Husband-and-Wife Duo Nights & Weekends Premiere 'Brick by Brick' From 'Music for Marriage'
A bit of "dramatic change" led Jenny and Daron Hollowell to form their new musical project Nights & Weekends and create the debut album Music For Marriage (out Aug. 25), whose "Brick By Brick" is premiering exclusively below.
That change was primarily geographic. The Hollowells -- she's a novelist (Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe) and commentator, he's a founding member of White Iris, guitarist in Four Hundred Years, and executive producer for Best Coast, FIDLAR -- had moved to Los Angeles with their two young children, now ages eight and five, and had gone through some job changes. "It was a real time of transition," Jenny Hollowell tells Billboard. "It was a period where I felt like nothing could be relied upon. We were constantly having to figure out how to live our lives, and we didn't see a clear sort of end in sight. And this is how we coped with it, by writing these songs together. It was an escape from all of the more pressing realities."
Jenny Hollowell, in fact, harbored no musical aspirations for herself. But she was happy to contribute lyrics and, later, melodic ideas for what her husband created in the studio and sent to her via iPhone notes. "It was very much just trading things back and forth and feeling our way through it," she recalls. But when they played the material for producer Adam Goldman, a friend, he volunteered to work with the couple to turn the material in the recordings. And somewhere along the way, Jenny became a singer.
"It was really scary; I don't think any of us expected me to do that," she says with a laugh. "I would sing sometimes into my phone, little memos to send to Daron during the process, but I definitely did not feel strong as a singer. But as we got into it Daron and Adam sort of wooed me a little bit. They were like, 'Just come in and try it. If it's not working then we can all agree to abandon it.' I ended up feeling proud of what I did, which was not how I expected to feel. I learned it was kind of fun to not expect to be good at something; I think I went into it feeling really free to mess up."
"Brick By Brick" represents a "true collaboration" between the Hollowells, with Jenny writing lyrics to Daron's instrumental track. "I guess I was sort of channeling PJ Harvey," Jenny says. "She's such a favorite of mine and there was something about the way the song was feeling that made me think of her and her fearlessness. It's a song that made me want to take a more lyrically aggressive approach and it ended up working really well."
Nights & Weekends -- the band name comes from when the Hollowells were able to work on the music -- have been playing live shows in and around southern California and in Joshua Tree. The couple is hoping to perform back in New York but have no plans yet for a full-scale tour. Jenny, however, is confident there will be more music from the unexpected group.
"I still like writing songs," she says. "We already are working on a couple of new songs, and I think the nature of the project is such that we don't set artificial timetables for it. But we do continue to write songs, so why not make another record? Why not play more shows? It's been fun and it's exciting to have this creative outlet in contrast to all of the adult things we do every day."