July 7, 2022

Trifilio fashioned Seaside Bunny as a solo mission again in 2015. After wanting to provide music a whirl for years however hesitating as a result of intimidating nature of the business, she lastly determined to report an EP of unique indie-pop songs, Animalism, from the consolation of her childhood bed room in Chicago. Trifilio was simply 18 on the time, however the reality she pulled it off by herself excited her. She set to work recording follow-up EPs in school, 2016’s Pool Get together and 2017’s Crybaby. Finally Trifilio scouted three musicians to affix her below the moniker so she might enter a neighborhood battle of the bands, which denied entry to solo acts. They spent three months rehearsing for the competition, and their ensuing collaborative spirit satisfied Trifilio to show Seaside Bunny into a correct band. The quartet sat all the way down to report their 2018 EP Promenade Queen shortly afterwards, they usually grew to become a neighborhood tour-de-force within the course of, with most everybody in Chicago rooting for them. By the point Trifilio was about to graduate with a journalism diploma, Seaside Bunny had stepped into the studio with Joe Reinhart of Hop Alongside to report their glorious debut album Honeymoon, overflowing with sugary vocal hooks and alt-rock tinged guitars. Anybody who wasn’t beforehand gained over lastly caved.

It helps that Seaside Bunny make it straightforward to cheer for them. Trifilio sings candidly about private struggles and teenage insecurities which might be timelessly relatable, and her bandmates convey the revved up aptitude that makes in any other case easy power-pop really feel so energetic and polished. Past the music, all 4 members are unpretentious youngsters who grew up paying their dues and anticipating nothing for it. Trifilio was a cashier at her native pizza store Armand’s; Henkels labored behind the counter at Panera Bread; Alvarado flipped Whoppers as a fry cook dinner at Burger King; and Vaccaro, who joined the band in 2019 following unique bassist Aidan Cada’s departure, landed jobs at Finest Purchase and his native report retailer. From day one, Seaside Bunny have captured the on a regular basis pleasure, distress, and awkwardness of youth — significantly that of your common teenager — with shocking grace. Their songs are confessional with out the standard melodrama, sincere with out the accompanying cringe, level-headed with out getting preachy.

It’s straightforward to think about their shock, then, when Seaside Bunny grew to become TikTok-famous because of “Promenade Queen,” the titular EP’s lead single about studying to disregard unrealistic magnificence requirements. 1000’s of youngsters have been filming themselves grappling with self-hatred, physique fats, and pimples to the music’s easy chorus: “Perhaps I ought to strive more durable/ You need to decrease your magnificence requirements.” The music’s music video racked up 20 million views. Seaside Bunny have been launched into the pages of The New Yorker and Paper Journal, the place they have been lauded with reward. They landed units at festivals like Lollapalooza and Pygmalion. A sea of followers began populating each social media account the band had, responding to every Instagram image and tweet Trifilio posted. Somebody even began a Seaside Bunny subreddit and Instagram fan account to archive their each transfer.

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But none of these issues dominated Seaside Bunny’s ideas as they rocketed to fame. As a substitute, Trifilio was preoccupied with the message of “Promenade Queen” warping in actual time and the potential impact it might have on listeners. Whereas she’s vulnerable to sing about darkish topic issues, Trifilio by no means intends for her songs to function wallowing grounds. So she instantly wrote a message and pinned it to the highest of the YouTube web page. “I wrote this music for each individual on the market that has felt insecure, unloved, or sad in their very own pores and skin — it’s by no means meant to glamorize, encourage, or promote consuming problems, physique hatred, or physique shaming in any kind,” it reads. “You’re worthy of affection, you might be lovely simply the best way you might be, and sweetness is a social assemble. Please don’t hurt your well being or properly being to stay as much as these invented expectations. It’s not value risking your life over. You’re already a Promenade Queen. You’re already sufficient.” Trifilio began Seaside Bunny to cope with the stress of rising up, to not seize at recognition. She needed to ensure her songs would assist strangers do the identical.

