You Me & Us
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You Me & Us

Palm Springs, California, United States | SELF

Palm Springs, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop Rock

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14. You Me & Us - "Swim Or Sink" - CMJ


We've been crushing on power-pop gems snarled in the stained laces of a shoe-gaze haze since the early '90s. Add some deliberate, adorable, sweet-and-sour vocals, and we're goners. - NYLON


A rush of sugary shoegaze-inflected pop that'll leave listeners' heads spinning and hearts swollen. - SPIN


Paired with vocalist/guitarist Carlee Hendrix's angelic murmur, the music chugs along in a slight and infectiously off-kilter manner—think Best Coast at a Slowdive concert—the effect, intoxicating. - Interview Magazine


You Me & Us talks about hating high school and premieres their new EP. - Rookie Magazine


Part of my favorite time of this year is reading through the mass hoards of year end lists, digging through to find gems that I missed over the year. With sites like RYM, setting up your own site for commentary is no longer even a requirement. Browsing through lists last night, I came across You Me & Us.

The bands only release is the Paperweights EP. At 6 songs and only 11 minutes, Paperweights is sweet, short and too the point. Featuring vocals that are reminiscent of early Rilo Kiley over sunbathed shimmering lo-fi pop a la Best Coast, it gives off an aura that big things could be on the horizon for these guys. I for one, really really hope so. - Bedwetting Cosmonaut


If short, sharp lo-fi pop smash and grab is your cup of tea, then Californian duo You Me & Us is sure to make you grin like a daft person. Their brand of immediate fuel-injected sunshine throws a lasso round you and hauls you into their world; no escape, no nonsense, no reason not to get soaked by the rays. - Centuries


What would happen if Rilo Kiley were just starting out amid today’s garage-rock surge? Well, they would sound a lot like Bermuda Dunes-based band You Me & Us. They may call their genre of music “dog pop,” and they may not have a single song over 2 minutes 30 seconds on their “Paperweights” EP, but guitarist and lead vocalist Carlee Hendrix sings with an inflection that is eerily reminiscent of a young Jenny Lewis (especially on “Off Pudding,” which is barely a minute long). Drummer Ignacio Caniza and bassist Joseph Goode also help Hendrix round out a sound that easily flashes a listener back to the days of “Take Offs and Landings.” You Me & Us list “pizza and Aaron Carter” as their influences (in addition to dogs, of course), so here’s to beginnings. Woof.
- Buzzbands LA


You Me & Us is a two piece band from Riverside, CA that play fuzzy tunes soaked in sweet sounding relatable remarks. Very much something you’d blast while you’re chillin in your garage on a summer day, thinking about what you should possibly do with the rest of your time.

Neighborhood explorations, sleepovers. Sitting on your rooftop watching the sun go down. The things you think and say when you’re soaked in your lasting youth. The simple perfections in life- the smiles, the laughs, the happiness, the sweaters. Losing something really great, the pain you feel before you discover the better reason for it all. Summer flings, late nights. You Me & Us’ “Paperweights” is the season before independence, the soundtrack that manages to get you through it. - Sincerely, California


Ever pop on a record and immediately fall in love with it? That’s pretty much my reaction to the new 7? from California’s You Me and Us. With its bright melodies; heartfelt and mature lyrics; and upbeat performances, it’s a perfect fit into my Summer of 2011 soundtrack. In fact, if you love the crop of youthful Houston indie pop like Giant Princess, Wild Moccasins, and Young Girls, I am going to demand(!!!) you do two things. First, go see them at Super Happy Funland on Wednesday and second, click here [ http://grumpybear.bandcamp.com/ ] and download the 7? yourself. If this doesn’t give you grab you, then you and I have nothing to talk about. Given that the band is less than a year old and this is their first time in Houston, we contacted them so they could introduce themselves to Houston.

FPH – OK you guys are coming into town from California. I’m sure you are under a lot of people’s radar but I think Paperweights is phenomenal. Introduce yourselves: tell us about the band, how you guys came together, your local scene, and that kind of stuff.

