Posted September 21, 2014 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment

Best New Music: You Are Plural – “Rabbit Rabbit”

(Side With Us)


Though Olympia trio You Are Plural have established themselves on the West Coast over the past several years, their new album Rabbit Rabbit is a first in many ways. It’s their first full-length album after two shorter EPs, both released in 2011. For the first time, on this album, drummer Chad Austinsen joins the founding duo of cellist Jen Grady and keyboardist Ephriam Nagler. It is also their first album to be released on vinyl.

Rabbit Rabbit sounds more fully realized than what they’ve released before—their style is more refined.

They describe their music as pop-rock but their choice of instruments, sophisticated rhythms and existential lyrical themes suggest something more unique and exciting. Not many bands center on cello and Wurlitzer keyboard, and the technical abilities they display are remarkable.

Like many in the Olympia music scene, the band challenges expectations and embraces unconventional techniques.

“We like not being a guitar-focused band,” Nagler told me. “It is confusing for some sound engineers…they don’t really know what we’re supposed to sound like.”

The tracks on this latest release range from inviting pop-rock gems, like the opening track “The Best is Yet to Come,” to more orchestral-sounding pieces such as “We Are Cold Inside.”

Their recording process also reflected the local “Do It Yourself” spirit.

“We rented the Quaker Meeting House out by Priest Point, and set up there and played everything live together,” Grady explained. “We did the Wurlitzer and cello at various houses around Olympia. One time we were house sitting and we set up and did vocals there in the living room.”

In 2010, the duo moved from the Bay Area up to Olympia, Grady’s hometown, where they released two EP’s with their label Side With Us Records.

Grady and Nagler continue to collaborate with other musical projects around Olympia. Nagler is an engineer at Dub Narcotic Studio and plays a part in a large number of local releases. Recently, Grady’s cello and voice is featured on records by Generifus, Stephen Steinbrink, and LAKE.

“When we play in Olympia, we are trying to make it a more special kind of event,” said Grady. “There’s this guy, Eric, at Olyphant who does handmade 16 millimeter film loops, so he’s going to do some projections. In Olympia there’s so many amazing musicians, artists, dancers, aerialists, etcetera, so the possibilities are endless.”