Meet Pearl and the Beard

Between on-campus and off-campus happenings, it’s going to be great weekend for music in Colorado Springs. Notably, Brooklyn-based indie trio Pearl and the Beard will be in town performing at the Pikes Peak Center this Saturday, March 28th. The group has been on tour with 90’s folk and alt rock singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco and will open for her at tomorrow’s show.

The three met in Brooklyn in the open mic scene, a union that vocalist and guitarist Jeremy Styles calls “really random and fortuitous.” The band is comprised of Styles, vocalist and percussionist Jocelyn Mackenzie, and vocalist, cellist and keyboardist Emily Hope Price. Although the three met in New York, their origins span throughout the country. Styles is from California, Mackenzie is from Utah and Hope Price from New Jersey. Their diverse geographic backgrounds may play a role their genre-bending eclectic music.

“I used to say ‘Mixtape Folk’ but now I’d say its just Mixtapia. A nice eclectic mix,” said Styles in his description of Pearl and the Beard’s music. “We like all sorts of things. Sugar pop, metal, prog, classical, soundtracks, folk, electronic music. We like to absorb and filter out what we like.”

With such an unlikely blend of influences, it’s no wonder the trio has performed with a mixed bag of artists, from Ani DiFranco, to Matt and Kim and Ingrid Michaelson. Their music is poppy and bright without losing complexity. Smooth vocal harmonies, powerful percussion, and the more gentle sounds of cello, keyboard and bells set their music apart from the typical top 100 hits.

They’ve created a fresh voice in the inundated music scene that is New York and especially Brooklyn. They don’t seem too concerned about the multiplicity, however, more encouraged by the community.

“The Brooklyn scene has so many musicians in it, and it’s been sort of a nice hub to talk to folks,” said Styles, though their sounds and style have truly evolved on the road. “I think the real influence has been outside of home touring with other bands and just seeing what works and what doesn’t.”

As the group continues to evolve, their time on tour with DiFranco has been an integral part of this experience. “Her and her crew be so professional lets you know how it’s done,” said Styles of the DiFranco tour. “They run like clockwork. It’s amazing. We see how gracious she is and who she surrounds herself with. It’s inspiring for many aspects of our lives. Her fans are incredibly supportive.”

Pearl and the Beard will preform before Ani DiFranco tomorrow night at the Pikes Peak Center. If you can’t make it, be sure to check them out on Soundcloud and at PearlandtheBeard.com.

Zoe Holland

Zoe Holland

Zoe is a sophomore and the Life section editor at The Catalyst. She has been writing for the newspaper since her freshman year as a food writer.

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