I only heard 15 seconds of LIMBS first single 'Don't Stay' and I was immediately hooked. It's uncommon for that to happen to me as of late. To my own detriment, my wavering attention span, quick and unforgiving usually clocks out within the first five maybe ten seconds of songs I hear nowadays. But with 'Don't Stay' that simply didn't happen. The best way to explain it would be that it gave me a feeling of nostalgia. It transported me back to those special moments in middle school where I'd found a new group and automatically gave myself hipster cool points because I was certain no one else knew.
I began scouring the internet looking for more music from this rather obscure band. To be honest, I felt a bit teased. No full length songs, videos, or information present anywhere on the web. Who are they? What is LIMBS exactly? When are they releasing music?! This curiosity immediately drove me to contacting their team and setting up a much needed interview.
It's hard to believe how they manage to make music literally being thousands of miles away from each other, Kim resides in New York and Kevin in Los Angeles. Whatever the reason or the method I'm happy they've figured it out and I'm even more elated that they've released their EP. Because now I, and others can enjoy their experimental indie pop sounds with ease.
KAYLA: Where did the name "LIMBS" originate from? Did you have a different band name before this one or were you always settled on "LIMBS"?
LIMBS: (Kim): The name actually came to us like many of our lyrics, and much like our story of coming together-very naturally, which was lucky because I think before it fell into our laps, the 'what will our name be' question had been up in the air for awhile. I remember that we were having a writing session, flipping through one of my notebooks, and that word popped out at me from an old poem I'd written. It just felt right, and feels even more so in retrospect, looking at the themes in many of the songs we've written, a lot of which describe emotional human stuff through the visceral way we feel and negotiate it all via our bodies.
How did the band form? What made you two decide to stick together despite the obstacle of living/working cross country?
Kevin: This project started from my interest in working with Kim as a vocalist. We met in college and I really loved her voice when I first heard it, and I wanted to write music that featured it. I guess this project, in part, is the fulfillment of that desire. Making music long distance is a bit of challenge.
Kim: Yeah, I lack a lot where Kevin thrives in the technology department, so recording long distance has been kind of a challenge, but we've managed to make it all happen via lots of emails and the lucky bits of time when we’ve managed to be in the same room.
What is the process for you guys when making music from alternate ends of the country? How long does it typically take for you to finish a track?
Kim: Usually it begins with Kevin sending me ideas, snippets of beats, or even just a melody, and then I'll begin writing some lyrics to it. Email and shared docs are our lifeline.
Kevin: Yeah, we start by volleying ideas back and forth, but the meat of the work generally happens when we're in the same room. We’ve been lucky in that there have been enough situations where I’ve been in NYC or Kim’s been in LA to work. Once we're in the same place, the writing process is fast. The final product takes different times depending on the track. Some happen quickly and intuitively, and others require making multiple versions to find the right vibe.
What is the overall message that encompasses your EP?
Kevin: I think the overall message of the EP is about transcendence. Whatever that means to the individual listener. That could mean getting away from old habits or ways of thinking. It's just about growing and moving forward.
What's each of your personal favorite tracks off of "Don't Stay"?
Kim: Moonshine is my favorite, both for how it came out in the end and how it was made. We were working on some things at the end of a long day, super exhausted, and that song just clicked in a way that I feel we can't even take credit for. The lyrics were stream of conscious, and Kevin laid down the track over them and it just felt so good immediately. I think we wrote that song in like 45 minutes, and it was definitely one of those cosmic moments where we were just in the right space, nice and present, together, and some lovely song elf or goddess or whomever came and helped our brains sort it all out.
Kevin: My favorite track is also Moonshine. I just like the way it makes me feel, and I really enjoyed making it.
There are a plethora of different elements incorporated in your music. Especially so in 'Moonshine' for example. How do you go about performing such intricate songs live?
Kim: This is something we're still sorting out. Since we live on opposite ends of the country, we haven't had the chance to play live yet outside of our EP release show in LA last month. Luckily, for that show, we had some really great musicians to take on all the parts of the arrangements, and to fill out the song in ways that weren't represented on the EP. But for the future, when it comes time to tour and play more frequently, this is something we'll have to sus out more.
Your first single off of the EP 'Don't Stay' was the world's introduction to LIMBS. Aside from sharing the title of the EP what made you go with releasing this track first? What is the story behind the song?
Kim: 'Don't Stay' definitely goes along with the overarching theme of the EP that Kevin talked about earlier. I was coming out of the fog of a really hard break-up at the time with someone I loved, and all the shittiness that comes with breaking your own heart to move forward was at the forefront of a lot of my writing at the time. That song was born of all of those complicated feelings. I think we both just knew that it would be the single without thinking about it too much. It’s one of the more straight-forward songs on the EP, and we thought that it could have the potential to connect with a lot of different people in a lot of different situations.
The music video for "Don't Stay" (the single) is quite powerful. To me it speaks of battling ones inner demons and having to differentiate and if so fight off varying facades an individual might carry. But that interpretation may be completely left field haha:: In what ways do you feel the video complements the track? Do you feel the video's symbolism matches that of the song?
Kim: I think your interpretation is really on point!
Kevin: Definitely, I think your interpretation is as correct in as much the video created those connections for you, individually, as a viewer. I stray away from stating specific meaning because I like to leave it up to the viewer to create their own impression and walk away with their own meaning.
Kim: I think the video really complements the song in that “Don't Stay” came out of thinking a lot on following one's own intuition, even if you know it'll hurt your heart for awhile, or even a long while. It also deals a lot with questioning one's own decision-making, and the tendency to stay in situations or spaces that aren't feeding you in the right ways because they’re familiar. Shiouwhen (the director) captured this beautifully with her imagery, and the dancers make the song come alive in a way we were so excited by.
How does "LIMBS" move forward from here? What's next on your roster?
Kim: Right now, we're working on new songs, laying the plans for a full length album and booking shows for the future, trying to figure out our live set. Mostly though, we're focused on cranking out new songs.
Photography and Interview by Kayla Reefer
Enjoy Limbs debut EP "Don't Stay" featured below and follow them on Instagram @limbs