Jan- We’re glad you like it! Carlee plays guitar and sings, Ignacio plays bass and I play the drums.

Carlee- Ignacio and I met when we were in high school, and he met Jan when he left for college. We have been hanging out and playing music in other bands together ever since. Ignacio and I live in Palm Springs and we aren’t necessarily a part of the music scene there, but Jan grew up in LA and goes to school in Riverside and both of those cities have been really welcoming and awesome.

FPH - Paperweights pretty upbeat and melodic but undeneath all that are some some less than sunny lyrics. Why the juxtaposition between tone and your lyrics?

Carlee- I think that contrast has always been present in my songwriting. I love sunny pop songs, simple chord progressions and easy melodies. But lyrically, I like for there to be a strangeness. It’s a slightly more modern take on nostalgic pop.

FPH – Who writes the songs and the lyrics and how is the dynamics and personalities of the members help shape the songs?

Ignacio- Carlee writes the lyrics and comes to Jan and I with a guitar part. I think it’s our individual musical influences that write the rest of the songs.

Carlee- My first outlines of songs are usually very simple and purely surf or pop. Jan and Ignacio add a lot of dynamic to the initial idea and come up with things I wouldn’t initially think to try that end up working out really nicely.

?FPH – This is pretty unabashed pop but it’s also very garagey in its production. Where do you draw your inspiration and by that I mean not just bands but from other art forms, friends, or whatever?

Ignacio-Musically, we all have a love of 50’s and 60’s pop and early punk, but the garagey undertones you can pick out in our songs come from a lot of late 80’s/early 90’s experimental and grunge.

Jan- As far as other inspirations go, our top three of all time have to be dogs, spinach and artichoke pizza, and adventures.

FPH – Speaking of Adventure, if each band member was an Adventure Time with Finn and Jake character, who would it be?

Ignacio- Lumpy Space Princess, in fact I was LSP for Halloween this last year!

Carlee- The Candy Corn, without a doubt.

Jan- I’d be the Cinnamon Bun.

FPH – It doesn’t look like you guys have been around long. Is this your first tour and release?

Ignacio- We’ve all toured with other bands before, but this is You Me & Us’ first tour and it’s also the biggest tour any of us have ever been on. Aside from a demo we recorded when we first started playing together in January, Paperweights is our first release. We love these songs and we’re really excited to be playing them every night, meeting awesome people, and seeing most of the country.

FPH – You have some live videos on your website with some great songs that are from the demo. I was listening to the demo and it’s funny how you guys have progressed from that. “Ugly Pants” seems a little hesitant in its performance and you sound like you are doing a very Pixies kind of thing and “Vegetable Soup” sound much more confident and driving in the video version than on the demo. How was that session different than Paperweights and how do you feel you guys have progressed as a band over the last few months?

Jan- The demo wasn’t too focused on the production in a sense, I guess. We just really wanted to put something out at that moment. With ‘Paperweights’, we took more time with writing and recording the album.

Carlee- We definitely gave the songs and the overall direction of the record a lot more time to develop.

FPH – Since you guys have only been around for less than a year, this is all pretty new. Where do you see the band and the music going from here?

Ignacio- We want to tour with Paperweights as much as possible.

Jan- Just looking to play more shows and write more songs along the way.

FPH – OK, you are going to be playing Super Happy - Free Press Houston


This album is full of energy, excitement, youth, pretty vocals, and fuzzy guitars. I snagged a blue colored 7" of this great record after seeing You Me & Us play at Skrappy's a few weeks ago. The record starts off with probably my favorite track out of the bunch, "Off Pudding". Her vocals sound especially compelling on this track, with a hint of sadness in stark contrast to the fun, upbeat melody going on in the background. The lyrics are actually quite serious, about life changing, moving apart from others, and growing older. It's very relevant to many young people forging their way in life, expressing the joys of exploring the world and being fearless, but at the same time, also feeling a disconnect to people or places once known well. It's a shame it's only about 1 minute long, it leaves me wanting more! To be honest, when I listen to this record, I have to repeat this song a few times before I feel satisfied to move on to the next track.

