LA-based and New England-bred indie rock band The Rare Occasions have released their first single, “Stay”. Integrating sweeping orchestral arrangements into a gritty lo-fi garage rock soundscape, “Stay” delves head-first into the psychological turbulence of a relationship unravelling. On the writing process, lead singer Brian McLaughlin shares: “The three of us took a real collaborative journey creating this song, embracing electronic and orchestral elements as an extension of our usual indie rock sound. It will make you wonder whether or not to dance, cry, or maybe both.”
Big Whoop was defined by the intensely DIY nature of the recording process. Almost every aspect of the production was done by the band. The recording sessions were all done in McLaughlin’s living room and spare bedroom, where he also mixed the songs. Luke Imbusch composed the orchestral arrangements, recruiting and then conducting a live string quartet for the recording. The band collectively shares production credits, with each member bringing their own unique contributions to the table. Mastering was done by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden.
On the album, the band says, “So much of this album was born out of struggle which forced us out of our comfort zones and to think beyond our own barriers. After the departure of our guitarist, Peter, we knew we had more to give to the world. This process pushed us to broaden our approach to songwriting, arranging and production. We had released a couple of preliminary singles and then the pandemic hit which halted everything for months. This forced us to step back again, refine what we had created, and expand our new sound even further.”
The Rare Occasions’ sophomore album, Big Whoop, is due out June 18th.