The New Respects
Sounds Like: Funky, exuberant blues-rock as imagined by four young adults barely old enough to remember when Bill Clinton was president
For Fans of: Alabama Shakes, Elle King, Lenny Kravitz circa "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
Why You Should Pay Attention: The New Respects are the odd Nashville-based band whose members didn't move to town in hopes of making it big, having grown up in and around the city's vibrant Christian music community. Comprised of singer/guitarist Jasmine Mullen – daughter of successful Christian/gospel singer Nicole C. Mullen – alongside her cousins, twin sisters Lexi (bass) and Zandy Fitzgerald (guitar) and their brother Darius (drums), the foursome has been onstage for years, including serving as background dancers for Mullen's mother when they were teenagers. They've also been playing music in some configuration for some time, but really hit warp speed upon picking up electric instruments and honing a fuzzed-out blues-rock aesthetic. The band are already signed to a Universal Music subsidiary and recently released their five-song debut EP, Here Comes Trouble. They've been road testing the music opening select shows for Switchfoot and, beginning March 15th, they'll hit the road for a brief tour with Robert Randolph & the Family Band.
"We went from zero to a hundred in no time," acknowledges Zandy. "Sometimes you feel inadequate, like there's people who've been doing this for years and we're still trying to figure out sounds."
"I still feel like we're like the J.V. squad that got thrown into the varsity game or something," adds Darius. "They look at you like, 'Fitzgerald, you're in!' and you're like, 'What? I'm just on the bench!'"
They Say: "We weren't really allowed to listen to music outside of Christian music, so hearing Chuck Berry for the first time, or Eric Clapton, it could have been a new artist to me, because I knew nothing about them," says Zandy.
"The nice thing about us being so sheltered was that it forced us to have to create new things," agrees Darius. "Whereas people [who] grow up listening to certain drummers and they play that way, I only listened to gospel stuff and I can't do any of that stuff, so it's like, 'Well, I gotta do my own thing!'"
Hear for Yourself: The slinky, hypnotic single "Money" combines a propulsive drum break with Fiddler on the Roof-style musings about the pitfalls of wealth. Jon Freeman