New on the Scene

new EP on the way from Eau Claire folk rockers

Ed Hudgins, photos by Andrea Paulseth

IT’S NOT A REHEARSAL SPACE UNTIL THE ROPE LIGHTS GO UP. Eau Claire band Softly, Dear started playing together  last August and are already in the studio.
IT’S NOT A REHEARSAL SPACE UNTIL THE ROPE LIGHTS GO UP. Eau Claire band Softly, Dear started playing together last August and are already in the studio.

You can hardly take a walk down the street without bumping into a talented, emerging musician or band these days in the Chippewa Valley. It’s truly one of the great things about being an Eau Clairian. And, the Valley’s creative womb has borne another such group in the recently formed Softly, Dear.

Softly, Dear joined forces in August of this year. Like so many bands, their formation came about simply by friends getting together and playing music. In the beginning, there was only Alex Adkinson (drums) and Tyler Hart (vocals, rhythm guitar) playing music in the basement together. Later came Ben Possi (keyboards) and then later still Josh Frederick (lead guitar) and Karl Paske (bass).

“Every song is a snapshot of where its creator is at a given time, and we’re eager to lay down who we are right now in the form of songs.”

Eventually, just goofing around musically was no longer sufficient and they decided to get a little more serious. They wrote some songs and began playing shows at venues such as The Cabin at UWEC and The Mousetrap, as well as some house shows. They have also recorded a few songs, which you can hear at their Bandcamp page (www.softlydear.bandcamp.com) and at Reverbnation (www.reverbnation.com/softlydear).

Stylistically, from what I have heard so far from Softly, Dear, it is really difficult to classify them. They are a little folkish, a little indie rock, with an influence of classic 70s rock thrown in (at least that’s what I hear in there…). The band considers their sound to be “a melodic blend of folk and rock, but we draw inspiration from many other genres and hope that by doing so, we can create a unique sound. We value the musical diversity that each member brings to the sound. We all have different musical preferences, but we agree on the music we create.”

One of the songs they have recorded is their single, “Castles,” which was recorded not too long after the band’s formation. Members of the band would likely say that not only the band, but their sound, is in its infancy. “Castles” reveals that infancy, but it is also chock full of creativity and unpredictability. Based on what I heard in that song and in the tracks on Reverbnation, I cannot wait to hear more from this band.

Luckily for me (and for other music lovers in the Valley), Softly, Dear will soon be working on an EP to be released in early 2013. I reached out to the band about this new effort, and they shared the following thoughts: “Our upcoming EP is going to be much different and more time-consuming than the single, which was a learning experience for all of us. We’re very excited about this EP because we’ll have a chance to work hard on a snapshot of where we are musically right now. Every song is a snapshot of where its creator is at a given time, and we’re eager to lay down who we are right now in the form of songs.” There seems to be no question that the best is yet to come for this talented group.

As they prepare to record, Softly, Dear’s live show schedule is fairly light right now. They are planning to play another house show in mid-December. If you would like to know more about that show, the upcoming EP or anything else about the band, check out their Bandcamp page or their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/SoftlyDear).

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