Gentle Organisms are formed by Michael Kelley who plays guitar, bass and sings, and Graham Bechler who plays the drums and takes charge of audio in general. Michael is in charge of songwriting and later involved Graham for the part of co-production in 2020. They are mainly inspired by alternative music in general, but especially that of the 90s and early ’00s; going from artists like Radiohead and Coldplay up to Fiona Apple and Bjork. “Take 2” is their second single, that is completely enveloped by an atmosphere of nostalgia and reflections on the past. No one can change what has been, but often dwelling is what we do best… The next EP will continue on this trail of anxiety and nostalgia, stay tuned!
YMX: Hey GENTLE ORGANISMS, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?
GENTLE ORGANISMS: You know, there’s been a lot of ups and downs, but I’ve been alright! I’ve had more stress about American politics this year than ever before, but I’ve also made so much music and that part feels great.
YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?
GENTLE ORGANISMS: I remember sitting by the city pool in my hometown when I was 6 or 7 and getting lost in the music they were playing over the loudspeakers. This would’ve been 99′ or ’00, so there was The Wallflowers, early Coldplay, Sixpence None the Richer and Sheryl Crow… I think that’s when I really listened to music for the first time and I’ve been looking for that feeling ever since.
YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:
GENTLE ORGANISMS: SO MANY! Okay, Coldplay for starters and the song is “Don’t Panic.” Electric guitar starts the song, then acoustic comes in, then the bass rolls in with the drums and vocals and it just feels so good. I’ve been in love with that band for over a decade. Next is Bjork “History of Touches.” I wanna be that vulnerable with my lyrics and arrangements and damnit if I don’t just feel that song in my gut. Finally, it’s gotta be The 1975 “Love It If We Made It” because it’s the best parts of political punk music in a grooving, alt rock package and Mattie sings with so much emotion!
YMX: You recently released “TAKE 2”. Can you tell us how that project came about?
GENTLE ORGANISMS: “Take 2” was written on my front porch late last summer and it all came out in one voice recording. I found an inspiring new guitar tuning, some chords I liked and I just sang for twenty minutes. I love to write in a stream-of-consciousness fashion because I’m always surprised by the words that come out of me and I love lyrics that trace the progress of a thought from start to finish.
YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?
GENTLE ORGANISMS: It’s been the year that I needed in so many ways. Before this, I was working too much at my day job and there wasn’t enough time in a week to work on music. When the pandemic hit in the U.S., my work schedule was basically cut in half and I reveled in all the extra time I had to be in my home studio. It’s been my most productive year yet!
YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?
GENTLE ORGANISMS: Absolutely! I’ve got a little acoustic session on my Instagram at the moment but one day soon I want to get a band together in the safest way possible and bring “Take 2” and the rest of my upcoming EP to life on a livestream!
YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?
GENTLE ORGANISMS: I feel like an absolute novice when it comes to this… I’ve only just begun to figure out where to go for promotion online. For so long I loathed the thought of how much work it might take, but honestly once you’ve found your avenues, like Submit Hub or Muso Soup, give it a solid hour and you’ll be surprised how much you can achieve!
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
GENTLE ORGANISMS: There’s an EP in the works that will feature both of my current singles and three new songs. That’ll be out by Summer, then I hope you’ll see me and my friends jamming these songs together in some fashion!