will really remember. Highlight moments for Matt on the piano on “You Think” and how well he interacts with Mike and Derek in the rhythm section…the band is dialed into a really meaty & deep groove here that some people could like just as much for the vibrant imagination & creativity in the music as others will for the darker introspection of the lyrics will latch onto. Like me! I think these are some of the best moments for Rainy Day Crush on a lyrical level overall – I won’t deny that I think the writing of the hook in the chorus and the words at that point in time on “No Such Thing” might still take the cake for me – but I love what’s happening throughout this entire cut and how real it all feels here. That’s the beauty of contrast ultimately. I’m a victim of the fact that I generally write for the vibe of the music…and I’m not making a claim that Rainy Day Crush hasn’t considered that in writing “You Think” – but I think where contrast exists, you also get more of a genuine insight into what’s really on someone’s mind when it comes to lyrics being involved. That make any sense to anyone out there? I’m just saying that, “You Think” makes you realize that the struggle in Rainy Day Crush has certainly been real…these emotions are tough ones…but there’s no mistaking them for anything other than genuine in my opinion…that was the impression that this third cut left on me. Personally, I seriously dig it when people give us the unfiltered reality of their emotions in music – if I was to hazard a guess…I’d certainly be willing to float a theory that much of “You Think” could possibly be describing the immediate aftermath that surrounded the days, weeks & months after the release of their last EP. Don’t quote me on that…you know me & my crazy theories…but if you listen closely to the words of “You Think” – even without knowing the full story, one might assume it’s autobiographical.

I hear a song like “Bonfires” and the first thing I think to myself is ‘thank the stars that not everyone out there feels like they have to write songs for the radio.’ I mean that in the best of ways. “Bonfires” isn’t meant to exist in the top-40 – it’s the song you seek out late at night…that experience in music that you want to share with your friends because it has its own distinct and gripping vibe. That doesn’t make it a ‘hit’ despite its inherent captivating charisma on display – but thankfully, bands like Rainy Day Crush are capable of creating art just as much as they are capable of creating a hook. They make a clear choice here to ditch the flashier sounds and more easily digested pop-rock melodies to create a really moving, meaty & weighted experience that is loaded with expression & beautiful, melancholy moments along the way. Put it to you this way…even with as much of an impression as they can make with the more upfront hooks of the first three songs, I certainly wouldn’t discourage the band from pursuing ideas as strong and tightly written as “Bonfires” is. To me…this song SOUNDS like satisfaction…like you can hear the sheer collective will of this band seeking to pull the stunningly dark beauty in this melody off as well as could possibly be done…and from the music to mix, lyrics to performance – every one of them brings a slow-burning intensity to the role they play on “Bonfires” and a focus that is straight-up inspiring to listen to. Because let’s face it…”No Such Thing,” “Heartbreak (Or How To Get Over It)” and “You Think” all sound like songs that you KNOW Rainy Day Crush could crank out for years and experience a solid amount of support and success…but it’s in taking chances on a more riskier cut like “Bonfires” that the rewards of the journey & authentic love of the art of making music truly reveals itself, on multiple levels.

Really solid job on the I’m Still Alive EP. Rainy Day Crush is audibly still going strong and absolutely still has a ton to offer the ears in this new chapter of the band’s legacy…and most importantly, the players that remain still sound completely 100% into it…and it’s because of that, that we as listeners, are too.