Formed in 2010 around the area of Venice Beach, California, the indie band – The Mowgli’s – are starting off the new year with brand new music: American Feelings EP. For these guys and gal, there are no strangers to the music and touring scene; they have hit singles such as “I’m Good,” “San Francisco,” and has toured with artists such as The Maine, and Dreamers for example.
“American Feelings” kicks off with “Hard To Love” a staccato pop track that grows into an indie-choir crescendo. The EP slides into a hypnotic space with alt-rock head bobber with “Mr. Telephone.” “Norman Rockwell,” a hazy and laid-back song finds it’s lyrical roots in every youth’s disenfranchised America; and stomping, rolling rocker “Talk About It” snaps the EP closed succinctly.
There’s no true unifying theme to this new EP, despite the artwork: 4 stylized takes on Norman Rockwell’s “Painting The Little House.” But as usual, relationships and connections are never far from the band’s lyrics. It’s noticeable in “Talk About It” and “Mr. Telephone” which both harken to the lack of discourse and engagement prevalent in society today, especially with technology serving as both a facilitator and barrier. Says guitarist Josh Hogan, “Communication is a very powerful tool. If we could learn to communicate healthily, this place would be much less divided.”
Singer Katie Earl adds: “Talk About It” started out being a song about communicating your way through difficult situations, but as it evolved, it became a song not only about having the hard conversations but about forgiveness. And it’s really special to me.” Whereas those songs look outwards, “Hard To Love” and “Norman Rockwell” focus inwards, taking a critical look at emotional failings in the former, and attempting to create a new reality to escape to in the latter.
You can read our interview with them below, and you can check out their tour dates on their website here with Jukebox The Ghost.
Interview by Mya Hamilton
Answers by Matt & Josh of The Mowgli’s
A few months ago we spoke about your EP, I Was Starting To Wonder, and now you have another EP releasing on March 1st called American Feelings. What are you most excited for your fans to hear on this upcoming release?
Matt: We are excited about the diversity of these songs. Each track has a unique feel, and it’s important to let our fans know we are interested in making all kinds of music.
Before releasing any new music to your fans, what kinds of emotions go on in your mind? Do you get nervous about your fans’ responses, or are you super stoked that new music will be out?
Josh: We will always make music, so we’re not too emotional about a new release. When people love it, that’s great! And when they don’t love it, we’ll try again next time pal!
Matt: Excitement mostly, but there is always a level of vulnerability to every release. Our fans have been with us for a long time, and we want to make sure we are putting out the best possible songs.
How do you all decide which songs make it to the EP and which ones are saved for later or not used at all? Collectively, do you all take a vote?
Matt: Everyone is always writing so we like to pool all our songs together, and we see what fits the best. There are a lot of songs that will never be released, so it’s nice for everyone to have a say in the process.
Do you think the artwork is just as important as your music?
Josh: Coming from the band member who made the artwork…. art is important, but it doesn’t compare to the importance of the music
Matt: The artwork should always be a representation of what’s on the record. Josh, our guitarist/vocalist, has been heading up our art department a lot recently and his work has been perfect for our releases.
Did you create the music and lyrics for “I Was Starting To Wonder,” take a short break, then proceed with “American Feelings,” or did you all write the lyrics/music around the same time and then released them within a few months of each other?
Josh: We bring every song to the table that feels like it would fit our world. Both EP’s were created at various times, and they still fit well together.
Aside from new music, you’ll be playing the new tunes on your co-headlining tour with Jukebox the Ghost! What can fans expect from your shows? Any new merchandise items?
Josh: There will be a lot of energy, some old songs and some of the new ones. This tour feels very exciting, and I think we are gonna be great friends with Jukebox The Ghost. Also, there will be new merch!
Matt: We have a couple of cool new shirt designs. One long sleeve and one short. Andy has been working on some new projections, and we’re trying to dress like adults now.
Since you all have been a band for a few years now, how do you all create the setlist?
Josh: The setlist should flow fluidly so we tend to utilize songs that are fan favorites and can transition well between each other. We would love to play every song that everyone wants to hear, but we want the set to make people feel something. There is always an intention with the setlist.
Lastly, why should fans see you on this upcoming tour?
Josh: Our shows have always been a place for everyone to have a great time; this tour is no exception. Our motto is that you should show up, leave all the negativity at the door, and enjoy yourself. We hope to see you all there!
Matt: We’ve been laying low the last couple of years, and we’re ready to bring our infectious positive energy to these rooms. We miss seeing fresh and familiar faces every night. This tour is going to be a great time where you will make some new friends.