Californian indie pop band Gloomy June (formerly know as The Y-Axis) has refreshed and have a new outlook on their music with the release of the first single Save Anyone under their new moniker. The single is a winner and is no doubt a sign of even bigger things to come with the promise of more music in 2022. Lead singer Alexi Rose Belchere answers some questions for Hi Fi Way.
March is going to be a big month for The Y Axes, what’s happening?
This month we announced we’re changing our name to Gloomy June. We’re so excited about this change, because it’s been a long time coming. Basically the more we focused on writing and performing music, the less The Y Axes felt like a name that fit with our sound.
How hard has it been for the band trying to create music during a pandemic?
Being unable to play live shows because of the pandemic really caused a lot of artists to either take a hiatus or breakup, or, in our case, re-affirm our desire to make music. Writing was really hard in that time period just because it was so stressful, so most of the lyrics I wrote in that time were based in nostalgia for going to shows and parties. I love going to shows and concerts alone, and that left me with not much of a social life without the music scene, so a lot of the songs I wrote were almost wistful for party drama!
How would you describe your music to Australian music fans?
The music that comes out of Australia is fantastic- I love Alex Lahey, Courtney Barnett, of course Tame Impala. If those are a good point of reference I’d say we’re like Alex Lahey plus more synths and more half-time parts. If Australian music isn’t the only point of reference I’d say we’re a mix of emo, new wave, Mew, and Paramore.
What is the story behind your single Save Anyone?
Devin (Nelson, guitar and backing vocals) came up with the instrument melodies and a lot of the vocal melodies for the song- I came up with words to fill in the cadence of the bridge and main chorus melodies they came up with. I like to say the lyrics of the pre-chorus were inspired by Get Your Wish by Porter Robinson, because I was watching him perform in the Secret Sky streaming music festival in the middle of the night when I got out of bed and wrote them. The song is about me coming to terms with my co-dependent tendencies- the chorus is “Know I can’t save anything but could you save your heart for me? Heartbroken on the lowkey that I can’t just be what you need,” and I’m trying to keep my desire to “fix” things for people under control there. A lot of our upcoming songs, I’d say, are me coming to terms with my toxic traits or the red flags I’ve encountered out there. And really, what else was I supposed to do doing Shelter In Place but do some internal work?
How did The Y Axes get together?
The Y Axes started with Devin and I finishing songs we had started with other projects that hadn’t come out the way we wanted. We started writing new songs, and the project evolved into a live band. We found Jack (Sundquist, bass) on Craig’s List and he’s been part of The Y Axes for half its life. During the pandemic, with musicians and friends moving all around the country, we found Ash Hyatt to play drums with us, and that’s when we realized we were ready to change into a new band. It took us almost a year to come to the name gloomy june.
Is there a story behind the band name?
gloomy june is named after the cold fog that surrounds the California coast, and particularly San Francisco, at the beginning of the Summer. When we were looking for a band name, I was trying to avoid anything negative, but Devin came up with the word “gloom” and the idea of “june gloom,” which to me isn’t really negative- it’s just weather.
What are some of the main shared influences for the band?
We have a lot of varied influences for the band, and one of the few bands we can all agree on is AFI, likely because of their mix of heaviness and pop punk.
Are you feeling optimistic about touring internationally?
A little bit! We’ll be going up to Canada in May if all goes well! Maybe you can help us get to Australia next year?
What is something that most fans don’t know about The Y Axes?
Devin writes music for video games podcasts, and runs table top games online. Jack is from Minnesota so he’s impervious to cold. Ash was captain of varsity cheer in high school. I played bass in three local bands before I started singing.
What’s the next challenge for The Y Axes?
Touring and trying to quit our day jobs!
Interview By Rob Lyon