Saturday, July 13, 2013


The Kent, Ohio based band create a dynamic folk rock sound that blends together the beautiful and theatrical voice of Shanna Delaney and her husband, guitarist Eric Ling’s complimentary vocals with the anthemic chamber-pop pomp of early Arcade Fire along with a positive message on their sophisticated sophomore album, The Reunion, out now on Inkind Music. 

The six-piece band is currently touring in support of their new album and will be making a stop on the final day of the Bunbury Music Festival this Sunday.  In anticipation, Eric, Shanna and Dan gave us some insight into their influences, their honest lyrics and how Eric and Shanna plan to spend their 6th wedding anniversary.

In reviews, you have been compared to many great bands like Arcade Fire but who and/or what do you say are your influences?

“First of all, we are always very flattered to be compared to Arcade Fire and other great bands. Being in the same conversation as some of the best in indie-rock is an amazing feeling that never gets old. What is unique about Bethesda is that every band member composes their own parts to every song. Because of this, the wide range of influences for each band member (ranging from punk to lo-fi folk) finds its way into every song. We love that, and believe it is our open embrace of these various influences that helps make our music fresh and original. That being said, when writing the songs for The Reunion, I paid a lot of attention to female led bands like Feist, My Brightest Diamond, and Eisley as I was trying to better hone the difficult skill of being a male and writing for a female vocalist. My songwriting is also very much influenced by some of the most honest and profound lyricists and talented songwriters, including Sufjan Stevens, Pedro the Lion and The Decemberists. Of course, I just write the bones of the song, so when Shanna Delaney (lead vocals) gets her hands on it, it evolves into something much better. Then when each band member composes each of their own parts, it turns into a completely original song that has everyone's finger prints/influences all over it. We love it that way! I would say our live shows are definitely influenced by the high energy and creative live performances of The Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens and The Decemberists. We love how their performances are a celebration of their music, and there is no doubt that they are loving what they are doing up there. That is what we strive for with every live performance. - Eric Ling

You have played a few festivals, including SXSW and Bonnaroo and soon you will play Bunbury.  What do you like best about outdoor fests?

“Outdoor fests that are carefully curated are the perfect setting for a band like ours. When people attend these fests, they are all about the music and discovering new bands is a huge part of the experience. When our name is on the same lineup as the likes of The National, Yo La Tengo and Belle and Sebastian it places us in elite company, and the fans attending our show are full of positive vibes and expectations for great music. We feel our music is best suited for festivals. It is upbeat, full of dynamics, high-energy with a lot of hooks, so the outdoor setting gives our music space to grow, and our sound gives us the opportunity to draw people through the summer air to our stage, and with it, the chance to be the “new” band for thousands of people. There is no better feeling than hitting your first note and watching the people come rushing over to your stage. It just doesn't get any better than that. - Shanna

You will be playing alongside Belle And Sebastian and The National on Sunday at Bunbury.  What bands are you most excited to see this weekend?

“Unfortunately, we are touring in and are unable to be there for the Friday and Saturday, so we will be missing a whole lot of great acts we wish we could have seen. That being said, Sunday holds a whole lot of promise. Belle and Sebastian top my list because Eric and I shared a lot of our early dating days listening to their tracks and exchanging them on mix playlists we made for one another. Sunday is actually our 6th year wedding anniversary, so we are thrilled to be able to play a show and then run over to catch Belle & Sebastian to celebrate our marriage. It's going to be really special. Of course, we cannot wait to see The National – they are incredible. Outside of that, we are going to spend a lot of time wandering from stage to stage hoping to discover new bands and just enjoy the top-of-the-line festivities. - Shanna

“I would really love to have seen MGMT, but we won't be in town for that show. But if YOU are, make sure you see them. Those guys are incredible. I am looking forward to discovering new bands and of course, Belle & Sebastian and the National on Sunday.” - Dan

 My favorite song from The Reunion is the cinematic and soaring opening title track, “The Reunion”.  What is your favorite song to play live and why? 

We are so glad that you like that song. That is definitely my favorite to play. I wrote that song about my grandfather's passing as a celebration of his life. So it is a really emotionally charged song for me. I also feel like it is a song whose musical composition really matches the lyrical content and I love starts that it finishes off on a very dance-y, celebration. We added a “dance-your-face-off” outtro to our live show to take it to a whole other level. I always get excited when that song comes up on our set list.” - Eric

“I love playing “Water's Ways” because it goes so many different directions and goes from a slow groove to an exciting high-energy song. It is really fun to play. As far as bass lines I love playing, it has to be “Fit to Leave”. The bass part is so sultry!” - Dan

“I would say “Fit to Leave”. It is about my brother Stevie that passed away in a motorcycle accident, so I have a very dear emotional connection to the song. It also has my favorite break down in it where the whole crowd gets involved. I love songs that evoke that kind of response from a crowd.” - Shanna

Your lyrics deal with the timeless tropes of life and love but in a more positive way.  Can you please expound on that?

“We make it a point to be honest with our lyrics and deal with very real situations like death, love, pain, suffering, growth, and relationships. The peculiar thing about trials, however, is that they teach us to have hope (Dan). Because of this, it gives the lens through which we view our lives a different hue. We will never pull punches on things that are difficult, but will rarely leave it there in a song. We try to end each song with hope and growth rather than in the depths of despair. In reality, it is that hope that keeps us moving forward and being creative and loving occupants of this earth. And we work hard to capture and promote that in our songs. Each song approaches this differently as the story the song is based on dictates. This is why we do what we do, and we hope that people connect with the stories and allow themselves to be moved by it.” - Eric 

Download the single, “Go” here:


Buy your tickets to see Bethesda and “dance-your-face-off” at the Bunbury Music Festival here:


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