Harnessing the delicious vibes of classic rock of times gone by, Sons of Levin have made an impressive entrance onto the US rock scene. Initially formed by Boston-based brothers Dylan and Connor Levinson – hence Sons of Levin, see what they did there? – the band is completed by members from San Diego and Florida.
We took a listen to Rain from the band’s eponymous debut EP, which was released at the end of last month. It opens up with guitar chords and organ sounds over driving drums, which drop into a funky, laid-back opening verse “Take a look at my lover, She’s heading on down the line, Blink and you might miss her, Her sister’s looking mighty fine.” It builds up to a big singalong chorus “Rain, rain, rain don’t you come my way.”
The track intensifies after the second chorus with a fun diving riff intersecting vocals, then building up to more repeats of the chorus vocals and a big rocky ending. Check it out below:
Their EP is packed with cracking hard rock tracks, including the funky, blues-rock sounding Six Foot Seven Blues. We had a chat with Dylan to find out a bit more about the band’s origins and what inspires their hard rock sound. Read on below…
GR: Who are Sons Of Levin?
DL: “Sons Of Levin was formed by my brother and I, Dylan and Connor Levinson, in the summer of 2017 in Boston, MA. We quickly got to work on writing songs for an EP and finding other band members. Through our manager, we were introduced to a bassist, William Santana, and drummer, Marc Polit, who live in San Diego, CA.
“We flew them out to the East Coast to record the EP, and everything came together really quickly. We had the chance to perform our first live show in Florida, at the end of 2017, and that’s where we added our keyboard player Jesse Mattison. Since then, we just wrapped up our first tour of the East Coast. We had the pleasure of playing NJ, NYC, Philadelphia, VT, CT and of course, Boston.
“It’s a bit of an unorthodox band, nearly half of us are on the West Coast, but we make it work. It especially helps that technology nowadays lets you send song ideas instantly and you can literally work on songs from one side of the country to the other. Performing live is a little challenging, but we use Marc and William whenever possible. The Boston music scene is great, and we have wonderful friends and musicians who fill in occasionally.”
GR: You just released Rain. What should people be expecting from the song?
DL: “Rain was a fun song to write. We were in the pre-production phase and so were going through our song ideas with our producer, Ian McHugh. We had this song, but it wasn’t quite strong enough, so Ian stepped in and helped us sort it out. It’s fun to bring someone into the writing process who hasn’t heard the song before, they usually bring some fresh ideas into the mix.
“My favourite part was writing the lyrics because it felt like we were all on the same page of what we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it. Lyrics are hard, man. So, making it a group activity really helped the song grow. I think people can expect some classic 90s rock sounds, a catchy chorus and some nice lyrics from Rain.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
DL: “Our sound is deeply informed by classic rock. It’s also got a jam band vibe to it, my brother and I listen to a lot of Phish.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
DL: “I think it’s really important to be honest when writing music. I try to draw on events, feelings, people from my life when writing. Some days you can’t help but write some music. It’s just an impulse I think we all have inside of us, that we have to let out.
“We do have some fun with it every once in a while. We have a fictional song called Six Foot Seven Blues about a very short man who falls in love with a very tall woman. We’re thinking of making it into a music video one day.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
DL: “My brother and I love the classic rock bands, you’ll definitely hear that on the EP. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of great modern bands. Guys like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are awesome. Crumb is sick. I was obsessed with Vampire Weekend’s new album. I listen to Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and J. Cole albums pretty regularly. All those guys, they make you want to make music.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
DL: “We’re gonna start recording our second EP this fall, and hopefully release that in early 2020. We have some gigs coming up in late July and early August, and we’re planning a West Coast tour in the fall/winter. If you want to keep up to date make sure to follow our Bandsintown page or subscribe to our email list on our website sonsoflevin.com.”