Pearl and the Beard are some of Brooklyn’s finest, the pearl in our oyster. The band consists of Jocelyn Mackenzie (vocals, drums, percussion) Emily Hope Price (vocals, cello, keyboards) and Jeremy Lloyd-Styles (vocals, guitars, percussion) who all met an An open mic night. As a hint of what’s to come for their much anticipated forthcoming album, Pearl and The Beard recently released their new single “You,” a fuzzy-love pop rock track that will have your heart glowing and your booty bouncing.
Shortly after their sold out show at Rough Trade, we spoke with Jocelyn about their upcoming third album, drunk voicemails, and self-love. “It’s humbling and overwhelming to feel the love of hundreds of people directed at you all at once, like a giant Care Bear Stare being rainbowed directly into your heart. That’s a high we’ll ride on for a long, long time.”
AudioFemme: How did the three of you meet?
Jocelyn Mackenzie: Open mic nights. That shit works!
AF: What are your favorite words used to describe your sound?
JM: Intense, cinematic, sexy… we love feeling powerful through our music and it’s amazing when other people feel that too!
AF: What was the inspiration behind “You?”
JM: My husband left me a (drunk) voicemail one night while we were away on tour, ‘I love you! Get it through your f*!king skull!’ I thought it was really sweet that he was so determined to profess his love for me that it made him angry. It’s funny that the ones we love the most usually need the most convincing of that, so we turned that feeling of raw desperation into a chorus and verse.
AF: Who is the “You” in the song?
JM: Well, originally it was my husband, but as the song grows and takes shape, I also relate it as someone speaking to him or herself. Self-love is an undervalued practice, and it can be hard to convince yourself that you’re worthy of your own care and praise. The song is becoming an anthem to me about proclaiming your love for yourself as loudly as you would to another human being.
AF: The track is pretty romantic. A bit cliche, but What are your relationship deal breakers?
JM: Hatefulness and closed-mindedness. Also I dated someone once that didn’t like birds. That didn’t end well.
AF: As a group you have a very distinct fashion sense, who and what are your style inspirations?
JM: Thank you! We talk a lot about how we want to FEEL rather than how we want to look. If an outfit makes us feel confident and sexy, we wear it. Normally we pick a color or two and then each of us picks out our own outfit based on the color limitations. Putting together a more stylish element, like something from ASOS, with a handmade item or something from the thrift store creates a look that’s unique and personal. We really inspired by Sia’s sleek and modern art-meets-fashion look that intertwines so flawlessly with her music. I also have a background in textiles and fashion, and I’ve done some styling for other bands too.
AF: You’re currently on tour – what has been the most memorable moment so far?
JM: We absolutely loved the show in Brooklyn at Rough Trade. It was truly incredible to be home, playing a sold out show in our home town, with people singing along, really getting into every single minute. It’s humbling and overwhelming to feel the love of hundreds of people directed at you all at once, like a giant Care Bear Stare being rainbowed directly into your heart. That’s a high we’ll ride on for a long, long time.
AF: What comfort of home do you miss most while touring?
JM: My bed! I have a mountain of amazing pillows and a very snuggly husband back there who is really good at keeping me warm… and other stuff.
AF: Can you speak to the sense of accomplishment that must come with selling out shows, such as your performance at Rough Trade in your hometown of Brooklyn?
JM: Every show is like hosting a party: beforehand there’s always that little fluttering worry of “Is anyone REALLY gonna come?” After seven years of touring that feeling still hasn’t gone away! This tour, thanks to being paired to support Wild Child, has been almost 100% sold out. It’s just awesome, and kind of indescribable. We’re very aware that we can’t do our jobs without the support of music fans, and knowing that they’re all going to be there before we even walk in the door lets us pause and feel grateful without those jitters. We can then be more fully immersed in the moment and it helps us host a better party.
AF: What’s next for Pearl and the Beard?
JM: In March we’re thrilled to be touring in support of Ani DiFranco, for our first time out on the west coast. Can’t wait! Then after that probably Disneyland, then death.
AF: How does your third album differentiate your sound from your pervious records?
JM: You’ll just have to get a copy when it comes out and tell me yourself…
Listen to “You” below.