Independent band Briar is non-genre-specific featuring Oscar Eck from Wisconsin, Tim Laha from Kentucky, Jason Duffy from New York and Nathan Blain from Los Angeles. In the fall of 2018 the group met at Belmont University and have been making music together ever since. On a mission to pave a lane of their own and bend genres with Oscar’s song writing, Tim’s lead guitar and Nathan and Jason’s Production. Briar plans to drop three more singles this summer on top of the Pop/EDM banger “Falling Back” and the Alternative R&B track “Peach Tea” and will be returning to Nashville to play some gigs.
Starting off with a jazzy feel, “Peach Tea” picks up some flare adding in a pop sound that really solidifies that this is an all genre band. The exceptional talent it takes to be able to play music that classifies in more than one genre is really impressive. The vocals in this song are super relaxing and filled with vivacious sounds. In hop the retro sounds that are adding a new definition of chill to this already laid-back tune. With touching lyrics that connect well with the listener and their emotions, this songs is one to watch out for at the top of the charts. A dash of Hip Hop is sprinkled in about half way through the song adding another layer of creativity to this personality filled track. Hitting us with a new flare that is rarely seen in music and it is hard to get enough of it! I thoroughly enjoy the style that Briar is bringing to the table with this non-genre specific tune that is sure to mellow you out and leave you feeling peaceful.
Relax with Briar's "Peach Tea" here, and continue reading for the artists exclusive interview!
Hey Briar! Pleasure chatting with you! Can you give us a bit of background on yourselves and how you began writing music together?
We all just finished our first year at Belmont together. Oscar and Nathan were living in the same building and that’s how our first single “Falling Back” came into existence. Tim was in a band in Louisville, Jason was in a band in Rochester, Oscar was writing and releasing solo stuff in Milwaukee, and Nathan was doing everything from DJing sets in Los Angeles to playing in bands in Shanghai. We all became good friends early on in college and the music just came organically after that.
You have such a unique style of music, where do you draw influence and inspiration for your music?
We have an unusual dynamic to our group. We’re a group of four different people who each come from unique musical backgrounds.
Nathan: “As a DJ, electronic music has always served as a major inspiration throughout my music making journey. However, after moving to Nashville for school, I’ve had the opportunity to blend my electronic style with incredibly talented musicians of other genres. The result is a unique combination of various sounds and styles.”
Oscar: “My sister started writing and recording music in her bedroom when she was sixteen and she inspired me to do the same. I gather inspiration from Brent Faiyaz, IshDARR, The 1975, Frank Ocean, Mac Demarco, Juto and Sam Tompkins. Skateboarding also inspires me to make music. Whether it’s watching videos like IC3, or skating with my friends; I’m always left inspired to create.”
Jason: “I had a garage rock band throughout high school and we gigged a little bit. At the time I was inspired a lot by west coast punk bands, Wavves and FIDLAR were my two biggest sources of inspiration at the time. Since then my tastes have expanded a ton. Anything from Mitski to Death grips I want to cover in some way, shape or form.”
Tim: “As a guitar player and songwriter, I have drawn my inspiration from all sorts of genres. The bands that make me want to write and play music are Pearl Jam, Bully, Ramones, Fugazi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. After meeting Oscar, Nathan, and Jason, my horizons have widened by listening to artists such as Juto and Tyler the Creator.”
What is the meaning behind “Peach Tea” and did you have any challenges when writing it?
Oscar: “Nathan made the beat and killed it, as usual. After hearing this infectious guitar with a playful synth, I was inspired to write a fun song for my girlfriend. She’s from Georgia and always tells me that there are no peaches that compare to the peaches from her hometown. She’s just the sweetest human being with no bad bone in her body. So, when I say, “You hold my heart, you’re my sweet Georgia peach,” there really isn’t a better way to put it. We love to go out on the weekends and just see where the night takes us, so I really tried to embody the positive/spontaneous energy of a night with her in this song. The only challenge I really had when writing it was writing lyrics that best represented the emotions I feel for this woman in a way that was still relatable and fun to sing along with. The consumption of peach tea was also an essential component to the creation of this song.
Nathan: “The beat was driven by the guitar... and I built the rest of the beat around that.”
Being a non-genre-specific band you have many different sounds, are there any that you as a group favor more than another or do you try to make each song a blend of sounds?
As a band, we never go into the songwriting/recording process with a specific sound in mind. When we come together, we create a space with an array of different sources of inspiration, and ideas of how to express ourselves and our message. We just search for what the song needs, then we look for a way to keep things fresh. We have a song that’s about to come out called “Mediocre Memories” where Oscar brought the song to the group and while we were recording, the song just felt like it needed a guitar solo from Tim and some keys from Nathan and Jason. This is just an example of how we blend styles to create the best possible sound for each idea.
What can we expect from Briar in 2019?
So much more. Peach Tea is the first single of a 5-single body of music called WOODY. The next four singles are dropping in the next few weeks; following a theme of nostalgia, love, and growth. We plan to come back to Nashville next fall to play gigs, work on music videos, and continue to grow in our music and any other creative venture we plan on pursuing. We just want to shake things up and keep the supporters guessing on what we’ve got in store for them.
Connect and follow Briar on the artists Instagram!