The next track, "Steve Holt!" starts off sounding very similar to "Off Pudding", but quickly becomes more distinct as the vocals begin. This song has definite swaying power. As I sit and listen, I find myself relaxing, daydreaming, and swaying from side to side with its easy melody. And of course, it references a great bit of pop culture-- the character Steve Holt from the TV show taken off the air much too soon, Arrested Development.

What is really striking about this record to me is the vocals, Carlee, guitarist and vocalist, has a unique voice that has a lot of character and intricacies, and how well her beautiful vocals work with the adventurous and youthful fuzziness of the guitar and bass, and the upbeat drum rhythms. This great balance is heard on each track of this 7". You Me & Us is a band writing music very true to them, to their youth, and the culture of where they are from. It's dreamy, summer-y, and most definitely California rock and roll at heart.

Track Listing:
1. Off Pudding 1:03
2. Steve Holt! 1:54
3. Bright Red Marker 2:19
4. Planetary Differences 1:02
5. California Street 1:24
6. Paperweights 2:23 - West Coast Fix


Discography

Stay Inside EP (Self Released, 2013)
Paperweights EP (Fun Mountain, 2011)

Photos

Bio

Try as you might, first crushes and first loves are the ones you can't shake, even decades later. There's something about that first release of chemicals to the brain, giving you a glow you've never felt before. And really, who wouldn't want to strive to bring that sensation back again?

Short of setting up a dating service, we might have just the thing to help bring that flush back to your cheeks and a spring back to your step: the new EP, Stay Inside, from You Me & Us. This power-pop/shoegaze trio — featuring Carlee Hendrix on vocals and guitars, Alyssa Midcalf on bass, and Ignacio Caniza on drums — from the heart of Palm Springs, California provides straight shots of fuzz pedal driven endorphins with a chaser of Hendrix's sugar sweet vocals.

The five songs on Stay Inside have the scintillating rush of a new romance, true, but they also carry that delicious yearning for long-lost lovers ("I remember that night/like it was last night/the lines on your face/and the light in your eyes," she sings on "Warm & Dry") and a still burning passion for a current paramour ("We'll watch our freckles fade/we'll start growing old/and tired/and waste away," from "Freckles").

Says Hendrix, "I love sunny pop songs, simple chord progressions, and easy melodies. But lyrically I like there to be strangeness. It's a modern take on nostalgic pop."

This combination of strange and sweet is striking a chord for all who encounter it. Chuck P, one of KCRW's best-known DJs, likens their work to the first time he heard The Breeders: "Crushworthy vocals and immediate tunes wrapped in bedroom pop perfection." Too, the band was invited this year to take the stage at Coachella and perform during the annual insanity that is SXSW.

But enough talk... just press play and let the shimmering sound of Stay Inside's honey-tinged songs wash into your ears.

You Me & Us' Stay Inside is out on June 25, 2013 and catch the band out on the road all of July around the U.S.!

PRESS

"A rush of sugary shoegaze-inflected pop that'll leave listeners' heads spinning and hearts swollen." -SPIN

"Paired with vocalist/guitarist Carlee Hendrix's angelic murmur, the music chugs along in a slight and infectiously off-kilter manner—think Best Coast at a Slowdive concert—the effect, intoxicating." -INTERVIEW

"We've been crushing on power-pop gems snarled in the stained laces of a shoe-gaze haze since the early '90s. Add some deliberate, adorable, sweet-and-sour vocals, and we're goners." -NYLON

"The Palm Springs trio gives us more music for mixtape making as we look forward to the coming seasons littered with good news or better news than the first half of 2013 has offered us yet." -IMPOSE

"Everything the Palm Springs-based power-pop and shoegaze trio packs in less than 3 minutes is sunny, crunchy and just a little off-kilter enough to make you hit play again in fear of missing out on something else you could have liked in that track." -BUZZBANDS LA

"This band reminds me of what I loved about The Breeders the first time I heard them. Crush worthy vocals and immediate tunes wrapped in bedroom pop perfection." - Chuck P, KCRW