Get your fix of catchy punk-fused pop-rock with New York newcomers Playoffs. The band is the work of New York musician Brendan Jones, who left his blues-focused previous band to unleash his punky rock tendencies on the world.
Our latest taste of this is the release of two tracks at the start of last month. The first is Hey!, which opens up with keyboard sounds then stabbing guitars continue under effects-ridden edgy vocals. It’s a fun punky track featuring engaging singalong vocals. Give it a listen below:
The second is the catchy Talking To Me, which kicks off with rolling drums then bursts into low punky guitars and a cool little bassline. Effects-ridden vocals jump in and feed into a catchy chorus of “They’re talking to me, I have to believe, What’s happening to me, They’re talking to me” alongside heavier guitars.
That gives way to a little instrumental of stabby guitars and bass, which feeds into a second verse of more natural vocals then a repeat of the chorus. Then a cool laid-back guitar solo takes over and feeds into a final chorus. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with Brendan to find out more about his new project. Read on below…
GR: Who are Playoffs?
BJ: “I started Playoffs as a solo project last year when some songs that I was writing were not sticking with the other band I play in, The New Arlenes. As that band became more classic and bluesy in style I still had a big desire to put out my fun pop/rock songs. Coming back to these songs has felt like coming back home to myself. I am writing fun tunes without any rules attached and want to make music that will make people feel good. Music for me has always been about raising our vibrations and hopefully the energy of these songs does just that for the listeners.”
GR: You just released Talking To Me. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
BJ: “Talking to Me was one of those songs that just came out in the span of about 15 minutes. For me a lot of the time it’s only the combination of two or so chords that set the inspiration in motion. In this case it was the C to E major which starts of the chorus. I thought it was an interesting sound and felt pretty epic. The lyrics are about the voices in your head and the feeling of the song I think represents the willpower to overcome them.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
BJ: “It’s been described a lot as pop/punk. I usually call it pop rock but could see why it gets the punk designation. My lyrics tend to be a little bit abstract and observational where I feel that punk lyrics are usually on a mission.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
BJ: “At a certain point in my early 20s I realized that I could have a voice too and started writing my first songs. Since then I have filled up about 7 notebooks full of songs, most of which are unreleased. I don’t know where this drive comes from but for the most part I don’t consider a song a song until I get a melody I really like. Then I try to get the lyrics down right away because if I go back to do them later it usually feels forced. Usually for me I like specific lyrics so they take you somewhere but are abstract enough that it can be your own space.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
BJ: “I really love the Arctic Monkeys in an unconditional way. They are pretty much always my top artist played on Spotify. It is my life goal to do with my voice what John Lennon did with his which will probably end up not being possible but a guy can try. I also have a lot of guilty pleasures. Recently I bought the Katrina and the Waves record on vinyl.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
BJ: “I am going to release another double single hopefully in February or March at the latest. I have the songs ready to track and am pretty excited about them. Around that time I will also be playing my first shows in NYC.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
BJ: “I appreciate anyone who has made it this far and has listened to the songs. Much love to Gig Radar for sharing as well.”