The Grand Rapids band today debuts a new video at Local Spins, which also spotlights fresh tracks by Katie Pederson, The Volcanic, Flowers on the Grave, Laura Rain and more.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO PREMIERE AND RADIO SHOW PODCAST
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A mentor once advised Grand Rapids multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Laura Hobson that creativity most importantly should spawn collaboration.
Hobson has taken that to heart with the Grand Rapids alternative rock/pop band Phabies, which she formed four years ago.
“I always thought of myself as existing in this little bubble and afraid to give away these songs,” she recalled, before realizing that a band was “a way to get songs out in the world without being pigeonholed as a singer-songwriter. It’s a band. We all collaborate together.”
Embracing “the spirit and culture of the DIY scene,” Phabies has carved out a unique, artistic and entertaining niche in West Michigan, releasing EPs and singles over the past few years, with their full-length debut album, “Fire Seed,” set for release in April.
But before that, the band – Hobson, guitarist/bassist Garrett Stier, drummer Joshua Holicki and synth player Max McKinnon — has unleashed its creativity for Valentine’s Day with the world premiere of a video accompanying the single, “Crazy to Love You.” Hobson describes it as “a Valentine’s Day fever dream.”
The video debuts today exclusively at Local Spins. View the video here and scroll down to listen to this week’s Local Spins on WYCE radio show podcast, featuring an interview with Hobson and Stier, along with airing another recent track, “OMG.”
VIDEO: Dogtown Studio Presents Phabies, “Crazy to Love You” (wsg Julia LeRoy)
Growing up in Flushing where she started playing piano at a young age and picking up the guitar after attending Hope College in Holland, Hobson was inspired by British singer-songwriter Laura Marling as well as artists such as St. Vincent, Joan Baez, Caroline Rose and Natalie Prass.
AIMING ‘TO HIGHLIGHT HOW TALENTED PEOPLE ARE’ AROUND THE BAND
“I love anything with a DIY vibe that feels like its own world, and on the opposite side of that, I’ve been known to enjoy our ’90s diva, Celine Dion,” she acknowledged.
“That’s probably why Phabies has always been hard to pin down musically. I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to sounds and ideas, and I like to be able to chameleon my way into different genres.”
Stier noted that band members “really just want to elevate creativity of the people around us and collaborate.”
Added Hobson: “I’ve always just wanted to highlight how talented people are around me. People think you can only be talented and successful if you live in New York City or L.A., but I’m surrounded by some of the most talented people you could ever meet.”
Members of Phabies have extensive experience in other bands, with Hobson, Holicki and Stier currently part of the Grand Rapids rock band Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions, and McKinnon formerly with the group Mertle. Hobson also is a past member of the band Antrim Dells.
While some performances over the past several months have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, Phabies will perform at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids on March 5, along with The Fever Haze, Marsfade and Young Ritual. Tickets for the all-ages show are $13, available online here.
The band plans a special album-release show in late April and hopes to add more gigs to the calendar in support of the new recording later this year.
Through it all, Phabies will remain a DIY champion, from making their own sets and costumes to creating music with other artists.
“When I say DIY, I just mean we do it all ourselves,” Hobson said. “The whole idea is always to be showcasing friendships and literally to have fun.”
In addition to spotlighting the music of Phabies, the Feb. 11 edition of Local Spins on WYCE — which focuses on local and regional music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org — aired new music by Drew Hale, Katie Pederson, Cal in Red (this week’s musicians’ pick by Phabies), Flowers on the Grave, Jay Gavan, The Volcanic, Laura Rain & The Caesars and Ernie Clark & The Magnificent Bastards, as well as tracks from Jake Allen and May Erlewine. Listen to the podcast here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (2/11/22)
Check out previous Local Spins on WYCE podcasts and Artist Spotlights.
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