Brooklyn’s the besties may not have lived up to its name yet, but the band’s definitely trying.With celebrity blogs and shows like The Hills giving credence to new slang—“besties,” after all, means best friends—the quartet might seem a little too twee for its own good, based on the name alone.
Not your typical keyboard-laden Brooklyn band (and not actually named after the annoying buzzword), this group is named for the idea that they’re the best band in the world. Indeed, if you’re are a fan of Green Day songs shot up with syrupy synthesizers and sung by members of Heavenly, the name just might have some truth behind it.
Beginning in South Williamsburg, where longtime friends Kelly Waldrop and Marisa Bergquist share a room, the Besties wrote its first songs on a forgotten organ that was left over from a previous tenant.The band practiced in the loft space and even played some of its first shows there. Although the band, which has been playing together since 2004, has moved out, that didn’t stop its members from penning a love song to the spot: “79 Lorimer.”
It’s a touching recollection of what it’s like to rent a space, live there like you own the place (read: trashing it), all the while assuring your parents that you’re doing fine.The house, now belonging to someone else, has the spirit of The Besties lingering, as well as an oversized organ to be utilized or neglected as the new tenants see fit. The band’s new record, featuring “79 Lorimer,” is called Home Free and is actually based on an in-joke between the band members and the guitarist’s father.They were holed up in Ricky’s parents’ house in Connecticut over Christmas last year when his father good-naturedly teased Marisa about being homeless. In response, Marisa exclaimed, to the delight of her band mates, “I’m not homeless. I’m home free!” Without the responsibility of having a lease and rent to pay is empowering to the group’s members, and it can be heard on the new record, which is packed to the brim with fun and loose tracks about their struggles to keep things together. But the music is so upbeat that you assume it was written by happy people.
“There’s no Eeyore in this band,” Bergquist says. “There are no fights.”
It’s also apparent in the band’s touring schedule, which plays whenever it can, in basements and bars alike, whenever Kelly and Ricky aren’t traveling the country selling posters to college students as part of an organization that sets up shop in quads across the country, peddling cheap art to dorm dwellers.
“I’m happy being a basement show kind of band,” Marisa says as we discuss an upcoming New Brunswick, NJ, house show and the notion of becoming a big touring group. “It’s so personal. It’s such a compliment for [people] to invite you into their homes.”
Home Free is just that: a celebration of the homes they once had, and those not yet visited. For this band, however, home seems to be anyplace where its best friends are.
Twee the people: The Besties.
> The Besties
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