Early Eyes have been a band for less than a year but are already making noticeable strides in the Twin Cities music scene. Composed of Jake Berglove, Henry Patterson, Des Lawrence and Wyatt Fuller, Early Eyes combine a twangy lo-fi sound with elements of funk and jazz to create a style that is sure to get you dancing. Their EP, “Minutes,” was released on May 25th, 2017 and was accompanied by a sold out release show at 7th Street Entry. I sat down with Henry, Des and Jake and talked everything from musical influences to how they go about writing songs.
Early Eyes was started from a jam session in Henry and Jake’s dorm room, where the four met. Soon after, they played a gig at an event for the University of Minnesota. After receiving support and good reactions to their tunes, the guys realized that they had something that was worth continuing. Since then, they have been very active, playing shows frequently in the Twin Cities and have begun to gather a decent sized fan base.
Guitarist Henry Patterson reflects on connecting with other bands in the local scene saying, “We were the new kids that were ready to befriend everyone. The world was opening up to us and we were like, ‘Wow’.” Henry went on to say that the Twin Cities music scene isn’t necessarily a place where bands “blow up.” It is more a place where bands can gain gradual success within a community of other bands. Early Eyes have certainly become a part of a larger community within the Minnesota music scene and have accomplished this on a grass roots level of simply reaching out to other bands. Being a part of this larger community, Early Eyes have also distinguished themselves as a band that showcases talent, solid songwriting and good vibes that have people coming back again and again to see them live.
In terms of influences and their sound, the band describes themselves as “jangle funk,” combining elements of lo-fi indie rock with funk grooves that often result in fun, pop anthems. But Early Eyes have not limited themselves to 3 minute pop songs. They seem to have combined a pop accessibility and sensibility with the attitude and spirit of classic 70’s funk music. “The songs are a party and we have to fall in the groove,” says singer and rhythm guitarist, Jake Berglove. This combination of new with the old has helped with setting Early Eyes apart from other bands. There’s an energy that’s created by these often “jammy” grooves paired with the catchiness and sing along qualities of the band that make their live show quite an experience.
On the subject of songwriting, Jake Berglove describes the first step in the process as planting the seed. “One person comes in with a rough idea for the song and then everyone just arranges their parts around it. Usually lyrics will come last.” This process may seem simple, but it has left the band with a fairly large catalog of tunes. “Sunrise,” a song off the band’s recently released EP was written by bassist, Des Lawrence within the span of a day. “I wrote the lyrics on my way to class. They just kind of popped into my head. When I got back to my room I just picked up my guitar and in a matter of twenty minutes had melody, structure and lyrics. It all just came together.” This shows the spontaneity of music. How out of nowhere you will have an idea and you have to grab it quick before it goes away. However, it isn’t always that easy. Berglove went on to say that a song can take anywhere from one to three days to complete.
As for what the future holds for the band, it’s hard to know. If Early Eyes’s steady growth throughout the past year indicates anything, it’s that the band isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Make sure to check out Early Eyes if you haven’t already. You can follow them through their website or through any other form of social media.
Henry Patterson was a member of Early Eyes at the time of this interview but has since parted ways with the band and is pursuing a solo endeavor.
July 27, 2017
Solid State Local Music Contributor