The life of a music obsessed journalist can at times be daunting. On almost a daily basis my inbox is filled to the brim with new music to check out. Press releases coming to me from all ends of the music industry spectrum and only so much time to write about the bands I want people to hear. It’s kind of like walking into a massive candy store as a child and being told that you can only pick out one thing. It can feel next to impossible and frustrating as there are only so many hours in my life to devote to editorials. Luckily for anyone reading this article I have some time to share my latest musical treat with you in the form of Nashville based rock group, Bluphoria. Bluphoria, was at one time a name suggestion from a friend but later materialized in the form of a dream. According to lead singer and guitarist, Reign LaFreniere, Bluphoria is the feeling of sadness and depression while still trying to get through an otherwise happy event like a party. I recently had the opportunity to chat with the band about their name, origins and how they plan to take the Nashville music scene by storm.
Bluphoria is Reign LaFreniere (lead vocals & guitar), Dakota Landrum (backing vocals & rhythm guitar), Rex Wolf (bassist), Dani Janae (drums).
Could you talk a little bit about what the name ‘Bluphoria’ means to you?
- Reign: Bluphoria is that feeling of being depressed at a party but still trying to have fun. We try to keep that energy with the songs. All major chords are pretty upbeat but the lyrical content doesn’t always match that same positive energy. I had a dream that I saw a billboard with the name Bluphoria on it and that pretty much solidified the band name. From that point on anyone who joined was told “This is the band name”.
I read somewhere that you were discovered by an intern while playing some house shows on your college campus, which subsequently led to you being signed by Edgeout records. How do you like being on this label and do they allow you to maintain your creative freedom? Do they push you to grow social media platforms like TikTok or do they allow you to do your own thing?
- Dani: TikTok is the main platform for musicians currently and it’s so hit or miss for so many people. Musicians like Lil Nas X and Doja Cat have made their entire careers on TikTok. It’s really challenging because we are encouraged to create for the platform but it can be a hard thing to tackle.
- Reign: We made a parody video for Wrangler Jeans and it got us a ton of views and it got us a lot of followers until the algorithm was changed and our numbers started to drop off and people were messaging us asking us why we weren’t posting but we were.
- Dakota: I specifically got into rock music to spend my time away from social media and the internet. Then once we got to this level it felt like I had to get more into it, I had no choice.
- Reign: We didn’t even start making videos until the middle of COVID because it was one of the only ways to get our music out to people.
- Dani: It sometimes feels like musicians are now asked to turn their fans’ brains into 24/7 marketing space. You can’t even say “Check out my song” without people feeling like it’s an ad.
- Reign: Most fans don’t even want to be marketed to!
Who made the playlist on your Spotify profile called “65 Roadtrip”? It’s amazing and you have great taste in music!
- Reign: I made it! What I do on roadtrips sometimes is change the EQ on the Spotify to make it sound like a high pass filter to make it sound old and shitty. Then I blast the playlist, driving to Hank Williams and Sam Cooke.
- Dani: It depends on where we are too! If we are in the desert we play The Eagles or Yacht Rock. A blizzard is always Sam Cooke.
- Reign: When it’s cold I play Bob Marley! We all have very eclectic tastes in music. I grew up on Bob Marley and CCR and a lot of soul music.
- Rex: We all have so many different inspirations
- Dani: I had so many different influences. I had an older sister who was growing up during the golden era of Death Cab for Cutie and I was pretty obsessed with the B-52’s. I have played Rock Lobster more times than I care to admit.
- Dakota: I listened to a lot of 70’s music growing up. Where I came from I didn’t hear a lot of Hip Hop or R&B, it was mostly music from the 70’s. My early stuff was Kirk Franklin and a lot of gospel. When I got to high school I realized I could probably get my own Spotify account and listen to whatever I wanted.
- Rex: My dad growing up was stuck in the 80’s most of the time and my Mom was stuck in the 90’s. So depending on who I was driving around with is what I listened to. If it was my dad it was a lot of The Cure and The Smiths. Then I get into the car with my mom and it’s Soundgarden and a lot of Alice in Chains. It was all over the place between decades.
When you guys sit down to write songs do you all jam together and throw out ideas or do you each write a song first and then bring it to the group?
- Reign: Dakota and I typically bring the bare bones of a song and we show it to the rest of the band and we kind of jam it out from there.
- Rex: Usually one of us will come in with some type of progression or like a lyrical melody and we grow it from there. We all find a way to contribute.
- Reign: I didn’t realize this until recently that most of our songs are COVID songs. We wrote a ton during that time. We have been writing a lot of new stuff recently and it’s my goal to get as much music out there as I can during my lifetime.
You guys have your full length album coming out soon, could you talk a little bit about that?
- Reign: Our last single “Columbia” was just released on the 31st of March and then the album is going to drop!
- Rex: I am so excited for this album to finally come out. It feels like we have been waiting sooo long for it to happen. It’s been a year since we recorded it so it’s going to feel amazing for it to finally be out.
So aside from the album what does the rest of the year hold for you guys?
- Reign: We might be going back to the studio for a special project and we are trying to plan a tour and basically just getting our music out there to as many people as possible. So mainly just playing shows for the rest of the year and getting ready for the next project.
- Dani: Hopefully working on a sophomore album
- Rex: Every time we get together we try to work on new music. Also we are always coming across old stuff that we need to revive. I think there is a lot of good stuff that didn’t make the record that we need to bring back.
- Dakota: A lot of hidden tracks!
- Rex: We were jamming on one last week that I really liked!
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to chat with us.
- Band collectively: Thanks for having us!
Be sure to listen to Bluphoria’s latest single “Columbia” which is streaming on all music platforms and be sure to check their upcoming show schedules for dates near you!
For more on Bluphoria check out: Website | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.