Drew Helland teamed up with Brandon Phrommany just over a year and a half ago when they met one another at the University of South Dakota’s radio station. They quickly discovered that their musical tastes matched up and that they both dabbled in drums and guitar.
After a call to Drew’s twin brother Mike, who studies music production at Minnesota State University, Manakato, the Tenenbaums came to be.
The trio hails from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where they have lived the majority of their lives. They concede that their state can feel sparse at times. Although the small community of musicians in the area has started to thrive as of late, the band often spends their days traveling to neighboring scenes in Omaha and Minneapolis. This type of touring is reserved for the weekends when the threesome isn’t pouring over their coursework.
In their final year of school, the themes on the Tenenbaum’s debut album, “Favorite Deams,” tend to focus on the pre and post-graduate limbo college students often grapple with. Phrommany admits that his lyrics tend to slant towards the uncertainty he feels at this point in his life.
In the spring, he and his bandmates will advance onto the next stage of their lives, but they aren’t bashful when expressing their unease about the future. While they finish their degrees, the three dream about what lies ahead; they hope to land jobs in their respective fields and continue to play music together.
They may not be in Sioux Falls for much longer, and they may not record under the same band name, but the three appear optimistic about their prospects of remaining a unit. The group considers relocating to Minneapolis, and they have discussed rebranding.
“We are seriously considering changing our name soon. Nirvana was Bliss and Ted Ed Fred and a ton of other names before they settled on Nirvana,” says Phrommany. “We are a bit apprehensive about it, but we think we have plenty of room to grow. The more we grow as a band, the more I feel like we should change our name.”
These friends are currently at work on their sophomore effort. Nearing the halfway mark, the band will continue to write for their follow up record in a few weeks, when the trio reunites for winter recess.
Whether it’s released by the Tenenabums or a to-be-determined band, the next record will feature the same dreamy sounds that are ever-present on “Favorite Deams.” But listeners can also anticipate more imaginative compositions.
Tenenbaums hope to experiment with synths on their next album, as they want to continue on an ever-evolving journey through sound. They also plan to sit with this collection of songs for a longer period of time than their previous debut–which came together in a matter of days in their pal’s basement.
This go around, the trio intends to be a bit more thoughtful when fusing together all of the elements that influence the final product.
When the conceptions for their second LP are finally realized and put to tape, the Tenenbaum boys hope to find a home for their music on any label that is willing to take a chance on them.
Whether they continue to play under their current name, or get booked for shows up north with their new identity, this won’t be the last time you will hear about these Sioux Falls’ natives.
“We’ll never give up, we’ll do this until the day we die,” declares Phrommany.
To hear the rest of our interview with Tenenbaums, tune into this week’s episode of Discovery Corner.
Or interpret the music for yourself by clicking here.