Two years later, Seaside Bunny are nonetheless going viral on TikTok. “Promenade Queen” has but to die down on the app, however extra importantly, it’s being nudged out by their wildly addicting music “Cloud 9,” a sentimental Honeymoon lower about falling head-over-heels in love. TikTok customers are syncing the music to nostalgic issues, slideshow-style, honoring the individuals they love: fathers, boyfriends, mother and father, canines, even seventh grade math class. It’s so huge that Seaside Bunny simply tapped Tegan And Sara for a gender-inclusive remix of the music. After I ask her about it, Trifilio remains to be shocked that the indie-pop duo was recreation to collaborate. As for the extra enhance of TikTok fame, she’s grateful however in any other case unfazed. “Yeah, finally I’m cool with it,” laughs Trifilio. “‘Promenade Queen’ has an necessary message and I’m glad persons are getting assist and determining their relationship with themselves. I used to be not in a contented relationship by any means once I wrote ‘Cloud 9,’ so it’s beautiful to see individuals reclaim that music too and apply it to those optimistic experiences.”

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“It’s been unusual seeing the impact at exhibits greater than something,” Henkels says. “I bear in mind taking part in this competition within the DC space. The children up entrance didn’t know who we have been as a result of they have been there to see one other artist later that day. We closed with ‘Cloud 9′ they usually nonetheless didn’t understand it till proper when the refrain hit. I particularly bear in mind taking a look at these youngsters and seeing them flip to one another, gasp mouths open, and have that light-up second like, ‘Oh my god! It’s this music!’”

Seven years into being Seaside Bunny, the thrill doesn’t lay within the upcoming reception to their music or future alternatives in shiny magazines, however relatively the flexibility to convey these songs to life. Clearly, Trifilio remains to be enthused to be making unique songs in any respect — a pipe dream she believed was reserved for Berklee prodigies and youngsters with cash to burn. Within the studio, she practices take after take of her vocal components for “Gone” earlier than recording it, making an attempt to stroll the road between sing-shouting with urgency and delivering a verse that’s scratchy. Every take is correct, and the distinction between them is minimal to the typical ear, however Trifilio is striving for her personal kind of perfection. The steadiness of softer, low-note enunciation to highly effective, end-of-sentence vocal punch is the important thing to her sing-shouting supply. When Trifilio realizes she forgot a sentence within the music’s bridge, she asks for 5 minutes, takes out her pencil, and scribbles a brand new lyric into her pocket book, unperturbed. She offers O’Keefe a thumbs up and he begins recording. Through the refrain, Trifilio reaches for arguably her highest notes but in Seaside Bunny historical past — “Do I fall into your arms once more/ In any case, is this the top?” — and eventually nails it. An enormous grin spreads throughout her face and he or she dances contained in the vocal sales space to have fun. The singing classes Trifilio signed up for through the pandemic clearly paid off, as her voice sounds extra assured and stronger than ever earlier than.

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Whereas recording their components within the studio, the remainder of Seaside Bunny are equally centered and decided. When not recording, they’re extremely laid again. It helps that it’s April 2021, which implies all of us not too long ago acquired the primary dose of the vaccine and are feeling optimistic for the primary time within the pandemic. Hanging out with anybody in individual, particularly your folks, seems like magic. The studio’s entrance room is roofed in Topo Chico bottles and numerous methods to kill time — a Frank Zappa memoir, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a laptop computer screening anime exhibits, a bag crammed with double-stuffed Oreos and Skittles — however everybody prefers to hang around within the mixing room collectively, the place they crack jokes and stroll down reminiscence lane. Henkels challenges O’Keefe to a recreation of Hearts earlier than realizing he’s outskilled, so as a substitute O’Keefe teaches him methods to depend towards bots on an internet model of the sport. Alvarado tells a narrative about how his highschool band solely performed one present, a commencement occasion, the place they coated bands like By no means Shout By no means and Taking Again Sunday. “Everybody laughed at us and I used to be so bummed out I actually by no means performed music once more till becoming a member of this band,” he says. Vaccaro explains the origin story of his social media deal with @pavementthebandofficial, which began as a joke in hopes of being paid off in change for the deal with however concluded unceremoniously with Pavement choosing @pavementband as a substitute. Alvarado breaks into spontaneous imitations all through the day: a prim-and-proper British tackle a freestyle, a Beastie Boys-style scream intro a la “Sabotage” to certainly one of their very own songs, Billy Corgan’s nasally rendition of “Tonight, Tonight.” Each hour is crammed with laughter, and O’Keefe lovingly calls the band his peanut gallery because of this.