It’s really hard not to want to start a band with your best girlfriends after seeing All Our Exes Live In Texas. The four women of this fierce folk act were indeed friends before the band’s formation; just one month prior to an all-star show to celebrate the music of the film O Brother Where Art Thou, Elana Stone, Hannah Crofts, Katie Wighton and Georgia Mooney were each pursuing solo careers, but decided to pick up new instruments and put a group together.
Elana Stone grabbed the accordion. “Hannah calls it ‘The Devil’s Backpack’, but it’s actually like a frontpack,” she says. “It’s annoying to carry and lug, but once it’s on you, it’s pretty ergonomic. Look, I’m anticipating some serious back problems when I get older. But it’s a beautiful and fun instrument to play.” After that first show, suddenly the women were booking more gigs together than as solo performers, and they began writing songs.
How does that work with four lead singers? Stupidly smoothly, it turns out. “It’s a pleasure because it’s such an easy band to work for,” Stone says. “It’s so much easier working within a team of ambitious ladies rather than working for yourself and going, ‘I’m great. Listen to me.’ There’s a huge amount of respect in the room with the four of us,” she continues. “I think everyone recognises that everyone has a lot of talent and is very intelligent. In most other bands that I’ve been in, that’s always the hardest thing – making everyone feel heard and happy.”
They certainly look happy. Take a gander at the video for Tell Me, one of the funniest clips we’ve seen in donkey’s, in which the girls are lined up in a soccer match against their fictional (and famous) exes. The video for single I Took The Devil’s Part, by contrast, is absolutely dreamy; it’s a reflection of the otherworldly harmonies these women are capable of.
Writing is an “incredibly diplomatic” experience. “Everyone in the group, on the album, has three songs each. There really isn’t any arguing. I know that sounds like it must be bullsh-t, but it really isn’t.” The primary take away here is that Stone and her compatriots enjoy discovering things about one another – “you learn the things that make them tick musically, and that advances your musicianship” – but she asserts that as soon as musicians put themselves under too much pressure, the fruit dies on the vine. “There were no egos to begin with because of the way the band started – it was a fun project and it wasn’t intended to go this far,” Stone says. “It’s really always been about the friendships, they’re the most important thing. And if everything else goes well, then that’s great.”
When We Fall is out March 3 via ABC/Universal.