The year is still young, and this duo - The Native Sibling - can be your band of 2014. If you've been looking for fresh, clear acoustic sounds this brother-sister duo might be exactly what you need. Ryan and Kaylee were kind enough to spend a few minutes answering some questions for an interview here. In the interview we go all the way from Galway to burritos and back again to their thoughtful lyrics, mixed in with their music videos.
Dave Newell: From reading your bio on your website it seems the two of you didn't find your strong musical connection until you two were out on your own. Did you have very different approaches to music that never seemed to match up early on?
Kaylee Williams: Ryan and I came from different musical beginnings. I began learning classical/jazz piano from the time I was eight and didn't pick up a guitar or start writing songs until much later. Ryan came from hardcore and rock bands when we were young to then touring with pop artists. I think through these experiences we both started to tailor our own voices. It wasn't until a few years ago that we had figured out what is was we wanted to create individually. Once we had, it was an honest surprise to us both that we had fallen into a similar mindset and creative pursuit. Thus, this project has taken form.
DN: How has your music evolved since you began playing together and what do you think it will evolve into?
KW: Our first music still felt like the songs came from either one of us. I think we have evolved in learning to sing and write with one another - playing off of each others instincts and tendencies throughout the process. It's hard to say where it will go. I hope that we continue to learn from one another, write, share, and stay inspired.
DN: What are you currently working on?
Ryan Williams: Our EP just came out so we are really exited about that. That's what we are currently focusing on. Our debut full-length is coming out this spring.
DN: You've mentioned before that Joy Williams is an influence on your music. Who did you grow up listening to?
RW: It's unique that we have the exact same musical upbringing. In my early teens I ventured more into punk and harder music like Black Flag and The Misfits. It wasn't until later for me that I could enjoy a good song with simple acoustic production.
DN: What's the songwriting process like between the two of you?
RW: Initially we write separately, coming into a concept or feel of a song. Once the song has enough meat on its bones to be at least somewhat accurately represented we will bring it to the table. This is the fun part. At this point anything is up for grabs as we both re-evaluate every aspect of the song from lyrics to structure. This process seems to work well for us, making every song a co-write, but still retaining the original vision.
DN: The both of you were in Ireland for some time early on. Is there a part of their culture you can single out and say that people should experience?
KW: I lived in Galway during 2011 and the live music culture there was refreshing and inspiring. The live traditional music sessions are what I would single out as something to experience. I realize this sounds very American of me, there's loads of tourists (me included) that seek these gatherings out. The scene is different from anything I've found in the States. People gathering, drinking pints, playing music, sounding good, and not caring much else accept that the night is a good time. There's nothing contrived about any aspect of it and I liked that.
DN: What are your hobbies outside of music that keep your creativity going? Or what's a staple food for hours-long creative sessions?
KW: I enjoy a good hike or walk, painting, and organic gardening/cooking.
RW: I'm a sucker for a good burrito. I really never cease to enjoy Mexican food.
Ryan and Kaylee, thanks so much for giving us a few minutes, and I hope that we can talk with Ryan later on about how to build a better burrito. Admittedly, my burrito game is weak. Until we can get Ryan to come back, LL Cool J and Martha Stewart will have to do:
The Native Sibling has been a new favorite in our house, and I won't be surprised if you'll be able to say the same. Click through to the iTunes store to purchase their music (Link) to add some great music to your home. You'll also be able to find several ways to follow them online through their website TheNativeSibling.com.