There is something so enchanting about the image of an effervescent insect trapped in a jar. When a firefly is enclosed, it is almost like a little glimpse of magic and your imagination runs wild. Alt-pop duo Marney’s new single “Fireflies” evokes that same wondrous feeling through its glowing arrangements and powerful vocals bursting with longing. Transporting listeners to those simple times where your worries float away, so many of us wish we could go back to being kids again. Go back to running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day, chasing the ice cream truck down the street and swinging on a swing set. When listening to this intoxicating tune all those memories come flooding in.
The dynamic duo, comprised of Crystal Douesnard (vocals) and Thomas Moore (guitar/bass/production), are known for their emotive tracks that capture the hearts of fans with a colorful sound melding retro with contemporary. Their candid lyrics detailing dark feelings tightly grip at your soul. “Fireflies” relays a brighter sentiment than past releases, but still retains the same driving passion Marney is known for. Ladygunn interviewed the twosome, talking new single, childhood experiences and so much more.
To start, what is the significance behind the name Marney for your duo?
We wish that there was some significance behind our name, but the truth is that there really isn’t! We spent a while thinking of clever names that fit what we were trying to do, but at one point someone said “MARNEY” as a random word, and we ended up really liking it.
Your latest single “Fireflies” shines with dazzling radiance through its vast shimmering soundscapes. How was the track concocted sonically?
Thank you! We really spent a while in the studio making sure that the soundscape of the song fit the message and the vibe we were trying to give off. A lot of time was spent on the bare bones of the track, then the lyrics, then we started adding the fun stuff that gave “Fireflies” the feel that it does. We wanted the song to be very open and non-constricting while having this really nostalgic and hopeful feeling. We wanted it to spark memories for people but also have something to relate to that is modern. Our producer, Nick Zagorin from Suburban Soul Studios, has a really great understanding of this.
The soaring track takes us back to those simpler times of chasing fireflies, reminding us to never let go of that childlike innocence. Can you explain this concept in more detail?
When we get older, we tend to lose our childlike wonder for things. As life gets harder, we tend to become more jaded and can have a tendency to forget that we can all still find that sense of wonder in ourselves, though it seems impossible at times. The world we live in right now can be really disheartening especially with so much access to media. “Fireflies” is really about the nostalgia we feel when thinking about our childhoods but also provides a sense of hope that our inner child isn’t really ever lost.
Speaking of simpler times, is there a freeing childhood memory that stands out to you the most?
Honestly, there’s so many since we both grew up in the 90’s. So generally speaking, it’s really the times where the only form of media that we had was our mom’s Nokia cellphone that we played the game “Snake” on. We watched the growth of the internet through MySpace and AOL messenger. There was so much less to worry about. Our friendships were so genuine because we would wait days or weeks to see each other. These times were all very free and honestly times that we definitely took for granted.
What advice can you give to others who feel weighed down by the stresses of adulthood and long for those easier days?
Turn off your phone! The world can feel like it is crashing down around you sometimes because we are constantly surrounded by information. Take time for your hobbies, let yourself turn off your phone, and allow yourself to reflect on what truly makes you happy.
Your music exudes a strong sense of nostalgia and possesses retro flair while still retaining a modern sound. How has your style evolved over your musical journey?
It really happened on it’s own! It was honestly very magical in the studio. We went in with the idea that we wanted to incorporate nostalgic themes with a modern sound and spent a lot of time listening to the songs and making them exactly what we wanted. It was pretty natural. We have backgrounds in rock, pop, and alternative. This combination of experience really helped to create our sound.
Many of your offerings deal with dark emotions, which makes your releases so honest and relatable. What allows you to be so open lyrically?
Being honest is so important to us, not just in our day-to-day relationships, but in our music. Being yourself and speaking honestly is all that you really have in this life. Music is a form of expression for us and if we weren’t talking about things that matter to us or playing things that we enjoy, there would really be no point for us to do this at all. We really believe that if you’re going to write music, that you should write for yourself first. People that understand you will come after that.
The two of you met while you were on the road touring with other bands. What makes the both of you connect so well creatively?
We have very similar music tastes (which can be very hard to come by) and have the same love for the time period that we grew up in. We were also unhappy in the bands that we were in which made it pretty easy to start talking about new ideas. Fortunately, it all worked out and we clicked pretty much immediately!
On the topic of creativity, are there any hobbies outside of music that you are also passionate about?
We both love video games! Especially older games (shocker) from consoles like the Super Nintendo, Playstation 1, and Nintendo 64. We spent most of the pandemic revisiting old games from these classic consoles. Also, we love theme parks and roller coasters! One of the things we missed the most during this pandemic was the ability to visit Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain. We just watched youtube POV videos instead. Yes, we are nerds!
Finally, who are some artists or bands that really inspire you?
Honestly, we are huge rock and metal fans. Our daily playlist really consists of music from the 80’s and 90’s like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, Dio, Oasis, The Verve, Alice In Chains…etc. We also love SoCal skate punk like The Offspring and Social Distortion. The drive that these bands had during a time where they had to bust their ass to become as big as they are is incredibly inspiring even now.
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photos / courtesy of artist
story / Chloe Robinson