You Don’t Know Jersey is excited to premiere the wonderful new single “Spilt Milk” from New Jersey acoustic folk pop band prim. Is it a coincidence that today also happens to be National Milk Day? We’ll never tell. However if the single, off their soon to be released EP, is any indication the only crying we’ll do will be tears of joy. “Spilt Milk” is a gorgeous song.
prim is a testament to the community that makes up the New Jersey music scene. Members include Jenna Murphy on vocals, guitarists Erik Romero and Jeff Lane of dollys, and bassist Chris Beninato and drummer Mike Linardi of Toy Cars. Murphy additionally plays acoustic guitar and also makes use of a loop pedal to achieve a more intricate, nuanced sound. That members from other bands can come together and create music as good as this is inspiring.
“Spilt Milk” begins with stark and forlorn piano before gentle guitar notes join the mix. This piano and guitar is repeated throughout the song and the repetition is oddly comforting. Murphy’s dreamy, emotive vocals is the perfect accompaniment to the wistful and pensive music. She sings the brilliant line “God, I wish I was dead or at least not at this party anymore” with such conviction one can’t help but empathize. We’ve certainly all been there and that universality is keenly felt. No regrets indeed.
We asked Murphy some get acquainted questions.
When did you first become interested in making music?
Truthfully, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t getting into something musical. Since I was younger, I loved making music and all sorts of noise, and that eventually led to being in the school band, taking music lessons, acappella groups, from a young age and throughout my child- and teenage-hood. It just so happened to be the one thing that really impacted and stuck with me.
How did prim form?
Throughout college I played under the moniker as a solo act. Now that there’s a (terrific) band behind it, everything feels fuller and complete. The guys teamed up to help record parts for the EP and it all sort of fell into place perfectly. It became a fun project for everyone.
prim has members of dollys, Toy Cars and Ragged Lines. There seems to be a lot of collaboration between NJ bands. Do you think there is good sense of camaraderie in the local “scene”?
Oh, for sure. That’s part of what makes it super cool and magical, it’s this incredible support system, like nothing I’ve ever experienced anywhere else. It’s a very special community that we’re lucky to be a part of, there’s always a ton of people who are there to help, who have your back, who love your songs and feel what you’re feeling, and I think that’s really comforting.
The word prim means precise and proper. How do you relate this to your music?
The sound, thanks to my lovely bandmates, is very decisive and assertive, whereas the words are sometimes frantic or boasting qualities of uncertainty. I think it’s a cool balance and something I strive for personally: to be a bit more put-together at times (haha!) You know, I feel a lot of people struggle with things and have an outward appearance of being composed all while dealing + coping with trauma or pain or just little issues internally, so I feel like my songs are a nice juxtaposition of the two things. It helps to bring beauty to otherwise dark or not-so-easy-to-talk-about topics, and at times, lighten it.
Who are some of your musical influences?
The DuPree sisters (of Eisley, Sucre, Merriment, etc.) have always been a group of ladies I really adore, they’re excellent musicians and very poetic. Annie Clark (of St. Vincent), of course, is a genius. I admire her the most and draw a lot of inspiration from what she creates. Someone who has had a great impact on my music, though, and how I style it is Jenny Lewis. Her story-telling skills are out of this world, totally unparalleled in my book, and I can only hope to be so eloquent one day.
Five words to describe prim?
“Oh gosh, I can’t choose” haha! I’d say, we are (1) experimenting (with new sounds, directions), we are (2) discovering (what we like and don’t like, what we’re about and not about), we are (3) enjoying. We’re also (4) whimsical (it’s important not to take yourself too seriously!) and (5) learning!! That’s important to do I think.
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