The Counterfactuals play an addictive brand of indie jangle-pop, with a signature blend of golden hooks, Americana, and a dose of grit. Their debut album, Minimally Decent People, was released in January 2014, and has been met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike. After hearing one demo, 89.3 FM The Current dubbed the band “must-hear music” and later featured their single “If you go then you go it alone” as their Song of the Day. The Counterfactuals are heading into the studio to record their second album this summer. You can read some of what people have said about the band at The Daily Album, The Current Local Blog, and Tropics of Meta.
AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS: Pop music has never been known for its lyrical complexity. In fact, in most rock/pop songs the lyrics (other than the chorus) take a backseat to the music. When audiences hardly pay any attention to the verse at all let alone to the degree required for any kind of (deep) interpretive activity, its not unreasonable to think pop music a poor outlet for anything other than the most superficial sorts of lyrical expression. Given that the band wears its academic (specifically, philosophical) bona fides on its sleeve, do you find yourselves actively trying to control for this or do you assume your listeners to be of the sort already primed for close attention to the lyrics?
AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS: With what some might call an over-saturated market, do you find the philosophy connection a way to carve out a niche for the band (as well as avoid reductive-style critical comparisons to other established groups: e.g., The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, etc.)?
JASON: I haven’t thought much about the market at all. I never expected anyone to listen to our music, except our families and friends. It’s not like we have a huge audience or anything, but the fact that it has expanded beyond our families and friends is absolutely wonderful. People do latch onto the philosophy professor thing, which I think is great. It’s nice to have philosophers occasionally doing things that normal people don’t find strange and obnoxious.