Oh, Honey, the Williamsburg-based band made up of Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard, has a dreamy, sun-drenched sound that could almost pass as being from the other coast, or from another decade. One thinks of the Sundays, or a more upbeat Crowded House with a lithe female vocalist.
This may sound like a far cry from most of the rock, punk, and genre-smashing grunge coming out of Williamsburg and Bushwick lately, but Oh, Honey has just signed with Atlantic Records and will be celebrating at SXSW. The good fortune might just have something to do with their attitude. We basked in their presence before their Austin shows tomorrow at Red Eyed Fly and Thursday at Rainy’s BBQ (they’ll return from touring to play Webster Hall on May 5).
MC: After we met and started the band we were rattling our brains for names, and I was joking with Danielle. I had this gigantic list of [band name ideas] and we kept coming back to “Oh, Honey.” But we were talking in the studio last summer, there was that phenomenon of all these bee farms on all these rooftops. … We thought, that would be good to venture out to do, which later parlayed into a funny thing about where the band name came from. We’re still playing around with the idea of doing our own brand of honey.
DB: “Oh, Honey” honey.
DB: I’ve always looked up to a lot of female singer-songwriters, like I love Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor. I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac because that was the only artist my mom ever listened to, so I love Stevie Nicks. And Bon Iver is my favorite artist.
MC: My first musical moment that I remember, I was like four or five years old and my mom was making dinner, and just having Bruce Springsteen cranked on the record player. Just dancing around the kitchen and whatever. I’m a big song guy, a big lyric guy, so people like Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams … Anybody that knows how to tell a story.
MC: We love Williamsburg. It’s our home, it’s our neighborhood. There’s so many amazing things that keep popping up all over. The food, the restaurants, a few bars, the brunch spots. I think the city itself, especially the neighborhood, really inspires us. I fall in love every day in this city.
DM: We also rehearse at the sweatshop in Bushwick, and we hear all kinds of music there, all different kinds of bands.
MC: Our single, “Be Okay,” we shot the music video in Williamsburg. It was like a day in the life in Brooklyn. We went out to the waterfront—
DM: —we hung out with the fishermen, the taco truck at the Bedford L.
MC: And Mr. Reed’s in our video. He’s a staple Bedford Ave L train performer. We see him there every time we get off the stop.
DM: I don’t think I could either. I’ve lived here five and a half years, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
MC: Sometimes you take the city for granted, but then you come over the Williamsburg Bridge, you see that skyline, you see it lit up at night. It’s so inspiring. People dream about coming here, and we get to complain about it all day.
MC: A lot of touring for the next year. We’re hitting the road with another Williamsburg band, American Authors, really good friends of ours. After that we go out with the amazing James Blunt.
MC: I’ve never been one to be good at talking about stuff, talking about feelings. Or how I’m feeling, things that I should probably air out. I think a lot of it comes into the songwriting, it gets poured into there. It’s way easier to say it in a song sometimes than to somebody’s face. They’re definitely personal songs. To let people leave with a little piece of you is everything, I think.
DM: I think that’s what we’re trying to do, just tell the truth.
MC: We try to be as honest as possible. I believe that’s the best way to put it out there. We’re all human, we all feel the same stuff… we all go through heartbreak, we all go through family stuff, we all go through hard times… I think our message and our music — there’s a quote that I really love, and I think it defines our music and what we try to get out to people: “I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but everything’s gonna be ok.”
Bradley Spinelli (@13_Spinelli) is the author of “Killing Williamsburg”.