If Paris in the 1920s was for the writers and the artists, New Paltz is for the homegrown bands and DIY scene. Within our humble community we have dormhold names like What?, Schmave and now after its rebranding, GREENHOUSELAKE.
But who is this loud and proud band who dares to yell in your face with the written word? To find out I visited the salon itself, Crossroads.
Met with an easy, ear-to-ear grin from the man of the hour and GREENHOUSELAKE lead singer himself, Elijah Bloome, I was welcomed into a cozy epicenter for creativity, buzzing with soft hues, twinkly lights and the smell of fresh brewing coffee.
Bloome revealed that it was right in that room — the heart of their beloved venue — where they actually recorded their entire upcoming EP.
But before even discussing their tracklist, upon sitting down I just had to know: what is with that name?
“Everyone asks!” Bloome admitted. “Recently we changed the band name over the summer, we wanted to do something that was more nostalgic, more personal. We wanted to go back to our roots, our friendship forming.”
The moniker, if spelled out, is an homage to the beginnings of Bloome and lead guitarist, Caleb Couri’s, dynamic duo of music making and friendship, back in Bloomingburg, New York.
“It’s about a green house that was between where Caleb and I lived. We would just hang out after school, at this cool, abandoned, like, rotting house. It was next to this beautiful lake and we’d chill and write music,” Bloome said.
Being Bloome’s first musical project, GREENHOUSELAKE underwent many changes over the last six years since its conception with Couri, who also lends his talents to 7 on Pump 1. As other members came and went as is the pull and push of life, the current standing act consists of drummer Joe Leonardo and main bassist Nico Caro, frontman of Benchmark.
The four bandmates and close friends have a chemistry between them that makes the way they work seamless. Bloome starts with the framework of lyrics and melodies, and shows the rest of the crew.
“Joe will add the drums, Nico has a baseline that matches, Caleb writes some really fancy jazz stuff over it,” Bloome said. “I play the most simple chords, everything I do is pretty simple on my guitar.”
Though he may call his chords simple, it’s Bloome’s pairing of passionate and vulnerable lyrics with upbeat, sunny music that defines the sound of GREENHOUSELAKE. Their discography marks the tempestuous and trying times of this past summer.
“I just wrote these poems and added them to some surf rock chords. I wanted it to sound really fun and cheerful, but also if you listen it’s about really personal issues or struggles,” Bloome said. “It’s like a happy sound, but like really intense lyrical content.”
Their EP, written and recorded within a two month period over the musing summer, is cheekily titled ALLCAPS-NOSPACES.
“Honestly, this was our first home production so there’s a lot of challenges that come with that, like figuring out mic placement, figuring out how to use pro tools. The whole thing was like we were learning, because it’s the first time we’ve done it so everything was new,” Bloome said. “And really, it’s not even a challenge ‘cause it went so well. Everything that could have gone well, went well. And, if you listen, there’s a lot of background talking and noises from the house: laughing and stuff like that.”
Those background noises, sounds of living in the house that is Crossroads, everyone’s quips and lively chatter, are all part of the music. The eclecticism of their music making extends past their stage, as well. After the recent release of their first single this past month, they played a venue where fans greeted them, knowing their lyrics already.
“We went to Oneonta- for the first time at Dad Shack, it’s another student-run venue, and a lot of people were singing back to us, which is the first time that’s ever happened,” Bloome recalled. “And it was really weird, you know? They listened to our Spotify song before we even came that night. So, that was so freaking cool, it was good, it went really well.”
Hopefully, the same may happen at their EP release party, scheduled for March 22nd — purposefully to celebrate Spring and their own rebirth — just two days after they officially drop ALLCAPS-NOSPACES. To hold us over until then, however, GREENHOUSELAKE will be dropping their second single tomorrow!