In a brown house on Nancy Lane in Green Bay, WI., sisters Andi and Alex Peot stumbled on something celestial, before they were old enough to understand it. Engulfed by the Christmas spirit, the two-year-old twins began singing Silent Night, innocently carrying one anothers voices through their own impromptu rendition of the holiday classic. By 10, they jointly penned their first original song.|
Always in harmony be it through music, genetics or that inexplicable telekinesis only kin can relate to the twins come from a family of musicians and dreamers. Their parents met in a country band, and their grandmothers profound influence inspired their current moniker, Queen Hilma.
Now, 25, Andi and Alex are the fearless frontrunners of the alt-rock four-piece that borrows the namesake of their grandmother in hopes of replicating her intrinsic strength to navigate the music business and embrace their biggest passions. It pays homage to her class and sass.
Their early years involved youth groups and choirs, but did little to develop the emotional maturity that their current catalog embodies. It was natural for the pair to venture to Australia after high school to study at Hillsong College, honing their craft in synchronization and being exposed to an entire palette of textures and layers they had to hop continents to experience. Their time there rivaled even their earliest impressions, and had the girls returning to the states quickly in a new iteration, a brazen, indie-pop/rock-infused act She The Monster. It felt natural for the multi-instrumentalists to orchestrate a line-up of support to flesh out the ethereal brilliance of their vocals.
Shortly after, the two serendipitously took NBCs The Voice by storm in 2015 as Andi and Alex. Grateful for the national platform, vocal growth and what performing in millions of Americans living rooms week-after-week did for their overall mission, it still became clear upon exiting the show that the girls were ultimately destined to forge their own path the less-traveled, grittier, but more rewarding one of an independent act ruled by its own creative convictions.
Songwriting for Andi and Alex is like stop-and-go traffic minus the fury and frustration. If anything, it reflects how their shared DNA is almost exclusive to their perfect, shared complements. Andi starts a song from a quiet place, usually on piano or guitar, while Alex perfects and adapts.
You cant recreate sibling synchronicity; its cosmic. Its what makes Queen Hilmas sound so authentic and frees the girls of the pressure of co-writes, trying to fabricate stories they can comfortably find within themselves and each other. If they had their pick, theyd love to join forces with Coldplay or Sufjan Stevens, integral influences on their sound, but they dont feel its necessary when the nucleus of their sisterly bond has, and always will, exist between bars and measures.
After all, its the fitting backstory to their forthcoming LP, I Feel Better, which sings catharsis praises. The full-length serves as a component piece to 2016s Is Everything Ok? produced by Howard Redekopp (Tegan & Sara.) The four-track EP reflected the questionable times it was created in. Between the grief of family loss and a broken engagement, to the twin songwriters continual search of the heartbeat of what they were truly feeling, the tracks embodied uncertainty, vulnerability and curiosity, while I Feel Better exhibits the brighter, wiser view on the other side of that unknown.
Above all else, I Feel Better is a sure-fire sign of artistic clarity and unapologetic acceptance that its ok to get darker.
They may be teenagers, but dont call them a teen band. Disq founders/songwriters Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock have been gigging with music pros up to triple their ages since elementary school, and wowing the faculty during summers spent at the Berklee College of Music. Seasoned multi-instrumentalists, the duo cut their teeth playing in adult cover bands that paid homage to their deepest childhood influencesthe Beatles, Beach Boys, Zeppelin, Todd Rundgren, Weezer and, most recently, Tame Impala. In 2014, the pair launched their own band Disqa lo-fi glam rock band that features knife-sharp songwriting against a backdrop of blazing psychedelic guitar fuzz.
Their first full length album Disq 1 was released on July 7, 2016. The duo wrote one of the album's songs, "Overloaded" when they were in 8th and 9th grades. Subsequent songs were written and recorded, variously, on an old 4-track in a rustic cottage on the banks of the Mississippi River, a rambling tobacco warehouse in rural Wisconsin, and in the basement of Isaac's house in downtown Madison. Disq was fortunate to have Smart Studio veteran Doug Olson (Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, etc.) in the studio helping out on the final mixes.
Not being old enough yet to patronize most music venues hasnt stopped the four-member band from loading in the back doors of clubs and bars across the midwest to play a full slate of regional shows and festivals in support of the album's launch, as well as opening for touring acts such as Whitney, Quilt, Moon Honey, and Hippo Campus. With the permission of their parents and the blessings of their high schools, Disq is plotting their next album coming in 2018.
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