Ever wish your favorite musicians lived next door? Well, it’s up to you to lift the window sill and say hello to your Neighbors.
Neighbors. is a four piece indie band from Hartford, CT, with members James Waterman, Jacqueline Sugrue, Tom Skovran and Adam Clark. Waterman sings and plays guitar, Sugrue sings and plays keyboard, and Skovran plays the drums beside Clark, who, according to Waterman, “shreds something fierce on bass.” Waterman also guides his mallets wildly over the vibraphone, a percussion instrument very similar to a xylophone or glockenspiel that has a crisp, ringing sound.
The musicians grew up exploring their talents. Sugrue even reveals, “I am double jointed in my arms and when I was little I would put on backwards piano playing recitals for my family.” With Adam, a Master’s Euphonium student and Tommy, who, aside from his knack for rhythm, also has a keen hand for paint-by-numbers—the bunch was bound to meet up and share their abilities.
Put all of this talent in a blender and what do you get? Tunes with soft, subtle, albeit sometimes haunting harmonies, and an overall Belle and Sebastian feel. Many of their songs even have that 80’s synthpop pizzazz. The band talks about their influences, stating, “Our stuff comes out of an interest in Dirty Projectors, Paul Simon, Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, Belle and Sebastian, Stereolab, and Steve Reich. Dream lineup, right? As for song content,” Waterman jokes, “it’s a lot of personal stuff that I bet you’d rather hear us sing about than talk about.”
Waterman admits the initial struggle to create time and effort to actually launch the band’s kick-off. “Tommy and I talked about starting an indie-style band for about 3 years,” Waterman explains, “Every time we’d hang out we’d say, ‘remember that band we haven’t started yet?’ Now we say, ‘remember when we wanted to start a band and then started a band?’” While it may have been a slow start, the band now takes pride in their progress.
So far, Neighbors. has gigged many places, ranging from the Hartford Art School’s open mic nights to photo exhibits in and around the Hartford area. However, their recent miniature hiatus from live performance seems to be compensated by a copious amount of time in the studio, as the band is currently focusing on recording their material to release online. They encourage their fans to expect many shows this upcoming spring/summer.
As for now, check out their Bandcamp—be their neighbors!