Bay Ledges is a dreamy indie pop band who has the ability to put you in a sunny state of mind whether you’re laying on the beaches of California or still waiting for Summer on the other coast. With over 400 million monthly listeners on Spotify, the group’s latest single “I Wonder” is currently featured on Spotify’s ‘The New Alt’ and ‘Indie Pop’ playlists, as well as Apple’s ‘Breaking Alternative’ playlist. They’ve made appearances on the line up of festivals such as KAABOO Del Mar, Whigfest, Quebec City Summer Festival and Summerfest. The group recently released their EP In Waves, which perfectly captures the bright and sleek energy of Bay Ledges.
The Young Folks spoke to Bay Ledges’ Zach Hurd to discuss the group’s latest video “I Wonder” and what inspires him creatively.
TYF: You recently released the music video for your song “I Wonder,” what was your favorite part of the creation of the video?
Zach Hurd: I loved that making the video was such a group effort. Shawheen Keyani, the director, had the great idea that everybody who was working on the video would also be in it and would stay dressed in the blue outfits the whole time…even when you weren’t in front of the camera. I think it made everyone feel like we were part of this bizarre team. When we finished, I felt more like it was our collective video, not just something that we made for Bay Ledges.
TYF: How involved were you in the production of the video? What was the inspiration behind the visuals?
Hurd: I like to be as involved as I can. I sought out Shawheen on instagram after seeing a bunch of his work that I really liked. We met up a bunch to put a story together…I really wanted to make something that had some humor in it. We both share a love of Wes Anderson’s films and the way he intertwines subtle humor with friendship so we ended up using “Life Aquatic” as a point of reference.
TYF: What track on your new EP, In Waves, was the hardest to write?
Hurd: “Electric Dream” took a little while. My friend Jackson Greenberg wrote a version of the song and sent it to me to see if I could do anything with it. My original plan was to do a remix for him but as I kept working on it, incorporating my own style, I eventually asked if I could try writing some new lyrics too. It was a fun one to work on but eventually I lost steam and put it away for 8 months. When I finally sent it over to Jackson, half finished and a bit messy, he really liked it. We ended up finishing it together as I was touring in the fall, emailing it back and forth. Technology blows my mind sometimes.
TYF: How has your creative process changed from when you first started writing songs?
Hurd: I think I’m more collaborative than I’ve been in the past. Music has always been a personal practice for me and it still is in a lot of ways. I love getting lost in the process of songwriting and producing at my home studio, but I’ve also recognized the ways I can hit walls. It’s easy to lose steam and get a little tired of yourself. I can see sometimes working out an idea with someone else helps keep the creativity flowing. It’s also interesting to see how other people work, how they approach songwriting, what gear they use.
TYF: What do you hope people take away from your music?
Hurd: I hope it makes them feel good.
TYF: Where do you typically find inspiration?
Hurd: I come up with a lot of lyric ideas while I’m driving. LA’s good for that with all the time you spend in the car. I get inspired by visual artists, photography, paintings, mixed media. It’s also helpful to get out of the city every once in a while. I just went up to Big Sur…I think that exposure has an effect on your creativity.
TYF: Do you have any influences that you think fans would find surprising?
Hurd: My parents love music so we listened to a lot of different stuff growing up. Some of my favorites were The Everly Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and The Beach Boys. Since then I’ve gotten more into paying closer attention to producers. I love the sampling styles from a lot of 90’s hip hop, early Tribe Called Quest. I love the Dust Brothers work from that time period too. Right now, I really like Little Dragon, Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, specifically the way all these artists do a lot of exploring of new sounds in their production.
TYF: What artists or specific songs have you been listening to lately?
Hurd: “Probably Gonna Rock Your World” by Logic, “Outside” by MorMor, “Boys Got To Go” by BRONCHO, “Show Me How” by Men I Trust
TYF: Festival season is starting up, what is your dream music festival lineup?
Hurd: In no particular order: Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar, Toro y Moi, War On Drugs, Reggie Watts, Beck.
TYF: What is the coolest moment that you’ve experienced so far in your career as an artist?
Hurd: Touring the US this past year and meeting so many of the people who have been listening to the project over the last few years. Having that human connection is so special… and it makes me want to keep creating.