INTERVIEW: Miss Cantaloupe

Miss Cantaloupe have an element of mystery to their sound that seems to be missing from a lot of modern bands, one might even call it witchcraft. On their newest offering “Come To Us” the Philly group pull the listener in with their dreamy vocals, otherworldly atmospheres and subliminal rhythms, all set in their very own psychedelic forest. The track really comes alive by the bridge with it’s layered grooves and cinematic chord changes, it showcases what’s so unique about Miss Cantaloupe; the power of the collective effort, that intangible element of magic and mystery that comes from souls combining forces to create. Watch their newest video “Come To Us” and read our exclusive interview with Miss Cantaloupe below!

Hi, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey there VENTS, thanks for having us! “How have you been”  can feel like a loaded question at the moment(!!!) but we are doing our part to stay active & attentive while participating in the BLM movement here in the city of Philadelphia. Most of us have been a part of the protests here. I think it’s important that if you have a platform, you use it to fight for what’s right and speak out against injustice (arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor & Elijah Mcclain!!!). Covid has put a strange spin on our summer but I think it’s forcing us all to go inward and delve deeper into our hearts & passions. We’ve all been independently making music which is nice but I miss the sharpness & fun of having a weekly band practice. Also human connection. Even though we haven’t been able to meet up (bummer summer), we are remotely working on a lot of visual content to pair with our upcoming singles!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Come To Us”?

Okay this song was conceived a few years ago on acoustic guitar with just the main vocal. Adding the vocal harmonies to it was really exciting! It sounded haunting and mesmerising. It’s always fun bringing a song to the band because things inevitably develop with more depth. The bridge in this tune showcases the instruments as they, one by one, gradually make their way into the spooky soundscape.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

So, this is probably going to sound crazy but this song was written from the perspective of these spirits in Cantaloupia named the Psilocybin Sisters who are the keepers of death on the planet, kind of like the Grim Reaper here. In this song, Dr. Watermelon comes across the sisters in the forest and they sing to him that it isn’t his time to go yet and to come to them when he’s older and wiser and ready to transcend. 

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Our drummer, Sean Youngman, directed this one- it’s his directorial debut! It was really fun to work with him on his vision and see it all come to life through the lens! 

The filming day itself was crazy because he had to leave during the shoot to find dry ice for our cauldron and it ended up being over an hour away! He came back with the dry ice and we had the perfect amount of sunlight to finish the shoot. 

The shoot was really really fun for me personally, I felt very natural as a witch and very powerful. I think some ancestral stuff came up. 

How was the recording and writing process?

We recorded in Cambridge Sounds Studio with Drew Taurisano in South Philly (where a few of us reside). It was a great time, we got together for maybe 3 or 4 days & laid down the track skeletons (drum/bass/keys/guit) & then we had the flute, glock, cello & vocals come in afterward to lay down their layers. There is a lush soundscape happening & it’s a very delicate balance.

What role does Philly play in your music?

Philly is home…our drummer has been here for over a decade..and I’m not too far behind him at this point. We have SUCH a loving music scene in Philly and South Jersey. And the local musicians are so supportive of each other, it’s a really beautiful thing to be a part of. This city just magnetises art and artists.

How have the likes of Cocteau Twins influenced your writing?

Hmm…funny you reference the Cocteau Twins, I was turned onto them in college by an ex partner & good friend of mine. I used to think 80’s was all corny but it’s not true. There was some cool stuff happening in the 80’s. Cocteau Twins, Heart, Yes, My Bloody Valentine, The Sugarcubes..I grew up on Aerosmith so I didn’t get into the alt 80’s stuff till the cool kids in college showed me. Gotta love Aerosmith too though. Classic. The dreamscape sound that I think you’re referring to literally comes from imagination. When we play songs together I’m amazed because it’s like my brain being flipped inside out & exposed for all to hear! 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes! We will be gradually releasing singles this summer/fall with some visual content to go along with them! Once it’s more safe to meet in public spaces again we’ll plan a full album release party where we’ll have physical copies of the 8 song LP & merch but we are not sure when that will be or what it will look like.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

I’ll give you the release date for our next 2 singles & the album title!!! 

So expect Mushroom Meadow Smiles to hit the airwaves Aug 7th w/animated music video & Sunshine Daydream is out Aug 28th w/music vid as well!!! 

~that includes Spotify & all streaming platforms! 

The album title is Beets Began to Rise…& it’s coming out soon!! 

The artwork was done by a friend of mine, David Shwartz https://www.blackinkart.com

What else is happening next in Miss Cantaloupe’s world?

What is happening in the world of Cantaloupia, you ask?

We’ve all been quite busy working on our own endeavors, our drummer Sean just put out an album with his hypnotic band, Pansong https://pansong.bandcamp.com/releases & he continues to push the boundaries of the mystical instrument known as the handpan. 

Our keyboardist/synth wizard, Sam Gutman is working on an album with his band Deep Creature & has been releasing some dope stream of consciousness stuff on bandcamp https://deepcreature.bandcamp.com

Our bassist Coco just put out a solo single https://donniecoco.bandcamp.com/releases

Our cellist, Bexx, is working on some electronic music & our flutist, Joey, is strummin on banjo with some talented local artists! Steph (glock/vocals) just took our cute new socially distanced band photo & is also in it (go Steph)!!! I (Xtina, vocals/guit) have been working with roomies (Sean & Steph) on new songs & covers. Always keeping it fresh, here in Cantaloupia!

Come back soon now, won’t ya?

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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