Marian Hill is Jeremy Lloyd (production/songwriting) and Samantha Gongol (vocals/songwriting), an electronic duo producing songs that sound like a cross between Drake and Ella Fitzgerald, marrying bass-heavy, idiosyncratic beats and seductively soulful vocals.
The duo grew up together and their chance meeting in middle school, starring opposite each other in The Music Man as Marian Paroo and Harold Hill, now serves as the basis for their name. While pursuing separate musical paths, the two began writing together over college breaks, spending hours together perfecting lyrics and melodies —in the last of these sessions they wrote and recorded Whisky.
Jeremy blindly emailed Whisky to sixty blogs and within 2 weeks the track had climbed to the chart on Hype Machine. The buzz grew, the label calls began, and in early 2015 Marian Hill signed with Photo Finish / Republic Records.
"Got It"sees sexy vocals sail above early-Neptunes-era glitchy beats and handclaps before a melody transfixes, singing a mantra to individuality veiled in sly innuendo. The beat's sparse backbone came to Jeremy on a bus ride home to Philadelphia for a writing session, and the song was completed by the end of the following day. On "One Time"finger-snaps and a bass boom keep time as Samantha's voice casts a spell, twisting the old one-night stand into a song of female empowerment.
Their sound has just started to percolate throughout the zeitgeist at large, soundtracking numerous promotional campaigns, television shows, and packed nightclubs. Now prepping their debut full-length debut, they seek to push the limits of their content and sonics even further.
"We love the control you have in modern songwriting, because it's not just music and lyrics - it's everything. We're writing an album of true, focused songs - where every component, from the choice of snare drum to the choice of lyric, is driven by one specific idea."
It's hard to not fall in love with Marian Hill on first listen - the duo have really cornered the market on some smooth and sultry vibes with their debut EP Sway, and we know that there's even more of that on the way. With the last year being a fantastic whirlwind for them (tours on tours on tours, a feature in a Taco Bell commercial, putting together their debut album), we were super glad that Samantha and Jeremy took a minute to answer some of our questions:
Tell the Feed The Beat community about Marian Hill in one sentence: Sexy bass sway songs.
There's a big fall tour coming up for you guys - what are you most excited about when you think about getting back out on the road?
Jeremy: Discovering the music communities in every city. That sounds super cheesy but it's incredible how real it is - the vibes are so unique in each place and every crowd has it's own personality but they all go crazy about good music and that's a beautiful thing.
Samantha: And being a tourist for a day in each city. The drive from place to place is always fascinating.
What is your biggest "must have" while out on tour?
Samantha: Red lipstick.
Playing music in front of fans - both new and old! - is pretty cool. When folks leave your shows, what is something you hope they walk away with? A swing in their step and a smile on their face.
We've been playing the Sway EP for... well, for months now, so we've got to ask - have you wrapped up your debut album yet? When will we hear more new music from you two? We're just now wrapping up the writing process and narrowing it down to our favorites for the album. It's a big step for us musically and we can't wait to share it - no set date yet, but for now let's say soon ;)