Ah, love. Remember how innocent and pure it can be, how candy-pop crushes and discovering other peoples’ body parts can turn rational thought into buttery, syrupy ga-ga, and how every single bit of your world will come to revolve around this person to whom the aggregate sum of your emotional parts is dedicated? It’s a warm feeling, like when the sun and breeze blend and hit just right while you’re standing in a public park and it’s the afternoon, the grass all green and maybe you’re off work tomorrow. Or you’re on the beach with an ocean breeze, if you prefer that sort of thing.
One Small Step is a pair of youthful lovebirds, Jessica Bartley and Zach Willenbrink, whose songs seem to be written, cutely enough, to each other. They make happy electronic music, upbeat and listenable, and glittering with boops and beeps and pretty little flourishes all over driving, bass-and-drum backbeats. They sound like Milemarker might were its songwriters on ecstasy, or just generally more contented.
Their debut full-length, You Can Say A Thousand Words…/Wake Up, Springtime!, is available for the first time this Friday at the Atomic Saucer. They made 200 copies, all charmingly hand-painted and crafted. The pair took time away from being adorable to answer LEO’s Five Important Questions.
LEO: If you were Mayor, what would you do to help promote people like you in this city?
One Small Step: We’d institute a Percent-for-Art program to require buildings to make an allotment in their construction budget for art, as well as provide artists and musicians with healthcare and housing benefits.
We’d make an attempt to draw the youth of our community more into the arts, through greater support for arts and music programs in public schools and consistent all-ages arts and music venues. We’d also support the construction of a light rail system, or at least make TARC a more efficient and navigable system.
LEO: Which Louisville musician needs to get more attention?
OSS: The Slow Break and the Dubious Duo both play some amazingly beautiful music. Desultory and Equal & Ultra put their whole hearts into everything they do. Equal & Ultra’s demo EP was fabulous, both musically and artistically, with its hand-assembled packaging. Finally, the Pretty Grandmas are easily the most promising young band in Louisville. Their lead singer is like 12 years old.
LEO: If music were food, what kind would yours be?
OSS: Something homemade that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, or space ice cream and Gummi Bears (the cartoon characters, not the fruit snack).
LEO: Tell me about one of your favorite works of art aside from your medium.
OSS: We love anything that makes you “happy cry.” One of our favorite “happy cry” books is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. It’s just a simple story about being a teenager, learning all of the lessons of the first year of high school. It makes you feel infinite. We really like the movie “Harold and Maude,” too, just because we hope that when we get old, we’re still as vibrant as Maude.
LEO: What do you want to say that you know you shouldn’t?
OSS: We can’t answer that; we’re in the middle of something right now.
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